Are you interested in starting a bed and breakfast business? Do you need a sample bed and breakfast business plan template? If you answered YES to any of the questions above, then I advice you read on.
Many people are leaving their highly stressed day jobs to start their own businesses. Although this might mean more work and busier schedule—especially from the start—there will be much fulfillment in the long term, because nothing feels better than running your own business and being your own boss.
For those who move to the country with the aim of setting up a business, one of the first businesses that come to mind is running a bed and breakfast (B&B) business. This business is alluring because it allows you to live and work from the comfort of your home; and that’s exactly what most people want.
However, a bed and breakfast business has its downsides. You will have to work for longer hours—though it’s usually fun. You will also have to face the reality of having strangers living in your home. And if you wear a stern face all the time, you will have to change that and learn how to smile, whatever your mood.
Would you like to start a bed and breakfast business, the downsides notwithstanding? Then read on for an overview of all you need to understand and implement before setting up your own bed and breakfast business.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Service – Sample Business Plan Template
To start any business you must have a clear vision and goals—and a bed and breakfast is no exception. What type of bed and bread and breakfast do you want to set up? An equestrian B&B in the middle of the countryside, a comfy farm stay, or a 5-star boutique B&B in a market town?
Also, you need to define where you want to see your business in the future, say 5-10 years time. Do you see your business in a new location? Do you see it bigger? Remember that your goals and vision won’t be realized without action. So, you need to develop an action plan to achieve them.
Being clear about what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve them as well as writing it all down will help you plan your business more effectively and save you from expensive mistakes later on.
2. Define your offer
You need to state what exactly your B&B will offer guests. You sure want your guests to be satisfied, keep checking back, and even refer their family and friends to your B&B. To achieve this, you need to get the basics right: a high level of cleanliness, a comfortable bed, excellent breakfast, and most importantly, a warm welcome.
You may have the most beautiful B&B in town, but if you get it wrong with any of these basics, your customers won’t come back.
Only after you have gotten the basics right should you start working on the extras that will distinguish your B&B from other accommodation services within your locality.
Every business requires some investment of money, time, and effort. Even if you are using vacant rooms in your home for your B&B business, you still need to allocate money for the purchase of comfortable furniture and other required facilities. You also need money for marketing and advertising your new business.
You need to have a financial plan to ensure that your budget is evenly spread over all areas of the business. You don’t want to spend all your money on very expensive furnishings, only to be left with nothing for marketing and website design.
4. Fulfill legal requirements
An important area to address before starting your B&B is what local and national legal requirements you need to fulfill. You may want to contact an attorney or the appropriate agency to find out the requirements that apply to starting a B&B in your city, state, or country. Never skip this step, so you won’t run into problems later on.
5. Market your business
Marketing your business is the only way to create awareness about it. Even if you set up a 5-star B&B, customers won’t check in by osmosis. You need to let them know about your B&B, and that’s exactly what marketing does.
Marketing is an ongoing task. Even after you have set your business in motion, it should continue. As a recommendation, allocate at least 20% of your turnover in the first year to marketing costs. Your marketing costs will be spent on printing leaflets and business cards, advertising in targeted online and offline media, press releases, membership and advertising with relevant associations, and so on.
Because it is the lifeblood of your business, marketing requires adequate planning. So set a marketing plan and budget. Contact others in the market to find out which marketing strategies work best for them. Then decide where you will spend your money, and stick to that.
Don’t forget that there are ways to promote your business for free, such as getting PR for events you are staging, networking with other B&B owners, advertising on classified sites, and encouraging your customers to market your business through word of mouth.
Finally, you need to set up a website for your B&B business, even if it’s a one-page; though the better the website, the more customers you will attract.
Your website will serve as your online “showroom” for showcasing your business and displaying vital information such as your offerings, unique selling points, pricing, and contact details. It will also serve as the landing page for all your online marketing campaigns.
6. Open your doors for business
Business starts when your first guests arrive. You must ensure that they get a warm welcome; make them comfortable, and offer high quality services. Give them every reason to leave on a satisfactory note. This will prompt them to check back later and even inform others about your B&B.