Running a B&B is that job that many people dream of. You get to be your own boss, work from home and escape from the stress of the 9-5. Karen Thorne, founder and owner of B&B Academy and award winning B&B owner, shares all the secrets of running a successful B&B, getting 5 stars reviews whilst creating a lifestyle you'll love
#04 Is running a bed and breakfast the right business for you?
In this week's episode I'm going to share the things you need to consider when deciding whether running a bed and breakfast is the right business for you.
You'll find the free download I mentioned here 👉 get the free guide
Find out more about the Online B&B Training here 👉 How to set up, run and market your own B&B
It may be your dream business, but is running a bed and breakfast the right business for you?
Owning a B&B might mean you can work from home, be your own boss, have more time for your family and hobbies, maybe live in your dream place by the sea or in the countryside and meet new and interesting people.
It sounds perfect doesn't it?
However owning a B&B is a business like any other small business and it isn’t for everyone. And for it to be a success and for you to enjoy running it, you really need to get clear on a few things first.
In this post, I’ll walk you through deciding whether it really is the right business for you.
I'm going to cover:
Is running a bed and breakfast the right business for you?
What is a bed and breakfast?
What makes a good bed and breakfast?
What makes a good bed and breakfast owner?
Buying a bed and breakfast versus setting one up from scratch
Do your research
Get clear on your reasons for wanting to run a B&B
What sort of B&B do you dream of owning?
What sort of B&B owner do you want to be?
Who is your ideal B&B guest?
I’ve been running a B&B for over 17 years and I’ve made an awful lot of mistakes along the way! I set up my training courses and started writing my blog to help other new B&B owners avoid those same, often expensive mistakes.
Don’t get me started on the sisal carpets and the chenille headboards ….
If you do decide you want to explore your options for running a bed and breakfast further, I've written a comprehensive online course to get you started. I also run an amazing community of B&B owners, who have gone through my training.
#03 Taking time out from your B&B . With Clare Wright of the School House B&B
In this episode, I'm joined by Clare Wright, who runs the School House B&B in Shropshire with her husband Dave. Clare and I chat about setting a B&B up from scratch, why it's so important to your business to take time out and the importance in organisation and structure when marketing your B&B.
You can find the School House online:
#02 Where to get inspiration for your own Bed and Breakfast
In this week's podcast I discuss how I found inspiration for my own B&B, share a confession about staying at B&Bs and also let you in on something a bit personal about my weekend. You can listen here... or you can read the transcript below
#01 Starting up a bed and breakfast - what's it really like? With Claire Byrne of The Corner Broadstairs
Join Karen, owner of Bed and Breakfast Academy, and Claire Byrne, owner of The Corner, Broadstairs to find out what it's like to set up a brand new B&B.
You can follow Clare on Instagram here --> The Corner Broadstairs
Find out about the B&B Academy Training Course here --> Learn how to set up, run and market your own B&B
If you've thinking about running a bed and breakfast, then this video is a much watch!
Joining me on this ZOOM call is Claire Byrne who, along with her husband Phil, has just started up a boutique 3 bedroom bed and breakfast, The Corner Broadstairs.
Claire was one of the first 16 people who joined the initial launch of the online bed and breakfast course back in August 2020.
Something of a star student, she and Phil have created a fabulous bed and breakfast, which is already receiving amazing reviews.
I feel like I've got to know Claire quite well over the last 12 months through our ZOOM calls, so I asked her if she'd jump on a ZOOM call with me to share her experience of setting up her B&B and how the course helped her.
"For me it has been one of the most valuable parts of setting up the business... I can't imagine being in this position having not even gone through the course or been party to some of the group work that we've done.
... it's been fundamental really, and I'm super appreciative of it. I actually think I would highly recommend it because, for me, I wouldn't be where I am now, I don't think, or I wouldn't have got here quite so easily, or so quickly, with some of the planning if it hadn't been for the things that we picked up along the way. So thank you."
I've summarised my main thoughts from the call below:
Starting up a bed and breakfast
Claire and Phil have started the B&B slowly rather than jumping right in, taking the time to get feedback, review how things go and make adjustments.
They spent a lot of time on the first modules of the course, doing their research, refining their ideal bed and breakfast customers, defining exactly what the customer might want and thinking very carefully about the type of experience that they wanted to provide.
Being very clear on their reasons for wanting a bed and breakfast, they've created a B&B experience that meets their own lifestyle and goals of spending more time together and having more downtime.
Being able to read and understand individual customers and what they need is an important part of the B&B owner's role.
They've clearly defined their individual roles in the B&B based on their own preferences, skills and experiences. But also share roles and are quite flexible.
Practise your poached eggs and make sure you have enough frying pans!
How the course helped
Starting and running a B&B is not as easy at it looks. Claire decided to take the course to ensure they were aware of the reality of running a B&B and to get they help they needed
The course really helped cement their plans and shape what their B&B would be, which they don't think they would have done without the course.
How important the first modules, defining your WHY for running a B&B and your ideal customer avatar, are in helping to create a blueprint of the type of bed and breakfast you want to run, before diving into the practicalities.
Remembering your WHY for running a B&B helps you make decisions for your business
It's OK to have the confidence to have a niche, to only appeal to a subset of customers. That you can never appeal to everyone.
There is so much information there for your at the tip of your fingers. You could use Google but all of that is time consuming. It brings a whole directory that presents all the information to you in neat modules
Claire's experience of the online course
Claire was in control of the speed she worked through the course and how she worked through the course, spending longer on modules if she needed.
"The online course was super perfect"
Can refer back to specific lessons, even months later.
The online course allowed her