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How to start a bed breakfast business | Business Express

How to start a bed & breakfast business

How to start a bed & breakfast business

Owning a bed and breakfast business can be a really rewarding experience as you provide people with a base from which to enjoy holidays.

There’s a lot to consider before you dive in. Business for your B&B is likely to fluctuate by the seasons, depending on when your area is popular to visit. Diversifying activities to ride out any quieter months may be important.

How you’ll source the food you serve and any house rules will also be important factors. So, let’s dive into the wonderful world of B&Bs.

What is a traditional B&B?

A bed and breakfast involves splitting a property into several rooms, with guests typically staying for short periods of a few days up to a couple of weeks.

Breakfast is then generally served in a central dining room each morning, giving guests the perfect start to the day, whether they’re away on holiday or business.

How many guests you can accommodate at once will largely depend on your property and how many bedrooms you can comfortably fit – this may also influence whether your business is strictly speaking a B&B at all.

Amenities such as laundry services and en suite bathrooms may make your B&B more popular with prospective guests.

Your B&B start-up checklist

If you’re confident that you’ve got the right property in the right area to make a successful B&B business, here are some key things to consider.

Balancing pricing and costs

Competitive pricing and offering deals to customers can be a great way to keep your rooms full, but this should always be influenced by your costs to preserve the viability of your business.

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Energy prices starting to fall offers respite for many business owners, but food prices remain high and this can have a big influence on your profitability.

That being said, there is always scope for special offers when it comes to quieter seasons. If your B&B is coastal, you may be able to boost revenues in the colder winter months by offering free places for children or cut-price rooms.


Especially crucial when your business is new, shouting loud and proud about your services is vital to start building a customer base and earning a good reputation.

Word-of-mouth marketing is especially important for a B&B, where a customer may only ever do business with you once. 

Posting positive reviews to your website and social media, and reacting with compassion and care to any negative ones, is a great way to prove to potential visitors that they should choose you.

The admin side of things

Like in any business, there’s a fair amount of paperwork involved in a B&B business.

Food safety inspections, fire risk assessments, and television licensing are all likely to underpin your business.

Registering with HMRC and keeping your B&B insurance policy up to date are also important milestones in each business year.

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