How to Make Your B&B Stand Out

Need for mouth watering recipes as well as comfortable sleeping rooms is in the rise and so is the supply as many people have ventured into the business of offering food and accommodation. However, not everyone is in a position to offer the high standards of the same owing to the reasons as to why one is doing the business. Unfortunately, a good number of business people in this field are out there to make a kill and therefore forget to make the facilities as comfortable as they should be for the clients. In order to be successful and stand out in this business, it is paramount to consider the comfort and satisfaction of the clients as key priorities. Additionally, working on making simple things better is also key to standing out in the market. This article gives important tips on how to make your bed and breakfast stand out in the market.

Invest in positive reviews
when clients are searching for bed and breakfast and especially in areas they have never been before, the top most thing they seek is the reviews from previous clients. With this in mind, it is crucial to work on having positive clients write reviews of your business as this will give potential clients a clear view of who you are, what you offer and the level of standards maintained. In order to have clients spend some of their time reviewing your business, it is paramount to offer incentives such as discounts. Positive reviews are then posted on social media and other forwarded by the clients to their family and friends.

Make good use of the internet
The internet consist of many sites that can be used as marketing platforms. Posting all necessary information that potential clients may be looking for on social media ensures that there is a flow of clients in your business. This is so because potential clients get to understand who you are even before they get to your place and therefore feel comfortable. Giving direction of your business on the internet makes your business stand out as customers will not struggle locating your place. Photos of your comfortable rooms as well as samples of well served mouth watering breakfast attracts customers.

Understand your competitors
It is important to understand who you are competing with. This includes their prices, what they do best, the type of food they serve among other things. This can be done by visiting their website or simply paying them a visit. After you well understand your competitors, the next thing should be making things in your business better. For example you can choose to lower your prices a little bit or offer discounts, present foods in a more appealing way than they do as well as offer more varieties. This simple tasks will make your business stand out as there will be something different about you that your competitors do not have.

It is important to know how to make your bed and breakfast stand out in the market so as to have a great flow of clients into your business and make them keep on coming other than going to the competitors. Simple tasks such as posting important information on the internet, having clients write positive reviews as well as doing things better than the competitors adds up to attracting more clients to your business.

 

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Choosing a Location for Your B&B

Introduction

Starting a Bed and Breakfast is a dream come true for many and this is because it comes with several perks. Aside from the fact that you will enjoy the benefits that come with being self-employed, it also enables you to enjoy the best of both worlds, especially if the property is also your residence.

By sharing your residence with you business, you can be sure to track all the challenges that could affect your B&B business and arrest them before they can impact negatively on your finances or general operation of your enterprise. However, like is the case with many businesses, one of the major challenges when starting a bed and breakfast is the choice of location and in this article, we shall try to discuss some of the proven tips on how to choose the best location for a new bed and breakfast.

 

Style of Operation

First off, we should understand that a bed and breakfast can either be run in your own property [in which case it would be more like a guest house] or in a rented property [in which case it would be a small hotel].

These two options present different operation styles. If you choose to have the business operate as a guest house, your proximity to it could mean fewer operational and managerial challenges. However, if you decide to rent out a property, this means you will be a little detached with your business and will entrust it to a manager.

In this case, it becomes ideal to carefully choose a location for your B&B and some of the suggestions would be starting it near a shopping mall, airport or other busy locations.

 

Competition

This pretty much dictates the choice of location for any business because ideally speaking, your business is as good as dead if you are not efficient at managing competition around you.

Starting a B&B in a location with minimal hotels and accommodations would be the best idea as competition would be less compared to an area flooded with the same. Therefore, you need to do some home work and especially remember that the mere fact there are many hotels in an area does not necessarily mean they offer B&B.

 

Proximity to Other Businesses

It is important to understand the caliber of guests who go looking for bed and breakfast as this would determine the location of your business. Usually, these are people visiting a location for short as opposed to extended stays.

 

For example, tourists visiting a country for a one-month stay will not usually opt for a B&B as that would not be a better option, economically-speaking. However, in the event they need to attend a conference or convention far away from their residences, they may need somewhere to sleep and have a morning breakfast, and this is where your B&B comes in. Therefore, it is better to give much thought to the existence of other businesses around such as convention centers as these would positively impact your own B&B business.

 

Demographics and Social Class

The human population around the area where you would wish to set up your bed and breakfast should be strong enough as this translates to more clients.

Even better, the class of those people who lives or frequents the area should be one that is rather more privileged economically. One of the questions to ask yourself here would be – in the event of rain, storms or any foul weather, would anyone visiting this area not mind staying the night instead of going back to their homes?

 

Utility Costs

The operational costs of a B&B are often minimal, especially if the facility is located within your residence. However, utility costs are often ignored but they impact heavily on the revenues of a B&B business.

 

Generally, you would need to consider the utility bills around the location where you would wish to set up the business to ensure they will not eat much into your revenues. Weigh carefully and determine if electricity or gas would be better for your cooking and lighting because these two vary in cost depending on locations.

 

Accessibility and Zoning Restrictions

Unless you just heard of the word entrepreneurship, you wouldn’t want to set up your B&B in an area that is inaccessible. Inaccessibility takes two faces; it could either mean the road infrastructure leading up to your business is dilapidated or the location of the business is obscure from public view. In both cases, you could be facing a major setback as this would mean spending more in marketing your B&B.

 

Also, you would want to check with the relevant ordinances to ensure there are no zoning restrictions. The last thing you want to do is rent some property and set up a B&B a just before it takes off, you get evicted on security or legal grounds.

 

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Quirks of Running a B&B

Running bed and breakfast means being on call 24/7. You will have to work long hours and be available to your guests any time of the day or night. Many people think that it’s easy to run bed and breakfast but the truth is it involves more work that most people think.

There are many things that can keep you busy in the bed and breakfast business. Marketing is one of those things. Aggressive marketing can bring in countless people through your doors. These days you have to put more effort into internet marketing as the World Wide Web is the new yellow pages where people find what they are looking for. Find ways to improve your visibility on the net.

Running bed and breakfast also needs good PR. It is what makes customers return. Happy and well-entertained guests will also tell friends, and business associates about your B & B. People who check into bed and breakfasts look for a cozy ambiance that hotels can’t offer. Give them what they want like personalized service and home cooked meals.

There is nothing worse than a dirty toilet and stained sheets. It is of utmost importance that your dining area, kitchen, toilets, and rooms are sanitary. If you have a garden, hire a groundskeeper. Sanitation is a very important part of running bed and breakfast.

Determine if you want to accept pets or not. Pets can add work for cleaning staff. Set a check-in and check-out time. Organize reservation and payment schedules. Charging for late checkout or canceled booking depends on the season and the size of your operations. Smaller establishments don’t usually charge for those, especially for return customers.

Running bed and breakfast in a tourist town would mean you will have competition. Check what others are offering to their guests and find out what you can provide for your customers that others don’t have. Maybe you could serve better breakfasts or provide suggestions on what and where to go while in town.

There are more factors involved that can make running bed and breakfast more efficient. Do your homework and read about the bed and breakfast industry. You can find a lot of information on the internet. Try to find someone in the same business who can give you advice about running bed and breakfast profitably.

Try to learn more about the industry. The more you know about running bed and breakfast, the more chances you have of success and making your inn profitable. Familiarize yourself with how to market and promote an inn. Learn how to manage the business, employees, and earnings. Take a refresher cooking course to learn more innovative breakfast dishes. Study how to do your accounting.

Some inns fail because some managers or bed and breakfast owners open an inn without knowing how to run an inn, some don’t even do proper accounting. Others rely on word of mouth and don’t bother to advertise and do marketing. Funnel your capital into marketing, even before you open yours for business. This will ensure that customers will come. Running bed and breakfast can be profitable if you know which areas need more attention. Do more research about the ins and outs of the B & B business.

 

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How to Market Your Bed and Breakfast

The Bed to Breakfast business is slowly picking up with a lot of people preferring their services to those offered in hotels. It is one of the fun businesses to run though it calls for a lot of discipline and commitments. Like any other accommodation business, a lot of strategies and consideration have to be put in place before you can set up B & B for it to hit the ground running. You have to know your target customers who are mainly the tourist and set your business in a place that is accessible to them. You have to give your target customers a reason to be in your B&B business. For Instance, you may choose to set your business next to a tourist attraction site near you for you to catch their attention among other considerations.

Important Tips on how to market a bed and breakfast business.

Use your website: The rapidly growing Internet has opened a window of opportunities to entrepreneurs around the world, B&B being one of them. Your website should always be your first tool to market your product and reach as many people as possible. The good news is that most of B&B customers use the internet in their research on the accommodation. In fact, the technology has made things much easier, as the client can not only find about B&B near their expected place of destination but they can also book accommodation in advance. You, therefore, need to use any means possible that will direct more traffic to your website for it to be readily available by your potential clients.

Use Social Media: Today, social media is taking over the online platforms with a lot of people from all over the world spending the better part of their day on social media platforms. Some of the common social media site and applications include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube among others. The good news is that most of these platforms come with additional tools that make it easier to advertise your product. However, for it to be effective, you need to put in place adequate measures to ensure that your advert reaches as many people as possible. This includes being an active member, being creative, being informative, be up to date with the current trends and remain relevant. Give your audience a reason to like your page or to follow you.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing: This is another marketing strategy that has become so prevalent in the current days. It is a marketing tool that is used to direct more traffic to your website. This can be done through your site name or the good and services you provide. However, you don’t have to worry how you can make SEO marketing work for your B&B as there are companies that are good at that. Your only job will now to choose the best in your situation. It is highly recommendable that you take your time before choosing some of these companies as some may do you more harm than good.

These are just a few tips on how to market a bed and breakfast business. There are more options that you can use like affiliate marketing, customer reviews, traveling websites among others. You just need to do your research on how some of these strategies work and be ready to spend.

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What is a Bed and Breakfast?

Bed and breakfast is a small lodge that provides overnight accommodation to its customers, and breakfast, but none of the other meals in the day. It is usually a small, private establishment restricted to a small number of rooms. A B&B is chosen as their preferred mode of accommodation by a large number of travelers these days. It differs from a typical hotel in some unique ways, which adds to its allure.

 

A typical B&B is a source of primary or secondary income for the owner of the building, and usually, has less than ten rooms available for rent. In most B&Bs the rooms have private bathrooms, although there are exceptions where one bathroom is shared by the occupants of two or more rooms. Mostly, the preparation of the breakfast, as well as the cleaning and other aspects of the business, are done by the owner itself. Even though some establishments hire staff to do this for them, nowadays those businesses are considered at par with a normal hotel, and not as the bed and breakfastWhen you run bed and breakfast, you need to get the message out about what you offer. Most people have hotel or motel on the brain when they are looking for a place to stay. Therefore you need to make sure your own business is one they will find too.

 

One of the major advantages that are associated with bed and breakfast is the highly personalized service. If you are staying in a hotel, you have a special menu to choose from and exact laundry timings. In bed and breakfast, you have the luxury of having the food made exactly the way you want. Do you like your egg fried for exactly 1 minute? You can get it done in a B&B. You can also get your laundry done when you want. The B&B adjusts to your preferences, rather than the other way round.

 

Bed and breakfast, in most cases, is cheaper to live in and provides a much more personal experience than a hotel. Most B&B are refurbished homes which have some historical significance. These buildings are mostly decorated keeping in mind the period the house was built in. For example, a B&B that is run from a colonial era building will have the décor of the era, which enhances your living experience.

 

Bed and breakfast are usually handled by the owner of the establishment itself, who is usually a local of the region. This is an immense help for tourists. Their local knowledge helps curious tourists in getting directions to any place they want to go to as well as providing bits of local information that may not be found in tourist guides. Because of the limited number of occupants in bed and breakfast, it offers more a more peaceful environment than a hotel which could get crowded.

 

Bed and breakfasts have become the preferred mode of accommodation for a great number of travelers. There are some bed and breakfasts to choose from in any location all over the world, and they can be found easily over the Internet. The business thrives on passionate homeowners willing to share and care for their fellow man. With the experience it offers, the B&B business is expected to thrive for the foreseeable future.

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Your First Guest

So you want to own a bed and breakfast? Maybe you just love going to bed and breakfasts and want to know more about them? Either way, we are happy to share what we know! We’ll start with this video which has some great information: