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.
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?
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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