Tips on how to run a B&B

First things first: You won’t get rich from running a B&B. And since this piece is inevitably heading toward a tidy bullet-point listy approach, Balaplace will proclaim this the first:

Give up the delusions of grandeur. Because not only is tremendous profit unlikely to be found in the B&B business, steady maintenance and effort is required of a given’s site manager(s). Adopting a pragmatic approach to opening a small business is probably the easiest step in the process until the place is properly up and running, though.

Know your local laws. Sheer odds say that, as a potential owner/manager of a B&B in the U.S., you could very well be quite in touch with the requirements of the community legally speaking. According to one 2015 survey, an incredible 36% of American B&B’s have been designated as historical or heritage sites by an official local government body. Such a number implies a tendency for the successful business owner to have an outstanding sense of regional knowhow, love and interest.

However, cases of historical preservation and morphing the old house into an inn alike may require certain appliance upgrades to meet local health and safety standards. This should happen before day one of hosting and is a critical difference between a notable B&B and just another Airbnb listing.

Initial investment is required. Whether via bank loan or personal savings, the prospective B&B owner can count on having to plunk some initial capital into a little home improvement and/or the aforementioned standard-meeting. At the very least, you’ll want to upgrade accoutrements like bedroom linens and kitchenware.

Meet the minimums. We’re not just talking private baths here, but this principle certainly may start there. Gone are the days of the British-style shared bathrooms: Some 92% of all American B&B’s now include separate baths. Other minimums are – and by “minimum” here, we’re indicating that at least 85% of B&B inns include the feature – private television, reading matter, bathrobes, unlimited Wifi access and, where weather-appropriate, fireplaces.

Form a partnership. You don’t have to have an SO (sole ownership) to run a successful B&B, but having at very least a business partner certainly helps matters. Industry statistics say that just 23% of B&B’s in the ’States are owned and operated by individuals, whereas a huge 72% are run by married/committed couples and another 5% by business partnerships.

Finally, and most crucially: *Don’t* move out of the sticks. Unless you’re in a specific city that tends to the B&B-friendly, likesay, Boston, New York or Seattle, a B&B that’s not a historic preservation faces long odds.

The most compelling statistic from the inn industry is that which says some 43% of B&B in operation as of 2016 were located in villages; another 29% call the rural countryside home. Compare this to the 23% of B&B’s in American cities plus another 5% in suburbia, and it’s easily understood that small-town country charm is half the selling point of a well-run B&B.