The hospitality sector may have suffered the brunt of the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the industry. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other similar establishments are just taking a pause and trying to wait out the pandemic.
And with the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine, the end is just over the horizon. With this, it might be a good idea for an entrepreneur to consider opening a bed and breakfast establishment once the travel and tourism industry recovers.
Here are the steps in starting a bed and breakfast
Check the Market
The first thing to do is to check the market. With this, you should check if the area is popular with visitors. You should also try to see if there are existing bread and breakfast establishments in the area. And if one is already one, you can also check it out and see if they’re doing well.
You can also check what you can offer that your competitors cannot provide. Bed and breakfasts are normally located in areas where there are no big hotels.
Find a Location and Get the Permits
If the area you’re planning to offer the bed and breakfast has an untapped market, you can start looking for a location. You can go the traditional way by looking for historic houses and Revolution-era townhouses. Or you can have a modern building with a bed and breakfast ambiance. The important thing is that you can afford it and it’s big enough to accommodate your projected number of guests.
After securing the location, it’s time to get the permits and licenses. You should check the requirements needed by the city or town where you’re planning to set up the bed and breakfast. These requirements vary from one place to another.
Customize the Establishment
More often than not, the establishment is located in an old home. With this, you will have to customize the place to facilitate day-to-day operations. This means working with a reputable contractor to make the modifications in the building.
And even though you’ll be opening the bed and breakfast after the pandemic ends, you may still want to check the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for hotels and similar establishments. Following these guidelines ensure your establishment is safe and ready to receive guests.
Make a Task List
At this point, you should already create a list of tasks the staff should do. These tasks should be divided into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. These tasks include checking guests in and out, setting up reservations, answering questions, cooking and serving meals, and cleaning the establishment.
The establishment should also set a schedule for washing linen and bedsheets. To facilitate this, you may set up an agreement with a local laundry service. This will allow the staff to focus on running the bed and breakfast without worrying about washing dirty linen.
Check the Investment Requirement
By this time, you should already know the initial investment you need to make to start the business. But the investment should not only be limited to the set up of the bed and breakfast. You should also consider that you won’t have many guests in the first few months in operation.
With this, you should also include in your projections the funds you need to allow it to operate even if your occupancy rate is low. The investment requirement will determine the price you’ll charge for the rooms. The price should be high enough to sustain the business while low enough to attract tourists and visitors.
Promote the Business
The last thing you need to do is to promote the bed and breakfast. You can promote it through social media and traditional marketing channels, such as radio and television. But setting up a website allows you to tap a market that is online most of the time.
Since people rely on the internet for just about everything, you should also adapt and create a website to attract their attention. You can also list the bed and breakfast on popular travel sites or even advertise it on these sites.
Setting up a bed and breakfast may not be a good idea during a pandemic. But getting it ready once the pandemic ends will allow you to tap a market that has been looking to travel ever since the stay-at-home orders were issued near the start of the year.