Opening a bed and breakfast? Here’s what you should think about

Are you considering turning your space into a charming B&B? Whether you’re new to tourism or thinking about returning to the industry after the pandemic, there’s never been a better time to start hosting guests. 

According to a recent report, the UK’s travel and tourism sector is set to be worth more than £286 billion by 2023 – over 10% of the total economy. So, with a lucrative forecast for the industry, where should you start? In our handy guide below, we’ll cover exactly what you should think about before opening your B&B.

  1. Rules and regulations

It might not be the most enjoyable part of setting up, but securing all the necessary paperwork is essential if you’re running a holiday let. Luckily, you won’t need any specific licenses if you’re opening a B&B, but it’s crucial to get in touch with local authorities before you open your doors. 

Furthermore, all guest houses and bed and breakfasts receive an official rating based on the nature of their use, whether the property is classed as domestic, and any adaptions made. Luckily, it’s easy to find out more about how the rating of your bed and breakfast accommodation will be decided.

2. Licensing

While not essential, you will need to obtain a few licences before you open if there are specific services you’d like to provide. These could include:

  • An alcohol licence if you’re planning on serving beers and wines
  • A film licence if you’d like to screen movies for guests
  • TheMusicLicence if you’ll be playing music
  • A TV licence if you’d like to put the news on during breakfast

3. Getting Insured

It’s essential to make sure you and your new bed and breakfast accommodation will be protected if anything goes wrong. Making sure you’ve got specialist insurance for your B&B will give you peace of mind that you’ll be covered in case of theft, accidental damage and other events beyond your control.

4. Standing out from the crowd

To give each of your guests a memorable stay, why not make sure there’s something unique about the food you provide? Using local produce like fresh eggs, or beverages from local breweries and distilleries could be a great way to get your name out there. If you work with well-established local vendors, they could help to advertise you too…

5. Lastly: Advertising 

Make sure you market yourself well! It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of opening your bed and breakfast, but you might struggle to attract guests if you don’t advertise it effectively – especially if you’re located off the beaten track. 

Distribute leaflets or business cards to your friends, colleagues and contacts, and ask if local businesses could put up posters. Never be afraid to speak to a professional or someone you trust – you’ll be amazed to see just how much a bit of support can help you.