A business plan for your bed and breakfast provides a road map and cash flow projections are the compass required to overcome your fears.
As someone who owned a bed and breakfast, I know how scary it is to make that decision. It took me five years to open my bed and breakfast from the time I came up with the idea. Why five years? For the first two years, I read books about owning a bed and breakfast, I talked to b&b owners and did a lot of research on the internet, but I really couldn’t seem to find the answers to help me overcome my fears about owning a bed and breakfast.
The first step was to sit down and really identify what those fears were. I spoke with trusted friends and family members and got their help and feedback about what I was most concerned about. Watch the video to find out the fears I had, and how I overcame them:
I was fortunate enough to know myself well enough that I was confident I could deal with any interpersonal issues that came up. With some advance planning, I was able to provide myself with safe living quarters. And I had travelled enough to discovered that no matter where you are in the world, when it comes down to money and food, it doesn’t matter what language you speak!
If you look closely, the majority of my fears fell into two main categories – financial and the day-to-day running of the bed and breakfast. Now that I knew what the questions were, it became easier to start thinking about solutions. And the biggest wake-up call I had was that the planning tools I used on a daily basis to keep my employers happy and appraised of the organization’s progress, would also be the same tools that would help me deal with my fears.
How a business plan helped me with my fears
A business plan is a tool that consolidates all the research you need to do to prove:
- There is a need for your bed and breakfast;
- Who will want to stay there and why;
- What it will cost to set-up and run your business;
- Projecting your cash flows for the first several years to see when money will be coming in; and
- When and how money will be spent.
Once I ran the numbers I applied for lines of credit to provide a financial cushion and arranged for insurance coverage so that if I couldn’t do the B&B (due to illness), the house expenses could be covered. And I had the ultimate fallback solution if all else failed – I would be able to sell the house.
For the issues that involved the day-to-day running of the b and b, I brainstormed with all sorts of people to come up with potential solutions – including other B&B owners, so I had some ideas when the situations did arise.
Did that put an end to my fears? As much as I would love to say yes, I would be lying. It is human nature to worry. However, I did know I had a very good chance of success, and it certainly made my life much easier – I had a map (my business plan), I had a compass (the cash flow projections) to keep me on course or warn me to make corrections, and I had some great cheerleaders in my corner to give me encouragement.
My experience played a big part in me deciding to become The B&B Coach. It took me a tremendous amount of work to research and develop the materials I used to be able to determine if I could make it work. Out of that, I have developed a 4-step system that will walk you through the entire process of knowing if you can afford to own a bed and breakfast, and if the money you make will be enough for your circumstances.
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To begin your journey of discovery to see if owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, download “3 Questions Everyone Who Wants to Own a Bed and Breakfast Asks – or Should!”
And check out more on-line video training on Susan Poole, The B&B Coach’s YouTube Channel – and don’t forget to subscribe!