If you’ve thought about running a b&b, here are ten questions (and the reasons why) you need to ask yourself if you are ready to run your own business:
- Is this the business I want? While it’s important to make money, it is definitely more important to make money doing something you love. And it is that passion that will help fuel your drive to succeed, especially when things are tough.
- Where do I want to be in five years? If it is not running a bed and breakfast, then why waste your time now? This is a slow-growth business and it will take at three to five years to reach your full potential.
- Is this how I want to spend my time? Unlike many businesses, running a b and b is a 24/7 operations when guests are around. Being based in the family home makes family support for your efforts absolutely crucial.
- Am I willing to put in the necessary time to run a bed and breakfast? In addition to being “on” and available all the time when you have guests in the house, weekends and holidays are popular travel times. Are you and your family willing to sacrifice that time for your business?
- Is there a market for another B&B in this area? You need to do your research – otherwise, you will be spending a lot of time and money for very little return.
- Will getting the zoning, licenses and registration for my bed and breakfast business be a problem? All businesses must comply with by-laws, regulations and obtain whatever licenses and permits required. There is no uniformity between municipalities, so you are going to have to research this area – and make sure you budget for these costs.
- How much money will I need to start up my b and b? That answer varies based on your situation – are you going to use your existing home, purchase an existing B&B or move somewhere and start from scratch?
- How much will I need to cover my monthly operating costs? Every business has monthly operating costs, and with a b&b, you will have fixed costs (e.g. taxes, insurance, etc) and variable costs that tend to fluctuate, depending on where you are in the sales cycle (advertising costs) and the number of guests you have (such as food, heating, hydro and water costs).
- How will I finance the investment in the bed and breakfast? Financing a B&B can be a tricky job – in most situations it is your home, so the financing should be similar. However, banks tend to see it as a risk, so getting a standard mortgage can be difficult, and commercial mortgages have much higher rates.
- Will this business support me? Only you can be the one to determine how much profit you need to make from your b&b business to support the lifestyle you wish to have.
If you want help figuring out the answer to these questions – and many more that need to be considered, then sign up for the on-line course called How to Create Your Personalized List of Pros and Cons of Owning a Bed and Breakfast, so you can decide if this is really your dream.