As a bed and breakfast owner, you’re not just providing a place to sleep and eat – you’re creating an experience for your guests. Running a successful bed and breakfast requires careful planning, attention to detail, and excellent customer service. If you are wondering how to run a bed and breakfast this is the right spot.
In this article, we will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips on how to run a bed and breakfast business effectively and efficiently. Let’s look at:
・Why it is important to have an attractive Website
・Why it is crucial to connect your B&B to Google Hotel?
・How much having a booking engine on your website can increase your direct bookings
・How to keep organised your reservations and your payments
Table of Contents
Learn How to Run a Bed and Breakfast: What Do You Need to Start
Regarding how to run a bed and breakfast you need to know some fundamental points beforehand. Before diving into the operational aspects of running a bed and breakfast business, it’s crucial to understand the basics of what you need to get started. Here are some essential things to consider:
1. Property: You’ll need a suitable property that meets local authority regulations and has enough space for guests. Consider factors such as location, size, layout, and amenities when choosing your property.
2. Research: Do thorough research to understand the market demand, target audience, and competition in your area. This will help you make informed decisions about pricing, marketing strategies, and guest preferences.
3. Costs: Running a bed and breakfast comes with costs, including property renovations, permits and licenses, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and ongoing operational expenses. Create a comprehensive budget and financial plan to understand the costs involved and plan accordingly.
4. Customer Service: Providing exceptional customer service is vital in the hospitality industry. Train yourself and your staff to deliver outstanding service that exceeds guest expectations, and prioritize guest satisfaction in all aspects of your business.
5. Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and requirements for running a bed and breakfast, including safety regulations, zoning laws, health codes, and licensing. Ensure that your business complies with all the necessary regulations to avoid any legal issues.
6. Organisation: A PMS software that helps you to maintain organisation in all your daily tasks is essential. Remember that you need to manage reservations, payments, and communications to the authority for taxes. Amenitiz gives you the possibility to automatise everything, saving time and giving you more time to dedicate to your guests.
Your Website Should Talk About You: make them fall in love with your property and become independent from Booking.com
Creating the perfect website is a long ride but it’s 100% worth the effort. It’s your online presence, an opportunity to showcase your bed and breakfast to potential guests. It’s your moment to tell them your story – your opportunity to make them fall in love with your property. People love when they feel the humanity and the emotions behind the place where they’ll build their memories.
Your website should reflect the unique personality and charm of your bed and breakfast. Include high-quality photos of your property, information about your rooms and amenities, details about your location and nearby attractions, and your contact information. Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the essence of your property and create visually appealing content.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money either. Amenitiz has a great Website Builder easy to use, so you can easily add pages and information whenever you need without having to wait for the perpetually untraceable developers.
Here are some essentials that you need for your website:
1. Integrated Booking Engine, to allow customers to book directly with you
2. SEO-Optimisation, to appear on Google’s first page
3. Connection to Google Hotel
4. High-Quality Photos
5. Room and Amenities Information
6. Location and Nearby Attractions with your personal recommendations
7. Contact Information: Make it easy for potential guests to get in touch with you.
Read here all the tips and best practices to attract more guests with your Website.
Integrate a Booking Engine into Your Website
An integrated booking engine is a game-changer for running a successful bed and breakfast. It will allow guests to book directly through your website, so you will have more and more direct bookings.
A booking engine streamlines the booking process and helps you manage reservations. It could become your first distribution channel! Choose a user-friendly and reliable booking engine that integrates seamlessly with your website and offers secure payment processing.
A good booking engine guarantees you increased Direct Bookings. It offers you a seamless user-friendly booking process on your website which will encourage more and more guests to book directly with you.
Connect Your Property to Google Hotel Search and appear on Google Maps
Google Hotel Search is a powerful tool that allows potential guests to search for and book accommodation directly through Google. Connecting your bed and breakfast to Google Hotel Search can increase your online visibility and attract more direct bookings. Amenitiz provides its clients with the service as a connectivity partner, which is an indispensable detail to connect your B&B with Google.
Optimising your website for search engines is crucial to increase your online visibility and attracting more direct bookings. You should Connect your property to Google Hotel Search – it’s worth it and then some.
Not only does it enable direct booking from Google search results, it allows potential guests to view your availability, rates, and room options on Google and make reservations without having to visit your website or other booking platforms. Direct bookings through Google Hotel Search can increase your revenue and reduce your dependency on OTAs.
Moreover, appearing on Google Maps will make you extremely visible to people.
Use a Channel Manager to Connect with your website and OTAs and avoid overbooking
While having your own website is essential for direct bookings, OTAs like Booking.com, Airbnb, and others can still be valuable sources of bookings. There is something called the Billboard Effect, which means 55% of your potential customers will look for your website on Google to check if you have a better price than Booking.com, Airbnb or other OTAs. This is great news for you because it means that if you sort your website out and invest in a trustworthy booking engine you will increase the number of direct bookings to the tune of 55%!
Whatever the case you will always have bookings coming from outside distribution channels and you definitely don’t want any overbooking. That’s why one of the the key rules in the “How to Run a Bed and Breakfast book” is to have a good channel manager.
A channel manager can simplify the process of managing bookings and availability across multiple OTAs, saving you time and reducing the risk of overbooking or double-booking. Choose a channel manager that is compatible with your booking engine and offers robust features such as real-time inventory updates, pricing management, and reporting.
The key advantages to having a channel manager are:
1. Time and Effort Savings.
2. Avoid Overbooking and Double-Bookings.
3. Increase Visibility and Reach.
Choose a Smart Payment System
Offering a seamless and secure payment process is crucial for guest satisfaction and trust. Choose a smart payment system that supports various payment methods, offers secure transactions, and integrates with your booking engine and channel manager. This will streamline your financial operations and ensure smooth and efficient payment processing for your guests.
・A payment system option is the perfect way to run a successful business because it helps you to secure all the transactions saving time and creating a great experience for your customers. AmenitizPay, for example, allows you to send a payment link or charge a client with just one click directly from your management software.
・Another helpful tool I’d recommend you get is a price suggestion tool like Amenitiz PriceAdvisor. This shows you the right price to charge on any given day and allows you to compare your prices with those of your main competitors. Do you want to be the best quality-price-wise in your area or do you want to waste time struggling with how much you have to change for each room in low season?
FAQ: See more about how to run a bed and breakfast
1. Do you need permission to run a B&B?
The requirements for permission to run a bed and breakfast vary by location and local regulations. It’s important to do your research and comply with the licensing and permit requirements of your specific area, which may include zoning, health and safety, and business licensing regulations.
2. Can you make money running a bed and breakfast?
Yes, it is possible to make money running a bed and breakfast. However, success and profitability depend on various factors such as the software you are using to manage your property, location, demand, pricing, occupancy rate, operating costs, and effective marketing and management strategies.
3. What qualifications do you need to run a B&B?
There are no specific qualifications required to run a bed and breakfast. However, having experience in hospitality, customer service, and business management can be beneficial. It’s important to have good organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to handle various responsibilities that come with running a hospitality business.
4. How to apply for a bed and breakfast license?
The process for applying for a bed and breakfast license varies depending on the location and regulations of the specific area. Generally, you would need to research and comply with the local licensing requirements, which may include obtaining permits, meeting health and safety regulations, and obtaining business licenses. It’s advisable to contact the local authorities or licensing agencies for specific information and guidance on how to apply for a bed and breakfast license in your area.
Please note that regulations and requirements for running a bed and breakfast can vary greatly depending on the location, so it’s crucial to research and complies with the local laws and regulations to ensure a legal and successful operation. It’s also recommended to seek professional advice from local authorities, business consultants, or legal experts to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations in your area.