Buying and running a Bed and Breakfast or guest house can be expensive. As we all know, the key to any good business is to ensure that your outgoings are not exceeding the money coming in i.e. the amount your customers are paying you. However, to provide a good service you do need to spend some money – but where to invest?
The bed and bedding
At a Bed and Breakfast there are two things people are going to remember most, the bed and the breakfast. If your guests have a bad night’s sleep then may not come back, regardless of how well they might have been treated or how great the location is. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether you yourself would sleep in the bed! The cost of beds can vary wildly – there’s no need to spend thousands (especially if your own bed only cost you a couple of hundred pounds). Comfort is key.
Bedding, on the other hand, is worth the investment. In the last few years there has been an increasing awareness around bedding and the use of Egyptian cotton sheets is a regular plus point for guests. Furthermore, spending now can save you money in the long-run. If you have a high turnover of guests, which we hope you will, you’ll need to be washing the bedding often in which case investing in higher quality bedding now is likely to preserve the quality for longer.
If you are specialising in short term stays then it’s important to remember that your guests don’t expect to find a replica of their own bedroom. A bedside table is always good, with a lamp and a plug for a phone charger. Drawers or a wardrobe can be good to have but you don’t necessarily need both. Additional furniture such as chairs or a desk should only be included if there is the space to do so.
Again, the amount you outlay on food should not exceed that which the guest is paying. A selection of items at breakfast is good to offer, particularly catering to different dietary needs but the possibilities are endless and you can’t supply it all. The key is to ensure that whatever you do provide is tasty – people are going to remember if they enjoyed what they ate rather than if there were twenty choices most of which they didn’t then sample.
Updating your home
Whilst first impressions count, don’t feel that you need to transform your entire home. People make conscious decisions to stay in Bed and Breakfasts’ and guest houses rather than hotels because they want a homely experience. Neutral tones and decorations will appeal to the masses but don’t feel that you need to spend huge amounts changing every aspect of your home – cleanliness and tidiness are most important.
Your biggest regular outlay will be your mortgage payments. At Stewart Hindley and Partners our aim is to source and secure the best loan or B&B mortgage on your behalf. As both an experienced broker and part of an established firm of Chartered and Certified Accountants, we have the knowledge, contacts and skill required to arrange B&B mortgages on almost any scale, negotiating the terms to best suit your individual situation.
For more information, please do get in touch. We’d love to chat through your questions.