Tips for Owning and Running a Bed and Breakfast

    There’s something about the thought of going on a weekend trip to a quaint town and staying in a romantic bed and breakfast. Unlike going on a vacation abroad, a bed and breakfast (or B&B) offers couples an opportunity to take things slowly and enjoy the little things in life – like a warm meal, friendly faces, and the peace and quiet of small town life.

    In fact, this romantic getaway has become so popular that a number of people want to become bed and breakfast owners. Do you imagine yourself taking care of a historic property, decorating it, and welcoming guests to stay inside? Do you enjoy sharing your cooking or baking with others? Then you too have probably considered owning a B&B. 

    Only Rustic in Appearance

    You probably imagine that your B&B will be rustic and old-fashioned – perhaps you have a guest book where everyone can sign in and leave a message. Maybe you have a traditional sit-down breakfast in the morning, and your B&B is an old house that still has some historic value.

    That all being said, your bed and breakfast should only look historic in appearance – not in the way it’s run. In order to accommodate a range of guests and their needs, you’ll have to be able to utilize technology in order to ensure that their stay is a comfortable one.

    For example, you’ll need a point of sales (POS) system like the ones provided by Swift Payments that can accept cash, credit, and debit payments. But that’s not all, they also provide software that can help you manage inventory, issue refunds, accept gift cards, run a loyalty program, and monitor your business with valuable insights. 

    Owning a hospitality POS system is truly an essential part of running your own B&B, or else you risk losing customers to a competitor who can offer your guests better and faster payment options.

    Not Just in Name

    In order to be officially considered a bed and breakfast, you need to go through the proper channels and know what the licences and regulations you will need to follow. Since every municipality is different, you will need to contact the local government in order to see what is required.

    Though, you may commonly see these types of regulations, licenses, and permits:

    • Food safety and inspections
    • Labelling rules may apply
    • A licence to buy, sell, ship, process, advertise, or manufacture food
    • Building and fire codes 
    • Music licence
    • Register with a travel-regulating organization
    • Taxes related to owning a B&B

    There’s a lot to take in when running your own business, especially when food and accommodation is involved. You’re responsible for the health and safety of the people staying with you, which is why it’s important that you are following the local laws and regulations.

    Resources Available

    While it’s a lot to take in, there are a lot of resources out there that can help you to realize your dream of owning a bed and breakfast. All you have to do is find them and then actually utilize them. Do your research, and you’ll be well on your way to running your very own successful B&B!

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    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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