Could I run a bed and breakfast?

What skills do I need?

Be a people person

One thing every founder of a B&B start up needs to be is a people person. Good customer service and a friendly host play a major part in B&B success. If a customer is greeted with a hostile host, a spotless room won’t be able to help you. Customers are more likely to leave positive feedback if the owners treat them well.

The necessities

You don’t need to be Nigella, but being able to throw together a few solid breakfast choices will be a massive help. It’s not essential, but it will cut costs on hiring a chef. Your ability to cook will make your B&B more homely, and will create a more personal environment where the customers feel they are being spoiled. However, some guests can be fussy with their food, so a professional chef could be the best option if cooking isn’t your gift.

Then there’s the cleaning. Keeping the rooms tidy is the quickest route to great reviews for your B&B. This means bed sheets need to be changed regularly, floors and sideboards need to be vacuumed and dusted, and bathrooms need to be spotless. Guests love and expect to see a flawless room.


Being organised is key. There are tons of things that will need to plan, arrange and keep on top of. Here are just a few of the tasks ahead of you…

  • taking bookings,
  • keeping record of which guests are staying and when
  • knowing what times your guests are arriving and leaving
  • recording when and how much they’ll pay
  • keeping record of which guests are staying in which rooms

On top of this, you’ll need to keep track of money. This means knowing how much to bill people, how much is going in and out, how much to pay any staff, such as cooks or cleaners, and the amount you’ll spend on essentials and goods, such as foods, bedding, and anything else.

Learn From Mistakes

To build a strong and successful B&B business, you need to constructively accept criticism and improve on your weaknesses. For example, if a customer complains about the lack of toiletries in the bathroom, ask them exactly what is missing and make sure it is bought in for the future. Even if it’s a costly, just do it. For example, if people want you to install hairdryers in each room, do it. It’ll be worth the feedback and reviews that will draw new and returning customers back to your business.


When planning your B&B start up, it’s important to have the right frame of mind and skills but you’ll learn from your mistakes and improve your skills on the go. As long as you are a self-starter and have a good eye for business, you can successfully run your very own bed and breakfast.


For more tips on how to start up a B&B, check out our free guide here


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