with this article we want to provide useful information to those who are considering working in the tourism sector by opening a b&b. We know how fascinating the idea of starting a business linked to tourist reception is and the enthusiasm behind a new adventure; however, remember that it is a real job which, as such, requires specific documents and laws to be respected. Before launching yourself, it is therefore good to take the time to understand exactly how to open a B&B.
What you need to open a B&B
Bed and Breakfast are “accommodation facilities managed by individuals who, making use of their family organization, use part of their home, with annual or seasonal opening periods and with a limited number of rooms and beds, based on regional laws of the sector or of specific municipal regulations”.
In fact, every country has its own law governing the opening of a B&B. Each region has its own rules about, for example, the number of guests, minimum rooms or the necessary documentation.
So, first of all, you will need to know the laws of your country regarding B&B facilities.
Where to open a B&B
Before starting all the procedures for opening your business, we invite you to reflect on an aspect that will make a difference in your business: the territory. Surely if you are thinking of opening a B&B you have already evaluated that you are in an area that is particularly interesting for the landscape or for its proximity to points of interest. Whether it is proximity to a hospital, a fair area or a historic center, the location of the B&B will orient its customers.
Therefore, where the offer is part of providing a hospitality service for travelers and tourists (and in part, to customers who travel for work), other aspects relating to the territory must also be evaluated, such as history, customs, gastronomy and so on. You will thus be able to enrich the stay of guests by providing useful information and, perhaps, establishing synergies in various ways with the places that you will be able to suggest.
But there are not only B&Bs with an enviable position. Very often the guests are people who travel for work, or for personal reasons that go beyond the more traditional tourism. As already mentioned, solutions near a public transport line that quickly leads to an exhibition center are often successful. Otherwise, those who have the opportunity to offer hospitality near an important hospital or sports facility, will enjoy a different type of guest.
Financing and concessions for B&B
Bed & Breakfasts are regulated on a regional basis, so you will need to see if the interested region provides funds to encourage tourist hospitality. However, most of the managers of B&Bs avoid opening a specific tax position, thus making it more difficult to access any tenders which, usually, provide for activities with a VAT number as beneficiaries.
Opening a B&B always requires the following minimum requirements:
- Number of rooms: they serve from 3 to 6 rooms (the number varies from region to region) furnished in a simple way and with a maximum number of beds from 6 to 20 (here too the number varies from region to region). It is not mandatory to have a private bathroom in the room.
- Breakfast: the B&B always provides for the offer of breakfast with prepackaged and not manipulated products.
- Change of linen: sheets and towels must be included in the offer but there is no fixed rule on changing during the stay.
- General cleaning: there are no precise rules about it. Of course, it is assumed that the accommodation must be delivered clean and ready for use. Proposing a cleaning during the stay is at the discretion of the manager.
- Costs: Guests must be clearly informed of the rates prior to their stay. It is good to expose the costs also within the structure.
Costs needed to open a B&B
Obviously, to open a Bed & Breakfast, it is necessary to make an investment in starting the business. The costs are not incurred, especially when compared with other types of business start-ups.
- Verification of the suitability of the property.
It is the first step to take, to avoid any legal, urban or technical problem and, if necessary, to remedy it.
- Adaptation to fire regulations
That is the certification that the electrical and gas systems of the house comply with the rules and that at least one fire extinguisher is present in the structure.
Practically, all the directives that regulate the opening of a B&B, include the signing of an insurance policy as a prerequisite. It is therefore essential to take out an RC policy to protect guests and the structure.
To make yourself known and have a constant flow of guests that makes the entrepreneurial effort sustainable, you need to prepare a real “marketing plan”. If the tourist offices are a good place to leave any printed promotional materials, it is the web that makes the difference, guiding the choice of the potential customer long before they reach the place where your B&B is located. On this regard, we at WuBook can help you create a web site in line with the most up-to-date expectations and that integrates with the main online booking platforms.