Should you Open a B&B?
Updated: Jan 23
Operating a bed and breakfast is a lot of work but it can also be very rewarding. You will meet all kinds of people from all over the country and across the globe. You may even form strong, long-lasting friendships with some of them. The important thing to remember is that your guests are ordinary travelers and that you are providing them simply with a place to stay for the night and a breakfast to get them started the following day. However, before you start advertising your home as a B&B, there are some decisions you need to make first. Here’s a list of the top ones.
1 – Look at Your Home Objectively
If you are inviting strangers to stay in your home, you need to make it look inviting and comfortable. This means giving the guest rooms and beds in them a good, hard look. If they are in need of upgrading and changing, this is the time to do that. Things to consider include size of beds, amount of closet space, amount of lighting, size of dressers. If these are not adequate, you will need to correct this before proceeding with your plans.
2 – The Bathroom Situation
If your home will accommodate it, your best B&B plan is to have a private bathroom for your guests. In fact, it is pretty much what travelers staying at such lodging are expecting. If you have a downstairs suite with a separate bathroom, you may be a few steps ahead at this point. Plus, as you would expect anywhere you would stay on the road, that bathroom must be spotless. You are essentially operating a motel under the roof of your home and standards will have to be met.
3 – The Door Key/Security Matter
I’m not trying to spook you, but you need to keep in mind that the visitors to your home staying the night are strangers. However, you will have to provide them with a key to your home in order to access their room at any time should they choose to check out the surroundings and come back later in the evening. A standard practice is to provide a front door key and a room key with either a returnable deposit or just a handshake.
4 – Really, Really Think Over Your Plan Before Making These Decisions
As I’ve already mentioned, operating a bed and breakfast does involve a fair amount of effort. You are opening your private home to travelers so they can have a comfortable night’s sleep and a homemade breakfast before they get back on the road. For many travelers, they seek B&B’s for several reasons. Cost and personal interaction with a local resident are the main reasons. You and your family must be completely on board in order for this to happen and be a successful venture. A B&B is a business and therefore must meet certain requirements and city by-laws which should be discussed with your local municipality before taking anything on.
You also need a home that can accommodate the need for extra space and parking. I can help you remedy that part of the plan. If you are buying or selling in the Niagara region, contact me for assistance. I’m Jen Bedard and you can reach me at 289-213-7031.
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