You’ve always pictured yourself as a B&B owner. You want to be the innkeeper who places fresh cookies in the garden alongside your famous homemade lemonade. You want to welcome your guests on a first-name basis, and provide them with local insight into your destination. For many, it’s a dream come true to start their B&B business, but this venture doesn’t come without its challenges.

To be fully prepared for the experience of being a B&B owner, here are seven strategies that you can implement to ensure your success:

1. Research Your Destination and Decide on a Property Type

Whether you want to start up a B&B in your hometown or you are looking for a suitable destination where you can relocate to open your B&B, you will want to do thorough research into your destination. Evaluate the number of visitors that come to the area per year, and identify a target audience for your B&B. Once you understand the types of travelers you can expect, you need to select a property type that will appeal to them. For many B&B owners, a historic home or cottage-like property is ideal.

2. Consider Your Personality Traits

It takes a special person to work with travelers on a daily basis in an intimate setting. The most successful B&B owners are friendly, welcoming and flexible. You need to be a people person to truly enjoy the responsibilities of being a B&B owner.

3. Identify the Realities of Being a B&B Owner

Being a successful B&B owner requires you to manage the never-ending daily tasks associated with running your property along with having the foresight to manage your long-term business goals. On any given day, you may be tending to the rooms, preparing, serving and cleaning meals, assisting your guests and developing your next marketing campaign. It can be all-consuming work, but many B&B owners find it to be very rewarding.

4. Invest Time and Resources Into Developing a B&B Business Strategy

Your business strategy must allow you the flexibility to adapt to changing travel conditions, while also giving you the structure you need to maximize your occupancy rates, create consistent room rates and effectively distribute your product.

5. Remember to Remain Open-Minded and Flexible

This is perhaps the largest key to success! Daily life changes frequently at a B&B, and you need to be ready for anything.

6. Create a Marketing Strategy Designed to Increase Visitors

You need a marketing strategy that incorporates both traditional elements and online trends, allowing you to maximize the exposure of your brand and reach your target traveler market segment. Your marketing strategy should be adjusted on a regular basis.

7. Discover the Right Hires for Your B&B

You aren’t going to be able to do this on your own. Focus your energy on your strengths, and hire the right people to assist you. You may need a front desk manager, a cook, a housekeeper or an activities coordinator.

As with any goal, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to open a B&B. When you design a B&B management strategy that is realistic and effective, you will be able to launch your new B&B on the right foot.

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By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).