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A perfect summer at home

How to start a Bed & Breakfast

As we sit out and enjoy the sun, thoughts turn to holidaying and, possibly, to paying a visit to a great British B&B, a true home-based business.

If you have ever considered turning your house into a B&B, it would seem there is no time like the present to give it a try. The closest I can find of an official estimate of the number of B&Bs in the UK was from the Bed & Breakfast Association who state "There are many thousands of Bed and Breakfasts in the UK, mainly small-scale, owner-managed businesses based in the proprietors' own homes"

The trade is described as "a privately owned premises that offers value for money, accommodation inclusive of breakfast, quaintness and hospitality, and opportunities for the guest to exchange ideas with the host and be the recipient of sound, local, sightseeing advice." Quaint indeed.

What you need

According to the many books that have been written on the subject, it appears relatively straightforward to start a B&B business and the rewards, both financial and personal, can be high. What seems clear is that there are three key assets required:

A house that is of a size and structure to accommodate guests

A friendly personality that is open to 'strangers' being welcomed into your home

A strong work ethic

Available support

Should you decide to turn your home into a fully fledged business there is ample support to tap into. There are dozens of books available at Amazon on starting a B&B, trade associations such as the BBA (started by a B&B owner in South England) and opportunities to market your accommodation through online tourism directories and printed guides such as 'The Best Bed & Breakfast 2006.'

Quote�Promotion also comes in the form of TV�End Quote

Promotion also comes in the form of TV, as channels fall over themselves to find "ideally people who have moved to a new area, where they have bought a property which needs renovation to turn it into a B&B." Potentially worth thousands of pounds in free publicity for the person whose operation looks good in front of the camera.

And in the words of one former IT manager - turned B&B owner "The one thing I used to hate about working in an office was being inside when it was like this outside. Now I get to look at the sunshine from inside as I clean but at least I get to go outside when I'm finished. What a wonderful life."

What next?

By working from home, Emma Jones writes, you can have both career and family (as well as sunshine!). Read more about how you can choose to have it all.

Visit the Enterprise Nation website for more information on basing your small business at home.

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