Setting up a hotel or guest house business is popular for many reasons, many choose to set up a guest house business as a means to funding retirement, whilst others seek to escape the city life and enjoy the flexible hours of self employment. The important thing is to make sure that you know what you’re doing, there is no use risking pouring money into a poorly planned business, only for you to have to shut it down a year later when the funds have dried out and nobody ever knew you even had a business! So here is a little list of pointers to get you moving in the right direction.
Plan, plan and plan again! The importance of having a carefully planned strategy is absolutely key to the success of your guest house. You need to prepare for every eventuality. Start the planning process by asking all the important questions about the nature of your business and how it will run. How many rooms are you going to have? Do you need to move house? Where will you set up your business? Will you serve food? Have you thought about employing a chef? These are only a fraction of
Choosing the building. Is your existing home big enough to use for your business? Are there any places nearby that are worthy of a visit from your guests? If not you may want to consider moving house to somewhere which has nearby attractions, or maybe just an area which is renowned for its natural beauty. Whatever you choose, make sure that it also fits your lifestyle. If you don’t enjoy the city lifestyle you probably won’t enjoy setting up a business there any more, which will be obvious to guests, likewise if you are not used to countryside living make sure that you’re really certain you can adapt to the change if moving from the city.
Setting a price- when applying for a mortgage, you are unlikely to be able to obtain a loan if you cannot show that your business will be successful, so financial planning is highly important. What are the chances of filling your building on a weekly basis and how much will you charge for rooms? Coming up with a long term financial plan will prove to lenders that you are capable of handling your finances and that you are aware of your outgoing and incoming sources of income.
Marketing your business- When first starting your business, you cannot yet rely upon word of mouth as no one has experienced your guest house yet! You may want to consider starting off on a lower price whilst you wait for people to start reviewing your business. Registering with review websites such as TripAdvisor or booking.com will give guests the opportunity to tell the public about you and if you can boost your rankings here, your business will flourish, as the internet is very likely to be your number one marketing source!
Meeting regulations- Not registering your business, or failing to get business planning permission from your local council could land you in serious trouble. To understand which regulations you should go with exactly, look at the local council regulations on government websites. You will also require a health and safety inspection on a regular basis to ensure that you meet all health and safety requirements of a commercial property.