Running a bed and breakfast pros and cons

Running a bed and breakfast pros and cons which I hope will help you decide if this lifestyle business is right for you.

With the growing number of people dissatisfied with corporate life, wanting more freedom and autonomy, not to mention the opportunity to live in a beautiful property that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, with an income to boot, is very appealing.

Here’s some pros and cons from my own experience and that of my clients

Some of the cons first…..

Just having a lovely property in a beautiful area, serving delicious home made scones, cakes and breakfasts isn’t enough

It used to be, but it isn’t anymore

Everything now is driven by online marketing, price, competition and reviews

If you’re not used to marketing yourself online and have no idea about how it all fits together, this could be challenging for you.

The alternative is to rely on the large online travel agents such as booking dot com, expedia, etc. and you will pay a commission to them for undertaking the marketing work for you.   You may or may not be happy about that.  Most people start off well with it, but soon become resentful.  Bear this in mind.

You could always choose to learn how to do it yourself, and I recommend you do, not just to avoid the commissions but the psychological grip these big online channels will have on you, will take its toll.

The upside is that when you learn how to do it yourself, you will have total control of your business, and peace of mind

You will need to be aware of just how much physical work is involved in this business, especially if you don’t intend to hire help with the cleaning and laundry.  I recommend you do hire help, but a large number of bed and breakfast owners do not.

You may not may not like having strangers in your home, who sometimes don’t respect it the way you do, and you will have to deal with breakages and spoilage.  You’ll need to put strong boundaries and policies in place to mitigate the damages

Guests are fickle.  Loyalty can be short-lived and since the introduction of online review sites like Trip Advisor, anyone can say anything about you online for the whole world to see and there isn’t a thing you can do about it.  One negative review can negate 10 positive ones.

Regulations vary from country to country and even state to state, so you must be up to speed with what you can and cannot do in your area.  Your local council, tourist office or bed and breakfast association will be able to assist you further.

So if you’re not put off yet, here are some of the pros to running a bed and breakfast

You get to live in a big property that you probably wouldn’t otherwise be able to do, which means that when guests aren’t there, you can accommodate your friends and family without anyone having to share a bed or bathroom.

You get to choose what hours you want to work (within reason) and be your own boss.  This is both a pro and a con – you could end up being your worst slave-driver boss ever!

You get to choose how much money you make every year.  In my own experience, this beats working for someone else on their terms and for their paycheck anyday.

You will work hard, but it will be for YOU, your family and future

You get to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, have fascinating conversations, share stories and unique experiences

You get to indulge yourself in home-making, decorating, crafts, cooking and hosting skills

Is it for you?

You decide

If you need help, CLICK HERE to book a call with me and let’s talk about making your dreams come true

Yvonne x






Yvonne Halling is the leading consultant, coach and mentor to the small hospitality industry.  Her proven and tested strategies and systems allow bed and breakfasts, guest houses, inns and small hotels to increase revenue by at least 20% fast.  You will also have a lot more fun with your guests.