Sep 2018 2nd Edition

All you need to know about starting a B&B

Written by Dale Hes
Do you want to earn an income by providing accommodation to tourists, giving them the best possible stay during their visit to your area?

Bed and breakfast (B&B) establishments are one of the most rewarding ways to become a business owner within the tourism industry. Here is all you need to know about starting your own B&B.

What is a B&B?

According to the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, B&Bs provide more informal accommodation with limited service that is provided in a private home.

Each room must have exclusive use of bathroom facilities, and breakfast must be included in the accommodation rates. In addition, servicing of the room needs to take place every day of your guest’s stay.

B&Bs can only have a maximum of three guest bedrooms. If you offer more guest rooms than this, then your establishment needs to be described as a guest house.

What processes do you need to follow to start your own B&B?

The first step you need to take is to approach your local municipality to apply for zoning permission to use your property as an accommodation establishment. You may need to gain permission from neighbouring property owners, and to display notifications to inform the public, should they want to lodge objections.

When you do get approval from the municipality, you will be required to meet certain legal requirements.

Important things to consider

Location – The location of your bed and breakfast is extremely important. If you live in an area that doesn’t attract tourists, then it will be difficult to make a success of your business.

Finances – Tourism can be highly seasonal, so you will need to have sufficient savings to carry you through quiet periods of the year.

A new lifestyle – Your lifestyle will change dramatically when you become the owner of a B&B. You will often need to wake up early and go to bed late, and you will have to adapt to guests sharing your home. You will also need to pay attention to maintenance and keeping your guests satisfied at all times.

Marketing your B&B – The accommodation industry is highly competitive, so you will need to invest some time and money into marketing your B&B. You will need to think about creative ways of advertising your business.

For more information call the Tourism Grading Council on 011 895 3000

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