How To Do Your Research - Part 1 - Who To Ask For Help
The very first thing any prospective business owner should do is research their market. Is your business viable? Will it make any money? Is there a gap in the market locally? Are there specific markets that you can tap into?
Do some research, then do some more! The more research you do, the more chance you have of creating a successful B&B business that gives you a good income.
The first step in your research is to find out Who You Can Ask For Help.
1. Visitor Information Centre
Your first stop should be your local Visitor Information Centre. They will know what tourists want from a B&B in your area, what they like to do whilst they are away, how much they spend and how long they stay. They will also be able to tell you which local B&B owners are friendly and willing to share information and tips with you. Which brings me onto...
2. Other B&B Owners
Finding a successful, friendly B&B owner, who runs their business in the area you want to set up in, is a great boost for your research. No one will know the business and local area as well as they do. However they can be difficult to find. Unfortunately not everyone will welcome a new B&B opening up in their area. So where can you find them?
3. Local Tourism Networking Groups and Associations
Most areas have at least one local network which B&B owners can join. Being a member of a local network is a great way of sharing problems and ideas. Network members will tend to support each other through difficulties. Running a B&B can be an isolating occupation. So find out the name of your local network from your local Visitor Information Centre and contact the chairperson or secretary. They will either be able to help you themselves or suggest someone in the group to contact.
Businesslink provide free support for start up businesses across the UK. They can provide you with free training and advice. And, if you are really lucky, they may have specialist tourism business advisors who can advise you on the local area.
5. Friends, Family and Colleagues
Ask your friends, family and colleagues what they look for in a B&B. Get them to tell you about their best B&B stays and their worst and find out why they were so good/bad.