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Guest House

How to Run a Guest House

Don’t miss out on these top-notch tips for running a successful B&B

Running a successful guest house or bed and breakfast is both rewarding and challenging. Let’s take a look at some clever yet simple ways to help you create a premier destination getaway that will keep your guests coming back for years and years to come.

You should keep this advice in mind if even if you are still looking for the right business to buy so that you find one that fits your needs! 

Exceptional customer service and unique packages

First and foremost, in order to be competitive in the accommodation industry, you must provide that extra something special that sets you apart from your competition.

A great place to start is by partnering with local businesses to offer your guests additional benefits such as discounted car rentals, tickets to popular tourist attractions, or private guides to hidden beaches off the beaten path.

Plus, through the partnerships you form, you can also offer your guests regional products for sale such as local wine, olive oil, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, toiletries, beauty products, sunscreen, beach towels, or candles.

Other specialised services you can implement include:

  • Extra packages: In your online booking process, offer additional items for purchase such as champagne breakfasts, various romantic packages, or a wine and cheese basket waiting in the room at check-in.
  • Customer referral plan and discounts for repeat guests: Word of mouth from satisfied customers is an excellent way to build your business, so offer a discount to repeat guests for any new customer referrals.
  • A pet-friendly establishment: Customers will appreciate the ease and flexibility of being able to bring their pets, and you will be able to charge extra for this added convenience.
  • Automatic discounts for extended stays: Encourage your guests to add on an extra day to their trip by offering a 50% discount on one night after they have paid the regular rate for a certain length of stay.

Remember, the sky’s the limit to the fun and creative ways you can pamper your guests, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

Millennials: your prime target

Millennials are a driving force of travel revenue, representing 20% of international tourism. They’re young, adventurous, and willing to spend money when travelling. Plus, they tend to seek unique experiences, so they are ideal guests for the B&B industry.

That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to providing top-notch service to this tech-savvy generation.

First, they are consistently posting on social media and are excited to share the fun, interesting details of their travel adventures. So, be sure to provide free access to reliable Wi-Fi and then offer incredible experiences that they’ll be eager to share online.

Next, millennials are extremely vocal and will not hesitate to write either a glowing or scathing review of your business. So, be ready to adapt to their high expectations, cater to their needs, and provide exceptional customer service at all times. So, when you are finding the right bed and breakfast to buy, think about who your customer would be!

An effective marketing strategy

Marketing and business go hand in hand. People need to know you exist, what you have to offer, and why they need it. These are just a few highly effective marketing strategies that can help you soar above the competition:  

  • Offer an exceptional website: Due to increasing competition, it is essential that you
    establish a strong online presence with an SEO-optimised website providing powerful and engaging photos and videos.
  • Build a strong online presence: As stated above, millennials love technology, so make sure your website is optimised for mobile and visually appealing.
  • Post regularly on social media: Establish social media profiles on multiple platforms and increase audience engagement by consistently posting interesting and relevant content.
  • Use compelling images: When advertising, keep in mind that images are much more effective than words. In fact, TripAdvisor found when owners added photos of their guest houses or B&Bs, they reported a 138% increase in engagement.
  • Utilise online booking sites: It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to make all their travel reservations online. So if you want to stay competitive in the industry, make sure you are listed on multiple online booking sites.
  • Become a member of several travel organisations: Register your B&B or guest house with a reputable national organisation like Bed and and Hosted Accommodation Australia.

As a member, you’ll reap the reward of being advertised on a well-known travel website, and you’ll receive other benefits like discounted goods and services, professional development opportunities, and numerous networking options.

Finally, don’t forget that it’s never too early to prepare your business for a successful exit. So take a look at our preparation selling guide to set yourself up for future success.

With advanced planning, you can make a smooth transition whenever you’re ready for your next adventure.

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally and attracting over 1.5 Million visitors each month. To contact Faye please email [email protected]


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