Starting your own BnB can be a great way to increase your income by doing something that you love. It can also allow you to meet a lot of interesting people from all across the world. However, as any BnB builder could tell you, starting your BnB business takes a lot of work and there are a lot of considerations that you need to keep in mind.
If you are considering starting your own BnB, here is what you and your BnB builder will need to work on.
1. Plan Your Layout and Amenities
When working with a BnB builder, you’re going to want to consider what the layout of your BnB will be. While there is no set number of rooms that a BnB needs to have, the average number is six, with some even offering up to 11. The exact number of rooms that you’re able to offer will depend on the space you have to work with, and how much remodeling you’re willing to do. Keep in mind that the goal is to keep these rooms as homey as possible, so you don’t want to increase your number of rooms only to have them all appear identical to a hotel room.
When thinking about the layout of your BnB, you’ll want to ensure that you have enough space in each room for a full bed, bedside tables, a chair, a wardrobe, a mirror, a lamp, and a television. Cable and wifi can also be essential in many BnBs. Although if you are trying to create a disconnected rural vibe, you may be able to cut this out in favor of providing only local stations via a channel converter or antenna. A professional antenna install can be done in each room, as opposed to connecting cable. You want to ensure that each guest will have everything that they need in their rooms, and providing at least these key components is essential.
In addition to the layout and interior components of the rooms, you will also want to ensure that all areas have adequate cooling and heating. If your location doesn’t currently have a central HVAC system, you should consider working with your BnB builder to either install one or set up units that can cool and heat each individual room and common area. Without providing this, you can put your guests at risk of being very uncomfortable, making them less likely to leave a good review or come back.
Similarly, you’ll want to make sure that the layout of your BnB includes easy access to bathrooms for all guests, and that they won’t need to share with anyone else at the location. This could require you to work with a residential plumber to create additional washrooms adjacent to your rooms to ensure that everyone has a space of their own.
If you currently have enough bathrooms for all of your guests, you may still want to hire a plumbing service to ensure that the pipes are in good working order and that they aren’t at risk of breaking down with frequent use. A plumbing service can also tell you whether or not your current water heater is sufficient for the max number of guests. If your current water heater isn’t capable of supplying a steady supply of hot water, you may want to add a thankless water heater to your BnB. These water heaters are smaller — which helps conserve space — and they can provide a near endless supply of hot water.
2. Update Out Dated Electrical Work
Another thing that you’ll want to work with your BnB builder to do is update outdated electrical systems. Outdated electrical systems can not only be inefficient, but they can also vibe a fire risk. If you have multiple guests using power at once, you could also risk having blowouts or triggering the circuit breaker if your current system isn’t able to handle the load.
Before opening your BnB, you’ll want to have an electrical company thoroughly examine your electrical work so that you can ensure that your BnB is both safe and comfortable for guests.
3. Design Common Spaces
BnBs are all about creating a welcoming and homey atmosphere and this involves having common areas where guests can sit and interact with one another. You’ll want to put a lot of thought into creating these spaces as you want them to be inviting and worth utilizing.
Aside from just providing seating and a television, as a typical living room would, you may consider having books, movies, and even a game console for guests to take advantage of while there. You can even use these areas to host a variety of activities during the evening, where guests are encouraged to come out and have fun with other guests.
Activities can range from movies, board games, card games, or even family-friendly video games or VR games, where guests can take turns having fun and enjoying the time spent together. The exact things that you include in these common areas will depend on the vibe that you are trying to create. For example, if you are targeting families with kids, having games geared towards kids and families can be extremely beneficial. However, if you are targeting single couples or older individuals, you will want more mature options geared towards that demographic.
Outdoor common areas can also be something to consider if you have the space. A large patio with a fire pit for evening gatherings can give guests a nice place to relax after a day of exploring the area. You could even have a canopy company install a covering over this patio space to help provide shade and shelter from rain. Outdoor areas can also be used for seating for breakfast during the warmer months, giving guests the option to take in the sunrise and fresh air while enjoying the most important meal of the day.
4. Consider Recreation
When building your BnB, your BnB builder and you should also consider the recreational opportunities available around your property. For example, if you have a body of water on your property, investing in boat deck building supplies and creating a dock and boat launch can be a great way to bring in people interested in spending time on the water. If the water is stocked with fish, you can also offer fishing as a recreational activity for your guests.
Similarly, if your property has a largest wooded area, you may consider having a hiking trail cleared so that guests can trek through nature without having to go far out of their way. These trails can also be used for activities such as bird watching or nature walks during the fall when the leaves are changing.
Being able to provide daytime activities for your guests can make them more likely to enjoy their time at your BnB, and it can make them more likely to return if they have a good experience.
5. Don’t Forget Safety
When planning your BnB, you should always keep safety in mind. This includes keeping functioning fire alarms in every area, as well as posting fire escape plans in hallways, rooms, and common areas to ensure that every guest knows what to do if something happens.
In addition to fire safety, you may also consider providing each room with a lockbock so that guests can store their valuables without worrying about something happening to them. While this might be unlikely, it can put some guests’ minds at ease and they will appreciate having the option.
Along with this, property safety is something that you will want to account for. Security systems should be installed and outdoor cameras, as well as a camera in the check-in area, can help keep your BnB safer, and it can deter unwanted behavior or vandalism.
When remodeling, you’ll also want to invest in durable building materials that can stand up to a lot of wear. Especially if you are constructing outdoor areas such as decks or a boat dock. You’ll want to ensure that features like this are safe and secure for guests, and that they won’t be at the risk of wearing out or breaking in the near future.
6. Don’t Overlook the Kitchen
When working with your BnB builder, you’re also not going to want to skimp on your kitchen, as providing a delicious breakfast will be expected by your guests. For this, you will want to work with a kitchen contractor to create a kitchen that is large enough and functional enough to create a great breakfast for multiple guests.
Depending on the type of breakfast you plan on serving, this can include having a large oven, a large cooktop with multiple burners, extra storage space for supplies and food, and a space for making breakfast drinks such as coffee and tea. Along with this, you will also need ample space for washing and storing multiple dishes and glasses, as well as a large refrigerator and freezer.
It’s important that the layout of your kitchen is as efficient and as functional as possible. You don’t want to end up with a clunky layout that makes cooking breakfast every day for guests a tedious chore. Make sure to leave plenty of room to move, and ensure that appliances are positioned in a way that makes them easy to access without needing to go out of your way.
7. Find Your Niche
When building a successful BnB, you’ll also want to consider what your niche is going to be, as this can have an impact on what you offer and how you design your rooms. For example, a modern themed BnB, while homey, should have a modern feel and offer amenities such as wifi and cable alongside updated fixtures. However, if you are targeting guests who want a more disconnected stay, you may want to add more rustic-style choices and limit the amount of electrical entertainment, instead, offering outdoor activities and plenty of space outside for guests to gather and relax. This type of style works well if you have a property that sits along a body of water or is surrounded by a lot of beautiful natural formations.
Finding a niche can also help set you apart from other BnBs in your area, and potentially draw guests who are looking for a specific type of stay. For this reason, deciding what your BnB is going to be themed around can be an important thing to decide upon early on, so that it can inform the other choices that you make, such as layout and recreation.
Making The Most Out of Your BnB
Starting a successful BnB isn’t something that you can do on a whim. It involves a lot of planning and a lot of forethought before you can welcome your first guests inside. However, by working with your BnB builder, you can come up with the best layout possible that is both functional and comfortable for you and your guests. You should also focus on incorporating your niche into most aspects of construction, as well as taking into account security and safety.
While the exact plan that you construct will depend on how many rooms you’re planning on having, where you are located, what’s on your property, and what you want to offer guests, these seven tips can help make the planning process easier, and give you a good foundation to build your own design. Although it will take a lot of hard work, ultimately, starting a BnB can be a great business decision, and it can give you the opportunity to start your own business and build it in a way that best suits your needs and desires.