Seven things to consider before turning your home into a B&B

Seven things to consider before turning your home into a B&B

Thinking of turning your home into a B&B? We spoke to B&B owner Nzolo Miza about some of the business aspects to look into before embarking on this venture.


Turning your house into a B&B may appear to be simple, but it is anything but. Apart from all the refurbishing and renovations that come with the quest, there are several business aspects to consider.

Mila’s Guest House, situated in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, has been running for about nine years. Its owner, Mr Miza shed light on the business aspects of turning your house into a B&B:

Establish the major selling point of your B&B and research the type of guests you wish to attract

“Being fully aware of your selling point makes you very good at attracting the guests you are catering for because you can sell them exactly what you know they like.

"The corporate sector provides most B&B businesses with their clients so this sector may be the best to go for. But that will mean that you have a lot of competitors. There are, however, sectors that aren’t being explored to the fullest such as the government sector as well as the entertainment industry. So if you are situated in a city that is sort of a hub for entertainment events then you could definitely look into having a B&B that attracts entertainment industry guests. The same applies with the government sector, capitalise on these sectors if you’re in a city that facilitates a lot of entertainment events and government functions.

“We, at Mila’s Guest House attract a lot of corporate guests who come into Mthatha for conferences and business meetings. Our selling point to our clients is the ‘Home Away from Home’ ambiance we like to focus on. I ask myself how I would like to feel when I get home after a long day’s meetings and appointments then I transcribe that feeling to the environment that my clients will be paying for.” Enlist your B&B with various departments that are within your target market range. For instance, if you are looking to the government sector as your pool of prospective clients then you may want to enlist your B&B with government department service providers that are listed throughout the country."

Invest in a website for your B&B

"This is very important for marketing and advertising purposes. Your prospective clients should be able to find out about everything your B&B has to offer on your website. A website is also very important for branding your business. It would also be effective to link your website with traveling agency websites so that your B&B can be readily available to a wider range of travelers.

“We are currently working to update our official website as we understand that this will increase the number of people we get to reach and inform about Mila’s Guest House. We are working with a brilliant company called Msebetsi Solutions for our website. Trust me, a website is important for marketing and cyber presence.”

Prepare a detailed business profile of yourself that will enable you to sell your B&B to your target market

“Most times you find that clients associate a business with its owner so your business profile really matters. Clients don’t just want to know about the place they will be paying for but also about the person in charge of the place. It gives them some closure and security about choosing your B&B because after all, they need to feel at home.

"In other words, you’ve got to become the face of your B&B before its reputation can speak for itself."

You may need to invest quite a lot of capital in promoting and advertising your B&B

Do not hold back on this part because the success of your B&B will depend on the target market reach of your advertising. “The more people know about your B&B the merrier you will be.” 

Know your competitors

You want to do this in order to know how you can become better; establish your X factor.

“You have to be able to be confident about what you offer knowing that no other B&B does it quite like you.” 

You will definitely need a competent and motivated workforce as well as an effective and efficient financial resources management

“Being in the business of accommodating and taking care of people needs you to be really efficient and have a team that is motivated and competent because you are working with people’s time and money. Remember this.”

Also read: Tips and tricks for a clean and tidy home

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