I posted something not long ago about why you don’t need to do a business plan. It’s easy to say that as a B&B owner of 10 years. When I look back now the process of writing a business plan doesn’t seem to have impacted my business once it opened.
That being said, I understand as a numbers junkie myself that you want to get some feel for how much your business can make. To do that you need to put together projections. If that’s a scary word and you aren’t comfortable with Excel start by thinking about the answers to the list of questions below. If you can answer these (and send us the answers) we are happy to put together your projections for you. We have a template that can help you change the assumptions yourself to see how the numbers change.
1.) How many rooms do you have? Will they all be available for rent the day that you open and if not what is the time frame for opening them all? What are the rates by room?
2.) Do you plan to be closed during the year and if so for how many days?
3.) Are there times during the year when more tourists come to your city/town and if so what are those days? (for example, the Texas State Fair brings me a lot of guests for 6 weeks a year).
4.) What is your mortgage payment or rent payment on your B&B?
5.) What are the annual property taxes on your B&B?
6.) What are the average bills for utilities: gas, water, electricity, cable or satellite TV?
7.) What kind of phone system do you plan to have? For example, we have one business line which rings only on my cell phone but is listed in the yellow pages. I also have one land line that is accessible in all the rooms?
8.) How much is your cell phone (s), which is a legitimate business expense, per month.
9.) Do you have the basic supplies to open? sheets, towels, soaps, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, Klenex, trash cans, trash bags, blow dryer, glasses, plates, coffee cups, dishes, silverware, coffee maker, television, radio/alarm clock, etc. If not can you assign an estimate to the cost to buy enough to outfit your B&B at the beginning with these basic necessities.
10.) What type of breakfast do you plan to serve and will it be daily or weekends only? continental or full?
10.) What equipment will you need to open – television (s), computer, printer
11.) What furniture will you need to open?
12.) What is the age of your B&B?
13.) If it is not a new home can you estimate the average annual maintenance expense?
14.) What is the cost to host your web site? (If you aren’t sure take a look at this post which includes our advice about hosting?)
15.) Do you plan to be included in any paid for online directories – bedandbreakfast.com or bbonline?
16.) Do you plan to pay for click adds? If so, what is your monthly budget?
17.) Do you plan to have employees or cleaning staff right away? If so, how many hours per week?
18.) Do you plan to have other employees right away and if so in what positions?
Once you have answered these questions you are ready to put together a basic projection. If you want help with that we have a template that we can do for you once you have sent us answers to the questions above. The template has variables that you can change to see how your bottom line changes. The cost is $20 for one years and $50 for 5 year projections. If you are interested in seeing a sample please complete the form below.