While a stay at a bed and breakfast is often compared to a hotel experience, the former doesn’t always have the same cookie-cutter, polished feel. The point of visiting a B&B is that you get a more quaint and relaxing atmosphere, and most hosts are top-notch. If you run a B&B out of your home, you may experience some issues from time to time that come with home ownership. And, unlike a big hotel, you will have to handle them yourself.
Luckily, we’re here to go over some of the common issues that owners of B&Bs can face and how you can remedy the situation and keep your guests happy and coming back for relaxing stays again and again.
1. Pest Infestations
Depending on the age of your home, it is very possible that you could experience a pest infestation from time to time — be it rodents, bugs, or anything in between. In addition to being unsightly, having rodents in your home is hazardous to you and the health of your customers. For instance, contact with mice can result in a respiratory disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which can cause problems breathing and even death. The disease can be spread if a person has contact with rodent saliva, which can end up in food if you are not careful.
You can be proactive in fighting pests by keeping the doors and windows shut when it’s not absolutely necessary to keep them open. You should also dry up damp spaces where pests often gather to drink. If you find that you have a pest infestation, then seal all gaps in your walls and windows. Also, store all of your food in sealed containers. Finally, call in a pest control specialist to eliminate the threat.
2. Electrical Problems
As houses get older, it is more likely that they will experience electrical problems due to outdated tech and general wear and tear. Depending on where the issues are, electrical accidents can cause major harm, leading up to electrocution and potential death. You do not want an injured guest on your conscience, so it is important to avoid electrical problems before they begin.
Start by keeping a careful watch on your outlets and avoid overwhelming them with countless devices that can lead to an overload and potential fire. You should also check the cords of your older appliances and tools to ensure that they aren’t frayed or cracked. Really, it is best to unplug any item that you aren’t currently using and won’t need in the near future. If you sense a burning odor, then get everyone out of the house and bring in an electrician to inspect the property.
3. Appliance Improvements
As the years go by, you will want to take a look at your appliances and utility usage and see how you can update them over time. Small adjustments can create happier guests and help to ease the monthly energy bills. For instance, you can remove the incandescent bulbs in every room and replace them with energy-efficient LEDs that will cost you less to purchase. They will last longer and shine more brightly. You can take the same approach with your water bills. Replace the showerheads and sink faucets with low-flow replacements that still do the job but with less wasted water.
You should also look at some of your older appliances, like the refrigerator, dishwasher, and dryer, and have them maintained by a professional so you can prolong their lifespan. If your washer and dryer have seen better days, then consider replacing them entirely with more energy-efficient models, which will save you money and help the planet.
4. Guest Dissatisfaction
When you work with customers, you will need to face the inevitable fact that you will get a few bad reviews from time to time. You can’t please everyone, but you should try to increase guest satisfaction in any way possible. If you do get a negative review online, then do not let it fester. Instead, you should respond politely with an apology and an offer to make things right. Not only will doing so turn around the situation with that particular customer, but if other potential guests also see your response, then they will realize that you are a business owner who cares.
You can eliminate as many potential bad reviews as possible by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes and using that mind frame to run your business. To avoid common hotel management mistakes, think about the aspects that you would want to see when visiting a B&B and implement them. This can include how your food is served, how the beds are made up, and how you and your staff interact with every person who walks through the door. Do your best, and the customers will respect your efforts.
As you can see, there are many issues to keep an eye on and updates that you should consider to make your bed and breakfast the best it can be. Consider these tips, and you could see an uptick in satisfied customers.