How to own a successful B&B you'll love running!

✔ Have you always loved the idea of running your own B&B, but you're not sure if it's the right lifestyle for you?

✔ Have you definitely decided you want to run a B&B but are feeling overwhelmed by all of the information out there?

✔ Are you really keen to own your dream B&B and welcome lots of lovely repeat guests, but are worried about making expensive and time consuming mistakes?


Hi There!

I'm Karen - I'm the one without the whiskers -  and I work with people, who dream of running their own successful bed and breakfast business.

My goal is to help people like you create a B&B lifestyle that you'll love, whilst avoiding expensive and time consuming mistakes along the way.

Community and support is really important to me, so, as well as running B&B training for over 14 years, I've created an amazing online B&B support community, open to people who have completed my courses

Read more about Karen .....

Download the free 5 Steps to Running a Successful B&B PDF Today!

Sign up for my weekly B&B Academy Newsletter and download the 5 steps to running a successful B&b Workbook!


Bed and Breakfast Academy has been reviewed in Country Living Magazine and The Guardian. And featured in The Telegraph, Mail on Sunday "YOU" magazine, Jeremy Vine Radio 2 Lunchtime Show, Daily Express, Coast Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Independent and more!

Read a few of my testimonials....

Why Do a B&B Course?

Saves You Time and Money

The B&B course will save you time by helping you identify the information you need to run a B&B.

It will save you money by learning what has worked well for me, and other B&B owners, and by not repeating the mistakes we’ve made.

It will be proof  to any mortgage provider that you have done all of the proper background work.

Create a B&B You'll Love Running

You’ll identify how to attract the guests you really want, minimising bad reviews and learning how to deal with the few you do get.

You’ll learn best B&B practise and understand the reality of running a B&B.

You'll learn how to create a B&B that guests will want to keep coming back to.

Ongoing Support

You’ll become part of an amazing community of friendly, supportive B&B owners who want to help you achieve your dream.

In the private Facebook Group, They'll share their ideas and best practise and support you if you're having a bad day. Plus your B&B will be featured on the Yellow Duck Collection Map so future guests can find you too.

How Does The Course Work?

Online B&B Course

The course is made up of pre-recorded slide based lessons, immediately available after you have purchased the course. You can watch and re-watch at any time.

There are also comprehensive downloadable notes and exercises.

Ongoing Support

Once you've signed up for the course, you'll be invited to join the Facebook Group for course attendees to receive support as you set up and run your B&B.

You'll also be able to list your B&B on the Yellow Duck Collection Map!

What you'll get as soon as you purchase the course:

✔ 9 Modules on Setting up, Running & Marketing a B&B with pre recorded lesson videos

✔ Access to the Facebook Group for past course attendees

✔ Two Live Q&A Group Call with Karen per month (recorded so you can watch later)

✔ Downloadable Course booklet

✔ Downloadable B&B Design Checklist

✔ Bonus Materials including recipes, useful forms etc.

✔ Self assessment exercises to help you identify the actions you need to take, skills & additional information you need to acquire

The cost of course is a one off payment of £327

This can be paid securely by paypal or credit/debit card


Module 1

Getting Started. How to own a B&B you'll love running

In this module we really dive into what makes a good B&B and a good B&B owner. You'll get lots of exercises to do to work through to get this clear in your own head. We'll then look at the reality of running a B&B and the impact it has on your life

Module Highlights

  1. What makes a good bed and breakfast?
  2. What makes a good bed and breakfast owner?
  3. Have YOU got what it takes to run a B&B?
  4. What's the impact of running a B&B on family, friends and your home?
  5. Pros and cons of buying an established B&B versus setting one up from scratch

Module 2

How to do your B&B Research

It's crucial to do your research thoroughly before setting up or buying a B&B. You'll identify your WHY for wanting to run a B&B, then plan all of the research you'll need to do before getting started.

Module Highlights

  1. Business Planning Overview
  2. Get clear on your goals and understand your WHY
  3. Identify what research you need to do and how to do it
  4. Occupancy Rates

Module 3

B&B Legal Requirements

In this module we'll run through an overview of the main legal requirements for setting up, running and marketing a B&B in England and where to go to get further information.

This has been updated to include where to find the information for safely running a B&B in the time of COVID19

Module 4

B&B Finances

In this module you'll get an overview of all the things you need to consider related to earning and managing your money whilst running your B&B business. And where to go to get further information and help.

Module Highlights

  1. Accounting
  2. Tax
  3. How much can you expect to earn?
  4. Borrowing money
  5. Business banking and taking money

Module 5

Understanding Quality standards and customer reviews

We'll look at the various quality assurance schemes available - those star rating. Then we'll cover the importance of customers reviews and how to manage them and use them to your advantage - even the bad ones!

Module Highlights

  1. Quality assurance schemes, directories and guides
  2. Managing and making the most of customer reviews

Module 6

Boundaries, terms and conditions and B&B systems

In this module, we'll look at why setting clear boundaries is so important for B&B owners. We'll cover the types of boundaries you'll need to set.

We'll also cover all of the processes and systems you need to put in place to make sure your B&B runs smoothly and efficiently.

Module Highlights

  1. Understanding and defining boundaries at your B&B
  2. B&B processes and systems

Module 7

Preparing your B&B for Guests

We'll cover the main things you need to consider when setting up your B&B bedrooms and public areas such as dining rooms. Included in this section is the room design checklist - over 25 pages of everything you need to consider when setting up your B&B

Module Highlights

  1. What to consider when designing your B&B bedrooms
  2. Creating your B&B public areas
  3. Room Design Checklist

Module 8

Day to day running of your B&B

In this module we'll cover everything you need to know to for the day to day running of your B&B, starting from when the guests book right through to guest departure. We'll also look at the things that can typically go wrong and what you can do to avoid or manage problems.

Module Highlights

  1. Before guests arrive - taking bookings
  2. Before guests arrive - cleaning
  3. Welcoming guests and what to do whilst they're staying
  4. Breakfast and other meals
  5. Guest departure
  6. When things go wrong

Module 9

Attracting guests

In this final module we'll cover everything you need to know for successfully marketing your bed and breakfast.

Module Highlights

  1. Your marketing plan
  2. Websites, search engine optimisation and newsletters
  3. Online travel agents, Tripadvisor and Other directories
  4. Social Media
  5. Advertising, PR and other paper stuff


Many hundreds of people have gone through my courses over the years. Here is just a taster of a few of the testimonials I've received

"“A real eye-opener! Taking Karen’s B&B Academy course was by far the single most important thing that we did when we embarked on our B&B journey. We literally covered everything from bacon to loo roll. We had read books and articles about B&B ownership but nothing came close to giving us the real insight more than this course did. Karen covered things that we didn’t even know about – online travel agencies, channel managers, how to spend your marketing money effectively, the Pink Book to name but a few. Karen doesn’t leave anything out and she definitely doesn’t sugar coat B&B ownership either. It’s true – if you don’t like cleaning and cooking, then it’s not for you! We finished the course knowing that B&B life was for us and over the next year and a half poured over the course notes we were given, did our research and finally found our dream property in 2015. We opened The Old Stables in April, 2016. Karen’s expertise, support and enthusiasm really crystallised our decision to open our B&B. If you are considering embarking on your own B&B we cannot recommend the B&B Academy course enough. Thank you Karen – you helped us to make our dream come true! "

Alyson & Simon Tuxworth The Old Stables, Shepton Mallet, Somerset

"“We attended Karen’s Bed & Breakfast course in January 2016. Prior to the course we decided we wanted a change of direction and that establishing a Bed & Breakfast would surely be a straightforward project?!! How hard could it be(?!) and is there really that much to learn? Anyway, my wife suggested we attended the course so we could get a better understanding of what it takes. Well, thank goodness we did! There really is so much to learn… whether its pricing, social media or legal matters, Karen covers it all. It is truly one of the most extensive courses I have been on and her go to ‘take away bible’ has proved to be an invaluable ongoing reference document. To anyone considering running a Bed & Breakfast, I urge you to take the course – even if it puts you off running one! As it was, armed with the additional knowledge from the course, we opened our Bed & Breakfast in April 2017 in Anglesey and haven’t looked back. This is a great course and rich in content… and I thoroughly recommend it. "

Mark and Debbie Smith, Ty Bae B&B, Anglesey

"We took Karen’s course in October 2014 when our B&B dream was a 5-year plan. It only took 19 months for our dream to become reality when we opened The School House B&B in Chapel Lawn, Shropshire. After taking the course we really felt we had all the tools we needed to set up our business and were keen to get started. When we opened The School House we soon realised just how much we had learned on Karen’s course and it gave us the confidence to relax and enjoy our new adventure right from the start. But Karen’s teaching doesn’t stop at the classroom – the course opens up a whole network of liked-minded people to exchange views and ideas with, so we are always up-to-date with changes within the industry. We would highly recommend Karen’s course if you’re thinking of getting into this very enjoyable and rewarding business."

Clare and Dave Wright, The School House B&B, Chapel Lawn, Shropshire

About Karen

Hi, I'm Karen and I've been running my own B&B, Hopton House in Shropshire, for 16 years. And I've been training people in how to set up, run and market their own B&B for over 14 years.

I'm married to Rob, have one grown up daughter, Jess who lives in London, and 2 rescue dogs, Saffy and Ralphie.

When I set up my own B&B in 2004 I struggled to find the information I needed. I was scared of getting it wrong and of making mistakes; what if no one liked my B&B or wanted to stay?

I created the B&B courses to be a shortcut to all of that information, to reduce the stress of starting up a B&B, minimise the chance of making expensive mistakes, to give prospective B&B owners the confidence to get started and a better chance of getting it right first time.

Ironically, running a B&B can be a lonely business sometimes. Yes, you are welcoming lots of new people to your home, but they are your guests, not friends. This is why the facebook community I've created is so important to me. It's a group of supportive, like minded B&B owners who are there to answer your questions and help you get through any rough patches. We also have a regular Zoom call to keep in touch.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way – some of them expensive ones. In the course I share those mistakes to help you avoid making the same ones. I also share what went well so you can use those ideas.

My own B&B, Hopton House, has been very successful. It’s been rated 5 star gold and been featured in the Michelin, Good Hotel & Sawdays guides.

Most importantly for me, over 70% of my guests choose to return year after year.

I'm a life longer learner. I try and take a new business course every year and apply what I learn in my own teaching, as well as sharing those ideas with my B&B community.

I'd love for you to join me on my online course.


Download the free 5 Steps to Running a Successful B&B PDF Today!

Sign up for my weekly B&B Academy Newsletter and download the 5 steps to running a successful B&b Workbook!


 Frequently Asked Questions

I believe it's best to attend the course as early as possible in your B&B journey. Many people take the course because they like the idea of running a B&B but they're not sure if it's for them. Some people decide to approach their plans very differently after coming on the course. But wherever you are on your path, I believe you'll get value from the training. I've had veteran B&B owners attending to give their business a boost!

The course is mainly made up of pre recorded lesson videos. There are 9 modules consisting of 1-6 lessons each. You can take the course at your own pace and the videos will be available for as long as the B&B Academy is in business. There are PDF notes for you to download and keep covering everything that is said in the videos.

When you join the course you will be added to the group discussion board. In here you can "virtually" meet other people taking the course and ask questions. I'll be in the group answering questions Monday to Friday and will aim to answer questions within 24 hours. 

There will also be regular live zoom calls where you can join other course attendees to ask questions and share ideas.

In the course, I do cover a lot of what you need to know about the legal and financial sides of running a B&B. However, I am not a financial or legal advisor and what I say does not constitute financial or legal advice. You should never make any major financial or legal decisions based on the course alone, but should take financial or legal advice from a qualified professional.

Keep in touch!

If you're not ready to buy the course today but would like to keep in touch. I write a weekly newsletter with a link to my latest blog post about all things B&Bs. You can unsubscribe at any time!

Karen Thorne, Bed and Breakfast Academy, Hopton House, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD


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