To the aspiring bed and breakfast owner who wants to set up and run their DREAM B&B:
Turn your vision of running your own a B&B into reality today
The B&B course will save you time by helping you identify the information you need to run a B&B, without spending hours searching on Google
You'll save money by learning what has worked well for me, and other B&B owners, and by not repeating the mistakes we’ve made.
It's proof to any mortgage provider that you have done all of the proper background work.
You’ll identify how to attract the guests you really want and create a B&B that gets rave reviews
You’ll find out all of the best hints, tips and secrets of owning a successful B&B that runs smoothly.
You'll learn how to create a B&B that guests will want to keep coming back to.
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.
Karen's expertise, support and enthusiasm really crystalised 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!
Aly and Simon Tuxworth, The Old Stables, Shepton Mallet
Best course ever! I attended Karen's course absolutely clueless about running a B&B and left totally inspired, fully informed and engaged with the whole process! Setting up a brand new business is extremely daunting for novices like me, however, Karen's invaluable advice helped open our doors within a matter of months.
Imogen Adams, Old School Dorm, Staffordshire
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.
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!
✔ 9 Modules on Setting up, Running & Marketing a B&B, so you can get started straight away
✔ Access to the Facebook Group for past course attendees
✔ Group ZOOM call fortnightly to meet other B&B owners and ask any questions you may have
✔ Downloadable Course Workbook
✔ Downloadable B&B Design Checklist
✔ Bonus Materials including recipes, useful forms etc.
I've included all of the documents you'll likely to need to download, edit and use for your own B&B, including:
✔ Room Design Checklist - 27 pages covering everything you need to consider when designing your B&B Rooms from floor covering, to lighting to what to put on your tea tray!
✔ COVID Statement CANVA graphic to download
✔ Welcome Email Template
✔ Cleaning Checklist ( with COVID19 considerations )
✔ Guest Room Information Page
✔ Guest Registration Form
✔ Breakfast menu - vegan, vegetarian and meat eaters
✔ Link to my recipe blog with all of my recipes
✔ Marketing plan template
✔ A typical B&B owners day - bonus video
✔ How to poach an egg recipe video
✔ How to get your B&B found on google training workshop
In this module you'll dive in deep into what makes a good B&B and a good B&B owner. You'll then look at the reality of running a B&B and the impact it has on your life.
It will determine that type of B&B you own - where, how many rooms, your type of guest!
It's crucial to do your research thoroughly before setting up or buying a B&B. Both to show to the bank that you know exactly what you're doing. But also to make sure you're running the RIGHT B&B!
MYTH - I'm only running a small B&B or Airbnb so I don't have to worry about any of the legal stuff - I'm afraid this is just a myth.
If you're accepting money for people to stay at your home, you're going to need to what your legal obligations are.
Getting these all in place protects both your guests and YOU!
I KNOW - this isn't the most exciting part of running a bed and breakfast. And for some people it can be really daunting. But you just need to go through it step by step and once you've got it all set up, you can run your B&B without having to worry about having the council knock on your door!
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.
And if you're stuck on anything, I can just about guarantee that if you ask in the Facebook Group - someone else will have already been through the same issue and come up with a solution. No more having to work things out on your own!
Another module that will either excite, bore or daunt you. But another important one. In this one 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. I've done my best to keep this as simple as possible. I strongly recommend you get a good accountant who will help you set up your business correctly.
How much to charge can be a real block for a lot of B&B owners. And undercharging can be as bad for your business as overcharging. In this module, I'll walk you through all of the aspects you need to consider when setting your prices
Love them or hate them, reviews are here to stay. Even if you choose not to list with Tripadvisor, a guest can still add your business and leave a review.
Did you know that a Tripadvisor survey found that even if you had a bad review, over 80% of guests were more likely to stay with you if you wrote a good management response?!
So in this module we'll look at how you can make good use of those reviews and turn them into a guest attracting advantage!!
We'll also look at the various quality assurance schemes available - those star ratings.
I once sent a survey to past course attendees and asked them what was the one, most important piece of advice they'd give to new B&B owners, and nearly everyone said "Set clear boundaries for your guests from the start"
But what are boundaries? They may be the physical ones - not allowing guests in the kitchen. Or setting your breakfast times, or check in times
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 - how to get organised to make sure you're not having to do a 22 mile round at 6am to find a shop open selling halloumi ( I speak from experience )
You may well have decided on the colour of wallpaper, the antique bed frame and what bath taps you're going to install. But how easy is it for your guests to use the room?
Are the lamps big and bright enough for them to read in bed, are there enough sockets for them to plug in all the devices, are there plug sockets positioned for you to easily vacuum the room
In this section, 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
I remember that day we had a power cut just before I had to serve up 6 different breakfast specials - all at 9am. Despite the fact I was battling with 15 pans on 5 gas hobs with no oven, grill, electric waffle maker, blender for the hollandaise or juicer ( thank heavens for the gas hob - tip #27 of running a B&B) the guests left me a glowing review saying how calm I'd remained. They obviously hadn't heard the swearing from the kitchen.
90% of the time things will run smoothly at your B&B - especially if youve done this course 😉 - but it's also important to be prepared and expect the unexpected!
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.
When I first set up my B&B in 2004, B&Bs didn't really have websites, definitely not online booking, no social media and there were no review sites and certainly no BOOKINGDOTCOM. Marketing your B&B has got a whole lot more complicated since then. But don't worry, I've got you covered!
In this final module we'll cover everything you need to know for successfully marketing your bed and breakfast.
A compliment to your course this morning, Karen, from one of our guests leaving today after a week long stay. He said the course must have been amazing our place runs like clockwork and he couldn’t think of any negatives. They’d thought we’d been doing it for decades! So thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge, for being there for that extra advice when needed, for setting up the ‘B&B Academy’ family FB group no one could have planned for what this year has thrown at us all but we definitely couldn’t have got/get through it with out you and everyone in this group.
Catriona Haskell-Ward, Millburn Bed and Breakfast, Skye
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 even 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.
The lessons are 10-20 minutes long.
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 - which I hope is for several years to come!
If I do plan to stop offering the course, I'll give you enough notice to download all of the materials.
There are PDF notes for you to download and cover everything that is said in the videos.
When you join the course you will be invited to join the Facebook Group for past course attendees.
In here you can "virtually" meet other people who have taken ( or are taking the course ) and ask questions.
I'll be in the group answering any unanswered 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.
The course is evergreen, which means it's available to buy straight away.
You get immediate access to all of the lessons.
I recommend you work through them all sequentially to avoid missing anything. But you can just watch the lessons that are relevant to you now.
I'm Karen and, when I'm not knitting or herding 2 bonkers young rescue dogs, I'm working 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.
And I'm more than happy to share all of the mistakes I've made, along with some of the things I've done quite well - 70% repeat business at my own B&B means I must be getting something right.
I've created an online course that takes you through the 9 steps of setting up, or buying, running and marketing a B&B
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.
I look forward to welcoming you into our B&B world!
Karen gives endless practical advice, built from years of running a beautiful B&B and also from her previous career in marketing. But she does this in a way that is not over-whelming; everything is presented in a way that feels manageable and encouraging. She really cares about the well-being of those she helps, and understands how daunting running your own hospitality business can be.
The value of her support really came to the fore in 2020 with the Covid19 crisis. This support was a real life-saver at a horrendous time. There were difficult days, lots of uncertainty and anxieties for us all to face. But having Karen’s prompt responses to any questions and the support of the community she has developed as whole, really helped us through this. So it really goes without saying, that I cannot recommend Karen and her courses more highly.
Caroline Howarth, The Mount Bed and Breakfast, Keswick
Karen Thorne, Bed and Breakfast Academy, Hopton House, Hopton Heath, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 0QD