#01 Starting up a bed and breakfast - what's it really like? With Claire Byrne of The Corner Broadstairs

Join Karen, owner of Bed and Breakfast Academy, and Claire Byrne, owner of The Corner, Broadstairs to find out what it's like to set up a brand new B&B.

You can follow Clare on Instagram here --> The Corner Broadstairs

Find out about the B&B Academy Training Course here --> Learn how to set up, run and market your own B&B

If you've thinking about running a bed and breakfast, then this video is a much watch!

Joining me on this ZOOM call is Claire Byrne who, along with her husband Phil, has just started up a boutique 3 bedroom bed and breakfast, The Corner Broadstairs.

Claire was one of the first 16 people who joined the initial launch of the online bed and breakfast course back in August 2020.

Something of a star student, she and Phil have created a fabulous bed and breakfast, which is already receiving amazing reviews.

I feel like I've got to know Claire quite well over the last 12 months through our ZOOM calls, so I asked her if she'd jump on a ZOOM call with me to share her experience of setting up her B&B and how the course helped her.

"For me it has been one of the most valuable parts of setting up the business... I can't imagine being in this position having not even gone through the course or been party to some of the group work that we've done.

... it's been fundamental really, and I'm super appreciative of it. I actually think I would highly recommend it because, for me, I wouldn't be where I am now, I don't think, or I wouldn't have got here quite so easily, or so quickly, with some of the planning if it hadn't been for the things that we picked up along the way. So thank you."

I've summarised my main thoughts from the call below:

Starting up a bed and breakfast

  • Claire and Phil have started the B&B slowly rather than jumping right in, taking the time to get feedback, review how things go and make adjustments.
  • They spent a lot of time on the first modules of the course, doing their research, refining their ideal bed and breakfast customers, defining exactly what the customer might want and thinking very carefully about the type of experience that they wanted to provide.
  • Being very clear on their reasons for wanting a bed and breakfast, they've created a B&B experience that meets their own lifestyle and goals of spending more time together and having more downtime.
  • Being able to read and understand individual customers and what they need is an important part of the B&B owner's role.
  • They've clearly defined their individual roles in the B&B based on their own preferences, skills and experiences. But also share roles and are quite flexible.
  • Practise your poached eggs and make sure you have enough frying pans! 

How the course helped

  • Starting and running a B&B is not as easy at it looks. Claire decided to take the course to ensure they were aware of the reality of running a B&B and to get they help they needed
  • The course really helped cement their plans and shape what their B&B would be, which they don't think they would have done without the course.
  • How important the first modules, defining your WHY for running a B&B and your ideal customer avatar,  are in helping to create a blueprint of the type of bed and breakfast you want to run, before diving into the practicalities. 
  • Remembering your WHY for running a B&B helps you make decisions for your business
  • It's OK to have the confidence to have a niche, to only appeal to a subset of customers. That you can never appeal to everyone.
  • There is so much information there for your at the tip of your fingers. You could use Google but all of that is time consuming. It brings a whole directory that presents all the information to you in neat modules

Claire's experience of the online course

  • Claire was in control of the speed she worked through the course and how she worked through the course, spending longer on modules if she needed. 
  • "The online course was super perfect"
  • Can refer back to specific lessons, even months later.
  • The online course allowed her to absorb the information at the rate she needed to, rather than being overwhelmed in a 2 day course.
  • Lots of opportunity to  get answer to specific questions or clarification, through ZOOM calls, in the course modules itself and the Facebook group. It never felt missed out on human contact.

The Bed and Breakfast Marketing Membership

  • Claire has learnt so much about marketing through the training
  • The community is a very welcoming, learning environment. It's a supportive group as there is never a silly questions
  • To encourage people to try things in a safe environment
  • Like the course, there is so much information there for your at the tip of your fingers.