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B&B: Turning your home into a business

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By Evelyn Masaba

Bed and Breakfast, or B&B as it’s commonly known, is usually a private home with extra space that is rented out as a lodging facility.

In Uganda, there are a few B&Bs available since most people prefer turning completely into a hotel or motel than staying around.

You can easily turn your home into a B&B if you have extra living space that will bring in some income for you, especially if the children have moved out.
Research
You need to research more on what you require to set up your B&B for legal reasons and regulations to be on the safer side. At the same time, find out what your guests will be needing depending on what clientele you will be hosting over the duration of your business.
Permits and registration
Jean Byamugisha, the executive director of Uganda Hotel Owners’ Association (UHOA), says that there are guidelines and prerequisites that one needs to follow/meet to be certified as a fully operating B&B in Uganda. This means that as a soon to be owner of the B&B, you have to obtain a certificate from UHOA and the necessary paperwork from other concerned bodies to start operating.
Refurbish the home
It is best to renovate the interior of the home and give it a unique and inviting look that will appeal to your guests who will be staying at your house. This means you get rid of all the old stained furniture that will stand out as an eyesore in the spaces that the guests will be given access to.
Appropriate facilities
Every B&B needs to be well facilitated. Amenities ranging from bathrooms and toilets need to be modern and updated enough in order not to inconvenience your guests. If your budget can afford you providing each room its own bathroom and toilet plus kitchenette, do it. This will help reduce congestion, control diseases and tempers inconveniences during the busy season.
Employees
It might seem like an easy job to run a B&B but you will need some extra hand with a number of chores around the venture. Unless you are a certified chef or have added a well stocked kitchenette in rooms, you will definitely need a chef to make sure all the meals are on time. Someone else to help you with the laundry and another extra hand with keeping the compound/ home immaculate for the guests.
Advertising
Every business needs that extra push to help it reach the target market and you cannot do that without doing some form of public advertising. You will need to create fliers, brochures or use the internet with social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc being easy and free to use. You can also add your business to booking sites such as Jumia Travel that will help provide you with some of the important visibility.
Keeping the books
The biggest pitfall for most businesses is not being good at maintaining the accountability side of  everything. When you plan and make sure everything you spend on is relevant to the business and at the same time monitor what goes and comes into it, you make it easy for you to know if the business is continuing to bring in returns or make losses. Keeping the books makes it easy for you to make the important financial decisions that will affect your business.

About The Author

The writer is the public relations manager at Jumia Travel in Uganda. Travel.jumia.com is Africa’s No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world.
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