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A Bed and Breakfast in Bulgaria

Occupancy is the key to your financial forecast. Most bed and breakfasts or small hotels operate on 30% occupancy.

If you have, say, eight rooms and charge 30 euros per night per room, then you can turn over a maximum of 8 x 30 x 365 which makes a total gross revenue of 87,600 euros. This, of course, is based on every room being filled every night of the whole year. However, on 30% occupancy, then this is reduced to 26,280 euros gross revenue - and don't forget to deduct costs from this to get the net income. Operating a bed and breakfast is not a way to get rich quick! Only you can decide if the number of rooms you have, the room rate you charge and the occupancy you can achieve will provide enough money for you.

It may be when you have done your forecast that you need to consider other ways to generate more income from the bed and breakfast. Perhaps obtaining an alcohol licence, offering lunch and dinner, etc.

Determing the room rate is quite difficult. There are no set rules to this. Don't feel that you have to compete with the local hotels and charge less just because you are a small bed and breakfast. Many guests are looking for something different and special with a bed and breakfast and will pay for this. Also, if your room rate is perceived by guests to be too cheap, they may think it's because your place isn't any good. One way to look at room rates is to work out your costs and then add an amount for your profit. The more your bed and breakfast offers to guests (en suite bathrooms, size of room..) the more you can charge.

Do be careful not to charge too much. It is tempting to think that ten bookings at 50 euros gets you more than 20 bookings at 20 euros and it is less work too - but if 50 euros is too high a room rate for what you are providing and the area where you are, you may not get any bookings at all.

Another consideration is how long your guests will stay with you. Generally those staying in bed and breakfasts only stay a short time. If you base your business in an area with numerous tourist attractions you can encourage longer stays. Longer stays are better for your business as there are less associated costs for you, changing bedlinen, towels and so on.

Marketing - so many people set up a business and then think all the hard work is done, sit back and wait for the customers. Nobody will know about your bed and breakfast without you marketing and advertising it. Research advertising possibilities. Naturally the internet is an obvious choice as hardly anybody goes on holiday without looking at the web first. Get your own web site and get it as high in the search engines as you can. List yourselves with other large portals. Have brochures and business cards printed. Put leaflets out. There are numerous ways to market your bed and breakfast but you need to have put aside a budget to do so before you open your business.

There is increasing tourism in Bulgaria, particularly those holidaying outside of the mass market, with individual tourism on the rise. Bed and breakfast and small hotels in Bulgaria are a great way to have your own business and, although hard work, can be a very rewarding lifestyle choice if you follow our tips and guidelines.