Starting Your Own Guest House Business

Maybe you have realized the lucrative nature of a guest house as a business but you have no idea how to start it. No need to worry because this article will be your guide in setting up your own guest house business.

It is surprisingly not difficult to start your own guest house business. Here are few pointers to get you started.

guest house business

Get a Building for Guest House Business

off, you need a building which you can set up into a guest house. It shouldn’t just be any building. It would be preferable if the building is in a location that provides the best view as possible for your guests. Another ideal location would be a place that provides a relaxing environment for your guests. The building should be large enough to provide at least 4 and up to 20 rooms for your visitors.

Get the Necessary Amenities

After you acquire the building, you would need to furnish it with the necessary equipment and amenities that would help make your guests’ stay in your guest house comfortable. These would include the beds, the television sets and the furniture, as well as water softeners for your water supply.

License Your Guest House Business

Because you are serving as a “home away from home” for your guests, you would need to get yourself licensed from the local fire and health departments. To do this, you would need to comply with their safety requirements. These requirements vary from community to community so be sure to visit these government agencies and inquire as to their different specifications for licensing. These licenses have to be renewed every year too.

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Employ The Best Staff as Possible

A guest house is not a guest house without a staff to take care of the needs of your guests. Because the guests’ opinion hinges on the quality of your service, your guest house needs nothing but the best people managing and working on it. Be sure to check the credentials of the people that you take into your guest house staff before you hire them to avoid staff-related problems in the future.

You would also need to come with a design for the uniform of your employees. The design should be appropriate for your business, and should be unique among other guest houses.

Come Up With a Good Marketing Plan

It is not enough to just get a license and a good staff to run your guest house business. The most important preparation to make is how to get your business to potential customers, to let them know that you exist. You can do this by advertising.

There are many ways to advertise your company. Since you are starting, you cannot rely yet on the “word of mouth” technique unless you have guests that come and go out of your guest house with 100% satisfaction. To get the world to know your existence, you would need effective tools like newspapers, travel magazines, billboards and web sites as well as auto-responders to respond to any inquiries about your business.

A Video to Watch for Setting up Your Own Guest House

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439 Comments

  • Melato Machaelo said on February 4, 2009
    I want more information regarding Guest House Business. Business plans, registration and how to get funds.
  • nonkulululeko said on February 9, 2009
    what do i need to start a guest house and where do i get funds
  • mary muthui said on February 20, 2009
    i would like to get information to do with starting of my own guest house business.
  • chrissie said on February 24, 2009
    Thank you for the information regarding how to start a guesthouse. The big question, where do/how to get funds.
  • terri said on March 18, 2009
    i have to do a project on opening a guesthouse and i notice you need to license the place...i have to get all the forms as an example and fake license the place if you know what i mean, do u perhaps know where i can get the forms online to include in my project or do i have to go to the municipality? thank you for your help terri
  • Sharlene Coombs said on March 25, 2009
    I have the same question as terri (no.8)could you please provide me with the details.
  • Jola said on March 29, 2009
    I have similar questions connected with writing a business plan for the guest house can you provide me with the details.
  • Williamson Moli said on March 31, 2009
    Can you provide a list of facilities/amenities that I may require to setup in a rural area overlooking a valley, on a 1000 square meter plot?
  • Nonhlanhla Mokoena said on April 7, 2009
    I also have questions about starting a guest house business and where to get funds to finance the business? Kindly assist.
  • kwena said on April 7, 2009
    i would like you to send me an example of a detailed bed and breakfast business plan.
  • Kelsey Hull said on April 12, 2009
    Please inform me how I can obtain my license to start a guest house?
  • Samukelisiwe Mabuya said on April 12, 2009
    I would like to know how do I get finance to start a guest house, at the moment I'm renting the house and I want to buy and get all necessary things for guest house. Regards
  • Linda said on April 20, 2009
    Please send info on getting started & licensed for a guest house and writing a business plan and any other helpful info on setting up & running a guest house. Thank you in advance!
  • Selly Tshiwilowilo said on April 21, 2009
    I have the property and have re-zoned it for a guest house, where do i get the funding?
  • Nicky said on May 12, 2009
    Hello there, I would like to open up a bed and breakfast spot. I would like to have some information about getting started on this type of business. I want to Thank you in advance.
  • Yonela said on May 14, 2009
    Thank you for the information you have provided. I have made a business plan, have my own property that i'm going to use. The big problem is where do i get funds and how?
  • mod said on May 26, 2009
    where to obtain funds to open guest house, i got the plan and skill from college of hospitality. thank you
  • Mapitike said on May 30, 2009
    How do I obtain professional advise and finance for my guest house.
  • Niques said on May 31, 2009
    I need financing for my guest house. I have the land and a building however I would need financial assistance with parting off the building and renovations as necessary location Nassau, Bahamas in a nice upscale area Lyford Cay.
  • Eveline said on June 10, 2009
    I want to start up my own guest house but I don't have a single cent, is that possible and if yes, where do I get the capital from.
  • sasidhar beginner adviser said on July 1, 2009
    how can i start a guest house business in india and looking to get a proper guidance from expert. contact me. 00966568001`580

    0096656001580 || Recruitment Consultant, Saudi Arabia

  • mariaan said on July 11, 2009
    Kindly send info of starting a guesthouse. We have a fantastic 180 degrees sea view.
  • James expert adviser said on July 11, 2009
    @mariaan, What kind of information you are looking for? Be specific when you ask for help. It is the time to put together every silly to major things that you need in this business, talk to few existing guest house owners, visit some liking guest houses, chat with the employees, speak to the builders about the construction, ask for quotation from the interior designers, speak to the local clerk for the license, visit the bankers for loan. If you are really serious on starting a guest house then start working on these and note down everything.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Hanneli said on July 13, 2009
    I have got a house, 3 bedrooms etc. I want to turn into a guest house. Where do I start? Is there any specifications for example what type of beds, bedding etc. please advise me.
  • Andrew said on July 13, 2009
    I want to draw up a bankable business plan for a guest house. Would you please send me a sample business plan - not a business template
  • julie said on July 16, 2009
    can you please help me with a sample guest house business plan that i can present to a bank. thank u
  • bridgette said on July 17, 2009
    I just bought a land in a rural area so i want to register a guest i know the whole steps but the thing is i don't have money anymore to go ahead. can you tell me where i can find the funding so that i can build my guest house before 2010. that is my wish .
  • Ms Nono Lobakeng said on July 17, 2009
    I am intending to open a guest house and i need more information on how to start?
  • jacqueline hattingh said on July 20, 2009
    I've got a guest house in Bloemfontein with 7 rooms a hair saloon and space to have a restaurant/conference. My problem is money, i don't think i will have enough money to buy linen, cutlery, beds etc. do you think it is wise to get an investor? my guest house rights just came through and there is still so much to do.
  • Ms Anazo Nongubo said on July 21, 2009
    I am totally satisfied with the help you provide for every big dreamer out there. Thank you and keep it up!
  • Bongiwe said on July 24, 2009
    I want to start my own guest house i have no money i would like you to send me some info on that. thanx
  • Ken said on July 24, 2009
    i want to buy a certain property for a guest house business but need financing, how do i go about this?
  • James expert adviser said on July 24, 2009
    @Ken, Where are you from, and where is the property that you want to buy? Financing is not same everywhere so let me know about your location so that i can give you more tips.

    Jestin James
    Startup Biz Hub - Senior Advisor (Staff)

  • Tori said on July 30, 2009
    I would like to own a guest house in Jamaica but I'm not sure how to go about it, any tips? I have seen several places that interest me but how do I get financing and what kind of down payment would I have to provide on a place that is like 190K
  • Meshack said on July 30, 2009
    I am also interested in starting the Business of a Guest House. I have tried to build some few houses but the problem is to go on and finish those houses, however my predicament are how do I go about getting funding?
  • Azie said on August 6, 2009
    I have the same question as Tori as well... except I spend most my time in Jamaica and know a lot about the real estate there.... I'm more interested in guest house as i get the property, is there any licenses i would have to get there and any other information you might have is great.. Thanks a lot
  • GLADYS MACHIKICHO said on August 11, 2009
    send me info on how to start up a guest house, what is required. the property is already available.
  • Sakhi said on August 13, 2009
    please advise i am in processing of starting / turning my home into a guest house(i'll be still residing on the premises with family. I reside close to an industrial area and we are always having people approaching us for rental rooms (1 year lease or so , furnished or not furnished.) If i turn a part of my home to accommodate this activity am I still required to register as guest house
  • Thabisa said on August 23, 2009
    I have a house in Pretoria, that I want to turn into a guest house. It has a total of 7 bedrooms. Where do I start in turning it into a guest house (municipal laws/legalities. I will also need funding to turn the home into business, other than banks where can one get help towards funding such a venture. Is there funding for 2010 tourism initiatives or just tourism initiatives? Please send me all related info.
  • harry said on August 24, 2009
    How must i go along to change my five bedroom house with three on sweet bathrooms and lots of entertaining areas to a four star guesthouse. What do i need and where do i start.
  • Nthabiseng Hlakane said on August 31, 2009
    i just want to start my own guest house and i want to know where do i get funds from because i'm in Lesotho. please anybody help me.
  • Londiwe said on September 9, 2009
    How to look for a proper location? how to access financial assistance? send me info for this.
  • Isaac Hlakane said on September 12, 2009
    I would like to get more information regarding business enterprises and how it operates.
  • Minah said on September 22, 2009
    I would like to turn my house into a B & B for 2010 for only one month during the soccer tournament. Please supply me with information in terms of the customers and some more add value information.
  • Bob98 said on October 13, 2009
    The definition of a stable model was generalized to programs with choice rules.
  • Merlin49 said on October 23, 2009
    Satan is too charismatic to be as soundly banished as he is in the story, but we need some relief for the Stone family. ,
  • Trish said on November 1, 2009
    I have two on-suite rooms in my home which I want to let out for bed and breakfast. Do I need to have a license and what type of insurance would I need?.
  • Nono said on November 12, 2009
    i built 5 rooms in my yard to open a b&b. That was done from my monthly salary, now i dont have enough to buy equipment and registration with municipality, can you help
  • Nono said on November 12, 2009
    Can we get contacts of other people, maybe we can benefit after talking to one another and giving advises
  • Mr Mbuzeni Siteto said on November 15, 2009
    Could you please get for me the address for the agent I can contact for opening a guest house in the Mthatha area.
  • tania alexandra faria said on November 17, 2009
    I live in São Pedro de Moel, Its a beach near Leiria Portugal and i want to open my guest house with 3 different areas. 1. Guest House with 10 rooms; 2. Service take away, only in the summer; 3. Lounge caffe open just at the end of the day serving snacks and drinks. I want you to explain to me what to do first. The building is already mine and it´s divided in that 3 places that i mentioned. How can i start, and how can I turn my business into success, and also how can i get the funds from the tourism to do that. Thanks in advance. Best regards Tania
  • SAMUEL LAMOLA said on November 19, 2009
    I AM STAYING AROUND KWAMHLANGA AREA TO THE PLACE CALLED SUN CITY, MY RESIDENCE IS ABOUT 7 KILOMETERS FROM KWAMHLANGA CROSSROAD/TAXI RANK/FILLING STATION ALONG THE LEBANGENI ROAD, MY DESIRE IS TO START WITH 12 TO 20 ROOMS, PLEASE ADVICE ME HOW TO START AND TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL GUEST HOUSE.
  • veena babbar said on November 28, 2009
    Sir, I live in noida I want to register a company of guest house Pls. suggest me from where do I collect the furniture and workers
  • Nokuthula said on December 9, 2009
    Hi! I would like to open up a guest house. I would like to have some information about getting started on this type of business, with regards to funding, registration, business plan and everything that is required.
  • Afton said on December 10, 2009
    hi, please assist me with my business plan and if it would be possible to assist in making my guest house better than others
  • Keerthi Kavithilaka said on December 14, 2009
    I'm from Sri Lanka, down south city call Ambalangoda, i want to start my own guest house with a restaurant. I really need a financial assistance from some who can be my business partner.
  • hamilton said on December 15, 2009
    South Africa, Kimberley. I'm looking for information on how to start a guest house. Building is already available. What government agency do i need to register with etc.
  • jennifer said on December 21, 2009
    how may I get financing to start a guest house when i have no other collateral than the potential of the proposed property?
  • mary muthui said on December 26, 2009
    Am in Portage, Michigan, USA. How can i start a guest house here? Kindly reply
  • ken bungey said on December 30, 2009
    my family and i want to use our house as guest house but we have no ideas on how to start in kenya. the house is big and has 4 bed rooms and seat around a beautiful compound 50km from a airport 100km from a lake
  • linda said on January 2, 2010
    Pretoria, State Gauteng, Country South Africa. What would the job specifications be for a guest house manager?
  • humphrey van der merwe said on January 6, 2010
    I am in the process of adding rooms to my house to start a small 3 room b&B. I live in Walmer Port Elizabeth. My house faces the Baakens valley and has an exceptional view. need information as to how to register and start a legal business.
  • Tina Joseph said on January 6, 2010
    want to start guesthouse in Kenya or Burundi. How do we start?
  • dinah modiba said on January 13, 2010
    Hi, I have an approximately 850 sq meters of land in Marblehall, Limpopo province in South Africa and will like to start a guesthouse business with a conference facility. please advice me on how to go about it till it operates. kind regards
  • Esme said on January 14, 2010
    Pretoria, South Africa. Please assist with the license forms, where do I get them?
  • DAVEY PHIRI said on January 15, 2010
    I live in Chililabombwe, Zambia, Southern africa. I would like to start my own guest house business here.
  • Ahthony said on January 20, 2010
    Hi, I am unemployed and have my house up for sale. My wife and i want to move to scarborough and start a b&b Can you send info on how to finance and anything else which may help.
  • Linda Maseko said on January 26, 2010
    Middelburg, South Africa. Please assist with the license forms, I need to know more about the guest house business, is there any place which you can go and do a course on this business, do you think it is a good business
  • Anil Rotha said on January 26, 2010
    Hi, i am planning to open guest house in the Himalayas in Shimla, India. i am thinking of conceptual tourism by building small guest houses, would it be good idea? thanks.
  • Ansumi Tidbury said on February 5, 2010
    We are farm situated in Dinokeng South of Pretoria about 45km outside Pretoria, South Africa. We just finished our outdoor buildings into a two bedroom (sleeps 6)and I would like to know where I can find the necessary licenses and specifications in what we need to register as a B&B / Guestfarm? And any other information regarding this will be appreciated as well!!! And is there someone we need to contact with inspections in connection with your kitchen when preparing food etc.? thank you again!!! Ansumi
  • Willie van Wyngaard said on February 6, 2010
    hey there i am situated near the O.R Tambo airport. i bought a house with lots of potential and would like to convert it into a guesthouse... how and where do i register?
  • Debby Turner said on February 16, 2010
    Stunning 5 bedroomed log cabin (modern) very big reception areas, veranda's and decks. swimming pool. Overlooking Ebenezer Dam (Haenertsburg/Magoebaskloof) Limpopo Province. Set in afro-montaine forests. House belonged to my boss's late mother and is entailed to her grandchildren's trusts. We need basic info of what furnishings/ how many changes of linen/ swimming towels or bring your own kitchen equip. House has DSTV and all (high quality) equipment. Need to make it crosier! need some guest ground rules - Please help
  • Durgesh said on February 20, 2010
    Please make me aware of latest tips for running a Guest House. My address Puri, Orissa, India
  • Casper de Vries said on March 1, 2010
    Looking to start a guesthouse in Durban, South-Africa. Venue is near World cup stadium, shops, entertainment venues, nightclubs and restaurants. This business will primarily cater for sport fans visiting our city. Venue is a three bedroom house each with it's own bathroom. A forth bedroom is available next to the swimming pool. Beautiful views is seen: the new Soccer Stadium, ocean views and City views. Need to know how to register as a guesthouse, and need more info to make it legal.
  • Patience said on March 11, 2010
    i'm interested in starting my own guest house business but dont know how or where to go for it
  • alda handel said on March 12, 2010
    norwood gauteng.. would like information on how to start a tango orientated guest house. how many rooms, bathrooms, dining area, food types for a four star dwelling. i have floor space for a dance area. i would like this to be more for the argentenian and overseas customers
  • matty said on March 25, 2010
    I want to put up a guest house business please help me with information on how to do this. I already have the funds and land. thank you.
  • Ravi shastri said on March 26, 2010
    I would like to have some ideas & tips. I am going to open a 21 room property in kanpur as a G.M. Will you advice me the dos & donts?
  • Annah Kadikgetha said on March 26, 2010
    i want to start a guest house business in Botswana in my village so i want to help me with the plan of the guest house and any business idea
  • Laxman Baral said on April 17, 2010
    Dear Sir, i do have my own guest house called Hotel Mandala and as well as travel agency with trekking expedition company in Lakeside, Pokhara, Nepal( www.hotelmandala.com.np )but now i need clients for this guest house cause walking customers are only not enough for me. so please kindly let me know from where i can get clients for my business and how i do marketing for free ? with best regards ! Laxman Baral
  • thabang said on April 20, 2010
    i would really like to get a guest house but i am clueless, i only know like the basics and i could do with some help with putting a business plan together, getting the funds that i need, and how do i go about marketing my guest house
  • lerato said on April 22, 2010
    i want to start a guest house. i dont have clue on where to start. i would like to know many rooms should my guest house have, how do i furnish the house, how much does it cost to run the business monthly. what type of training or skills do i need to run the business. how do i go about getting funds to start the business Lerato from BLOEMFONTEIN
  • Joy said on April 25, 2010
    I have the same question as Lerato (94). I live in Brooklyn, Ny and I'm hoping to start one in the more up and coming areas of brooklyn. Thank you
  • naim nasim said on April 27, 2010
    hi! i am just about to purchase A HOUSE IN GLASGOW. TO TURN TO A GUEST HOUSE. WHO WOULD I GET FINANCE TO TURN IT TO A PROPER GUEST HOUSE.
  • matalia mwale said on April 30, 2010
    Its in a low density area. Not too far from the town centre and the airport. In a city called Ndola on the Copperbelt province where mining is the main industry. In Zambia a country in Southern Africa.
  • Thelvina said on May 2, 2010
    I am in the process of adding en suite to one room to my house to start a small 3 room B&B. I can include 5 bachelor flats in the same yard. I live in Cape Town, but my house is in Durban South Parkryne. My house faces the beach it is the second street from the beach and has an exceptional view. need information as to how to register and start a legal business. How can I run this leaving so far.
  • Yvonne Williams said on May 4, 2010
    l would like to start a Guest House in Bulawayo which will be having 3 bedrooms, please help me with where I register and building plans. have land to build.
  • BARUNAVA SAHA said on May 12, 2010
    What do I need to start a guesthouse, the do's and donts of the business, and I want more information regarding Guest House Business. Business plans, registration and how to get funds. Presently I have 2 Flats 1050 sq, feet each. 1 is at Sector-I, Salt Lake, & other at Sector-V at Salt Lake.
  • Doris Roos said on May 18, 2010
    I would like to set up a guesthouse which will be having 10 rooms to start with. It is in Guyana in South-America. Please advice on the type of building and the do's and dont's of the business. The guesthouse will be on the border of Guyana and Brazil, mainly catering for the miners when they come out of the mining areas. Thanks a lot.
  • Lettie Andreas said on May 20, 2010
    I am still a student but have a dream of starting up a guest house business. I still do not have a place of my own but I already have the picture in my head. The thing now is, where do I get funding for the business, or how do I get investors? I want the guest house in Oshakati, Namibia, since I know there is a gap in the hospitality sector in that town. Thank you!
  • C.C Kelly said on June 6, 2010
    We Live in Kenya and have a country house that we want to convert to a guest house. Complete with water, electricity, and furnished rooms. The area around it is serene. One could nature trail, go fishing, bird watching etc. Which body(bodies)will assist in getting the right licenses?
  • Steven Sau said on June 11, 2010
    I am seeking for technical assistance on how will I do or to start a small guest house project back in my village. Actually in my village I have tourism project, biological science research project, community conference meetings etc. The project will reside in Papua New Guinea, Madang Province Ohu village 20km of Madang town. Best regards, Steven Sau
  • Raymond said on June 15, 2010
    Please advise on startup steps, requirements and costs for a guest house
  • Paul Matekase said on June 22, 2010
    i want to open a guesthouse in Rustenburg, North-West, RSA
  • SANJEEV KATOCH said on June 27, 2010
    I want to sell one duplex house in shimla, Interested parties may contact on my email id.
  • Grace said on June 29, 2010
    Hi, I am doing up a business proposal to start a small guest house. I need funds to build this project. I have 2 existing buildings that will need full renovations. I need your assistance and advise on how I would secure startup capital. Regards Grace
  • Jacky Kola said on July 2, 2010
    I need funding to renovate existing house for a guest house as well as spa, restaurant and coffee roasting business on the same premises
  • Veronica Schutte said on July 4, 2010
    Johannesburg. Please can you advise what is required for a Guest House/B & B, amenities, facilities, running/set-up costs, etc, etc. Legal requirements, etc. Thank you Veronica Schutte 0114861736
  • Charlene Jones said on July 5, 2010
    Manchester, uk. I would like accurate advise on how to set up and run a quest house/bed & breakfast in manchester aimed for college/university students across the uk. Please advise on funds/legal fees/marketing and the best locations. regards, Charlene
  • Njabulo Mange said on July 7, 2010
    I AM TAKING OVER A EXISTING Guess HOUSE please advise me what important challenges i would need to be aware of, and what type of business plan i would need to arrange in terms of attracting bank to give me finance and what other key marketing strategy i would need to use in order to convince bank to give me funds.

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