I started a bed and breakfast in 2010 after 2 years of work renovating a house and having literally no money left to borrow as all my credit cards had been maxed out completely.
Most of the local bed and breakfast accommodation owners had warned me that the business had gotten a lot harder to make money it over the previous 10 years. But I pressed on, thinking that they just do not want the competition.
Many running costs involved in running a B&B I had already factored in, but there was eqaully many factors I did not antisipate.
The Booking Agent Charges
When starting out at least, your bed and breakfast website will have no traffic. Even though it may have a pretty home page and an enticing booking engine to tempt visitors with, there is still not point in it existing with no traffic.
All small accommodation owners then cannot comptete will the large hotel chains so they have to turn to booking websites. The most popular of these sites are listed below:
All of these chains charge at least 15% of the total booking payment as their commision.
The problem is what I have found it that because they have such a huge SEO and advertising PPC (Google pay per click) budget that even now which is 6 years after I openned my place, I am still unable to compete with them and therefore still heavily depend on bookings being sent to me from their sites.
This has put pressure on the small business owner with them not being able to use profits to expand or improve their business. With the agents only getting bigger this is only going to continue.
Booking.com is the largest of these and they own several other booking websites which are slowly taking over the internet and page 1 in searches.
I have started an SEO service for my website but I have also started to urge regular guests to book direct on our website instead of through their normal way of bookimg through the agents.
Hopefully this has helped you and good luck against the big booking companies.
Get more infor on me at my about.me page