Most of the Keystone HDC posts have been geared towards current Independent Hotel and Bed & Breakfast owners.

But what if you are new to this concept? What if you are dreaming of becoming a self-sufficient, want to learn how to start a hotel but are not quite sure where to start.

You need a plan.

You need a plan and put it into action before you ever consider opening your doors to guests.

Some of you might be thinking that owning an Independent Hotel is totally different from owning a Bed & Breakfast and in many cases there are differences, but operating any business that is customer service related can be broken down to basics.

The first thing you have to do before spending one penny or time on planning is to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Does the idea of being your own boss sound appealing to you? 
  • Is the thought of sharing your corner of the world with guests intriguing?
  • Have you ever thought about owning your own Hotel or Bed & Breakfast, but are not sure where to start?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, then you should read further.

You should start by going through this step by step process (all those applicable)

Step by Step Image

  • Visit other hospitality properties in the area you’re considering to open. 
  • Don’t be rushed to find the right location
  • Study the surroundings
  • Make sure your design fits
  • Is there an infrastructure in place? 
  • You have to decide who is your market? (You should have a target market in mind and not try to be everything to everyone.) 
  • Determine the needs of your market.
  • Make sure you have your financing in place
  • Hire an architect or designer who understands the hospitality industry. (Remember you’re in charge)
  • Create a budget
  • Walk through and visualize everything the way your guests would see it
  • Set a schedule and an end date

When your building renovations are almost complete and you might be thinking “I can hardly wait to open the doors and invite the world in.”

Not so fast. Your facility might almost be ready but now you need an organizational structure in place.

Setting Up an Organizational Structure

Your Organizational Strategy

Setting up the organizational strategy is imperative if you wish for your business to operate smoothly. For more details visit the “The Best Way to Setup Your Organizational Structure & Save Your Sanity” Blog Post



Here are a few things that have to be determined.

What type of owner you would be.

  • Are you a business opportunist? 
  • Are you a supervisor?
  • Or are you a skilled worker?

Which of these categories is more valuable when operating a Hotel or Bed & Breakfast?


What are your Main Goals?

To begin developing a balanced business, you have to answer these questions:


What do you personally value most in life?

  • What kind of life do you want to lead?
  • What do you want your life to look like when completed?
  • Who do your wish to be — deep down?

The biggest difference between successful and less successful people is that successful people don’t wait things to happen. They work on their lives … they don’t exist in their lives.

Do you have the right mindset? The way you ask yourself or others questions will impact the way you focus on situations around you.

Are you accountable?

A central belief of most personal development philosophies is that in order to have a wonderful life one must take complete responsibility for it and everything that happens.


What are the responsibilities, tasks and checklists necessary to operate your property?

This information will become the ground work for your Operation Manual, This is the manual that you will use for training and guidelines for you and your employees.

The importance of a hotel strategy

Your Management Strategy

Your Operations Manual

Your Operations Manual should be a series of checklists and the checklists should be easy to find. To do this divide your checklists into categories and each category assigned a color.

The checklists have to be for a specific, with step-by-step instructions of what to do and in what order.

You might ask “what should I have a checklist for?” the simple answer – EVERYTHING!

Your Operation Manual is worth its weight in gold but that does not mean its set in stone. It has to be treated it like a living, breathing entity.

For details check out the How to Start a Hotel pdf Link to book


What Should Your Operation Manual Include?
Each Hospitality Property’s Operations Manual might differ a bit but the basics should be the same. For details check out the How to Start a Hotel pdf Link to book
It should include the following:

  • Company History, Vision & Organization
  • Products & Services
  • Policies
  • Position Statements
  • Systems (how it’s done)

What else should you include in your operations Manual model? For details check out the How to Start a Hotel pdf Link to book

Operations Manual

How Will I Know My Operations Manual Works?


Once you’ve got your organizational structure in place, everybody knows their responsibilities, their duties and how to perform them step-by-step, you have to ask yourself “when it is complete, will it work?”

To know this you have to ask yourself another question …

“Will the concept, my Operations Manual be saleable?” And then you have to ask

“Will I be able to clone it? And if so will it provide good returns?”

Yes, you have to look at your business as a product and this is a product you want to sell.

No, I’m not telling you have to go out and sell your hotel or bed and breakfast, but for you to know for sure that your operational procedure, your Operations Manual works, you have to put your head in a different mindset and look at your property as a product, a model.

Slowly begin developing your property model and build your Operations Manual.

You are now working the business, business is not working you.

You will notice, that when you constructively introduce the development of your property model, it will create instant positive changes in you and the people around you. That is the key to its success.

What is Outsourcing

What You Need to Know about Outsourcing?

  • What is outsourcing?
  • Why would I need outsourcing?
  • When to Outsource?
  • What duties could I outsource?
  • Where do I look to find outsourcing?

The benefits to outsourcing offers business owners great advantages. It allows you to build a team of skilled professionals without adding the expense of full-time employees, and to avoid getting bogged down with tasks that can be completed without your attention. It’s an inexpensive alternative, and a proven strategy for growing a business without letting it take over your life.

When you outsource, you can focus your time, attention and resources on your company’s main abilities and spend your time setting new goals and finding ways to achieve them. For more about Outsourcing see How to Start a Hotel pdf.


Final Thoughts

Alright, you have some basic information for how to start a hotel. Where do you go from here?

Check out the How to Start a Hotel pdf for more in-depth details Link to book

And continue learning by signing up to our updates. Methods and techniques that have proven beneficial for Independent Hotel owners with knowledge that has given them an edge over their competitors and the ability to build a successful business.

If your wish to be successful and fulfilled as an Independent Hotel owner, we here at Keystone HDC are here to support.

Remember to have fun and let success follow.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Lets work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.


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