Recently, we surveyed hotel and B&B owners and asked them what they did before they took the leap into the world of running their own accommodation business. The results showed that the majority of people starting their own B&B or hotel had NOT worked in the hospitality industry before deciding to jump in head first with their own venture. If fact an incredible 76% of people we surveyed had no hospitality experience.

However, hospitality was still the biggest single sector. 24% of respondents have worked in hospitality before opening their own B&B, more than the next two segments (Sales and Marketing and Education) put together. Many respondents told us their roles in travel, pubs and restaurants has led to a natural progression into running their own business.

Lee from Pannett House told us “I have always been in the hospitality industry and I wanted to be my own boss”

And Poppy from Bathurst Arms said “I worked in hospitality while I was completing an engineering degree and I realised just how much more I enjoyed chatting to people rather than designing an engine!”

While Joanna from Milton House B&B explained “I love looking after people which is why I have always had people-focused careers like a holiday village manager, hotelier, coffee shop owner, tea room and deli owner and now I own a bed and breakfast”

So what were the other top 8 industries that B&B owners worked in before?

  1. Hospitality and events
  2. Education
  3. Sales and marketing
  4. Accountancy, banking and finance
  5. Healthcare
  6. Office work
  7. Public service
  8. Engineering


With so much diverse experience we asked some of our customers how their previous roles have helped them to run their business:

Karen from O’neill holiday Homes worked as a radiographer in a hospital said “I worked with people every day, meeting and greeting them and it was so rewarding and interesting. I enjoyed making them feel comfortable about being in the hospital environment. You might say we have brief encounters but they appreciated a bit of empathy and I enjoyed sharing conversation with so many interesting people. This work definitely complimented my entry into the services sector.”

Jean from Northlees Farm who took a leap from teaching to the independent accommodation sector said ‘In the teaching profession you are dealing with such a variety of people on a daily basis. The ability to communicate is so important and to put people at ease, also meeting daily deadlines and being organised is very helpful. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to change at the drop of a hat!”

Lynn from Castle Farmhouse B&B told us how a career in marketing has allowed her to “understand customers’ expectations and continually looking to exceed these by the facilities and service provided is key to receiving 5* reviews. The quality and quantity of reviews has a direct impact on the volume of reservations.”

Janet who owns Arendale Hotel was an accountant previously and she told us “I believe that my experience in the accountancy profession which I work in for 25 years taught me how to deal with the financial side of our business. Never to spend more than is available. How to deal with customers when collecting income.  Also the ability to prepare our accounts saving money in the long run.”

So it seems that the majority of people, even if they didn’t work in the hospitality trade beforehand, were drawn to it because of their love of meeting new people and looking after them. In fact in the same survey 59% of people said meeting new people was the best part of their job. So it would appear that meeting new and interesting people was the driving force and a natural progression into the accommodation business.

And we get it, so many customers tell us that the job is a lifestyle and that they were born to do it. And you do it exceptionally well, which is why more and more people opt to stay with independent businesses over the larger hotel chains.

What you did before B&B PDF V3

No matter what path you took into the accommodation business, eviivo suite, the original ALL-in-ONE booking suite can help you to run your business your way. We connect you to all the leading travel websites, allowing you to manage ALL bookings from one leading-class diary. With one click you can update your content, your rates and your policies, so you’re always 100% in control. We can even give you a FREE website that is google-friendly and mobile-friendly and ready to take bookings online!