Saturday 2nd December marks Small Business Saturday, now celebrating its 5th Year. To celebrate the spotlight shining nationally on small businesses, we have interview some of our accommodation providers here in the Shropshire Hills, to find out more about what it is like to run a hospitality business in the county. First up are Clare and Dave Wright from School House Bed & Breakfast.
How long have you been running your Bed & Breakfast?
After a major refurbishment of The School House we took our first guests in at the end of July 2016.
What made you decide to open your small business here in Shropshire?
We knew Shropshire was a beautiful county as we had previously enjoyed holidays here, particularly walking in the Shropshire Hills area.
We also knew it is an undiscovered county for many and we felt we could promote it as a tourist destination as it is easily accessible to a large number of people.
Describe School House B&B for us?
We are a three-bedroomed B&B with luxurious accommodation in the picturesque Shropshire Hills AONB, not far from Ludlow.
We provide guests with an environment that they can relax in with large rooms which have sofas and big comfy beds. The ground floor bedroom is a dog-friendly room. Our guests love our locally-sourced breakfasts and the little extras we provide, including the jelly babies.
What are the challenges in running a small hospitality business?
Having to perform many tasks that we didn’t in our previous lives. i.e be chef, house cleaner, property manager, marketing manager, finance manager etc. etc. We are very fortunate though in that we have received great support from organisations such as Buy-From and Shropshire Hills Tourism.
With all that you have achieved so far in your business, what are you most proud of?
Thus far almost all of the comments that have been left on review sites have been very complimentary to us and the service we offer. The favourable comments people make as they leave give us a great sense of pride in what we do.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting up their own Bed & Breakfast?
Know what market you are after and choose your location accordingly. Going on the Bed & Breakfast Academy course with Karen Thorne at Hopton House gave us an invaluable insight into what to expect and how to prepare for B&B life.
What are your plans for your School House B&B in the future?
We would like to continue to provide a relaxing and comfortable holiday environment for our guests and tempt more people to discover Shropshire as a great holiday destination.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
Above all we are working at something that we love doing, which puts a smile on people’s faces as they enjoy their holiday in Shropshire.
Interview by Louise Welsby of Buy-From Shropshire