Thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
I’m Karen and, in 2006, I set up my B&B courses to help people who wanted to know how to run a own B&B.
Why did I create B&B Academy?
When I set up my own B&B in 2004 I struggled to find the information I needed. I was scared of getting it wrong and of making mistakes; what if no one liked my B&B or wanted to stay? Today there is almost too much information out there. It can be overwhelming and how much of it is fake news? And these days we have customer reviews, where every guest has the potential to make or break your business and online travel agencies who charge large commissions.
I created the the B&B courses to be a shortcut to all of that information, to reduce the stress of starting up a B&B, minimise the chance of making expensive mistakes, provide prospective B&B owners the confidence to get started and giving you a better chance of getting it right first time.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way – some of them expensive ones, but despite that, my own B&B, Hopton House, has been very successful. It’s been rated 5 star gold and been featured in the Michelin, Good Hotel & Sawdays guides. Most importantly for me, over 60% of my guests choose to return year after year.
- The B&B courses will save you time by helping you identify the information you need to run a B&B.
- It will save you money by learning what has worked well for me, and other B&B owners, and by not repeating the mistakes we’ve made
- You’ll identify how to attract the guests you really want, minimising bad reviews and learning how to deal with the few you do get.
- You’ll learn best B&B practise and understand the reality of running a B&B and
- you’ll become part of an amazing community of friendly, supportive B&B owners who want to help you achieve your dream.
I run the B&B courses once a month and over the years have trained 100’s of prospective B&B owners. Many have gone on to run some amazing B&Bs. Take a look at the Testimonials Page
Occasionally someone will come on the course and decide it’s not the business for them.
I see that as a success too. It’s much better to make that decision after the course, rather than several years down the line after investing thousands of pounds and effort into the business that wasn’t right for you.
When you’re ready to start
- If you have any questions at all about the B&B courses please drop me an email
- Check the course dates that suit you best and book online. You can ring and book if you prefer. I’ll send you joining instructions with recommendations for where to stay for your weekend in Shropshire
- Attend the course, join the community and get ready to start your B&B journey
I set up Hopton House B&B near Ludlow in South Shropshire in July 2004. My family and I moved in in March 2004, then we spent a frantic 4 months turning our converted granary from a family home into a 2 bedroomed B&B.
Our first guest was the quality assessor! Despite burning the toast and forgetting her baked beans, she awarded us with 4 stars and a silver award, which was upgraded to a gold award a year later. In 2005 we won bronze in the Heart of England B&B of the year award and silver in the website of the year award category
In 2008 we were upgraded to 5 star gold. We have gone on to improve the B&B gradually over the years, and we are now very successful with great occupancy.
In my time I’ve been chair of the South Shropshire Farm Holidays Group and the Local to Ludlow B&B Owners Group, as well as being treasurer of the Craven Arms Business Network and on the South Shropshire Tourism Association Committee. I’ ve been an active member of WiRE and was one of their main speakers at their annual conference in 2006.
However, I also need to use my mind and love training people. As you can see I’m a natural networker and believe that we all benefit from collaborating and helping each other rather viewing other as competition. So the B&B courses are an excellent way for me to share what I’ve learnt – the mistakes as well as the successes, keep my brain in good order and to do things I love to do all from my own beautiful home.
Prior to moving to Shropshire, we lived in Surrey ( though I come from Wordsley in the Black Country originally ) and worked for British Airways. I worked in the IT department for 16 years, with my main focus being on coaching, training and facilitating others.
In 2001 we started visiting Shopshire on a regular basis till it got to a point when Shropshire had become home and Egham somewhere where we worked. That, combined with our daughter’s imminent move to Secondary School, made up our minds to leave the South and head to one of the most beautiful counties in England.
I love living in Shropshire. My daughter now lives and works in London, but we’re kept company by our lovely rescue dog, Saffy. I’m happiest taking long walks in the countryside, then coming back home to binge on Netflix with my knitting and a dog by my side!