Sometimes we buy property because it would make both a beautiful home and business. If you have a sizeable property, you might be tempted to become a venue for certain events. From weddings to corporate events, there are a host of reasons why you might want to hire out part of your home. Here are some of the things you should think about if you want to do so.
The first thing you always need to do in this situation is to make sure that you are properly insured. Standard business insurance might not cover you, and neither will a standard home insurance policy. You need to make sure that you have a good mix of the two, and it might even require negotiation with an insurance broker to come up with a policy that properly works for you.
You should not even think about operating the business until you are certain that it is fully insured. Doing so could result in you ending up with a big problem that cannot be fixed except entirely out of your own pocket. Business insurance is also needed to protect you from being liable to anything that might happen to your guests. You need to make sure that all aspects of the business are well-protected here long before you even think about accepting that first booking.
Where are the toilets that your guests are going to use? You need to make sure that you have a set of public toilets for them to use. It is likely that a small cloakroom-sized toilet will end up with a massive queue of people waiting to use it. Instead, you need to make sure that you dedicate plenty of room to creating clean, hygienic restrooms for your guests.
Depending on where your event space is, this might be in another outbuilding. For example, if you host weddings in a converted barn or marquee, you might have to purpose-build a toilet block to adequately serve them. Likewise, for really big events it might be wise to hire extra portable toilets from a company like Hall’s Septic Services who supply units specifically for events such as weddings and gatherings which your guests would feel comfortable using. You don’t want to end up with guests who need the toilet but are unable to get in one because they are full. They might end up trying to get into somewhere they are not supposed to be, or they may decide to relieve themselves elsewhere on your property. Neither is a good result, but it is easily avoided with enough toilets.
Large-scale events often have some sort of catering attached to them. Whether it is a wedding breakfast or a final dinner to tie a corporate retreat together, you need to provide facilities to help make things happen.
Now, this does not necessarily mean that you have to provide the food too. You can choose to offer catering for an extra cost if you want to. However, this will require a lot of work on your part – and potentially some extra permanent members of staff. You might prefer to instead just offer a fully equipped chef’s kitchen. This would allow people to bring in their own caterers and give them a top-quality environment to work in.
For that added bonus, consider throwing in something unusual like a barbeque or a pizza oven. The more options you can give both caterers and guests, the more everyone will be happy.
This is not just your business; it is your home. As a result, you need to be able to close off certain areas to members of the public and keep them to the event space. No-one wants to discover a guest sneaking into your private quarters to use your own bathroom or raid your personal pantry.
Remember that more determined guests might ignore a simple “Private” sign. While these are great for areas where lots of staff might go, like a chef’s kitchen or a cupboard with the lighting outlets for a marquee, there are some areas that no-one but you or your family should be able to get into. For these, it is a good idea to throw in some form of access control. Using either a coded lock or some other form of keyless entry, you can separate your living spaces from those that the public can get into. If you are trying to raise a family while running the business, this is a fantastic move for giving your children a private space.
Having an area that functions as both a business and a home is not impossible. It might just require some extra thought beyond what you would usually afford at a typical business. Make sure the above points are in place, and you will hopefully have a thriving events space that has a constantly booked out calendar.
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