Like any small business, it takes determination, goals, and prioritization to make a hotel thrive. While some understand the basics of hotel management, others may not. For those who need a guide on how to open a successful hotel, read below. These tips will help you open and operate a successful hotel in a tourist town, coastal destination, or city environment.
Create a Business Plan
The business plan is the foundation of your business. It is the core concept by which you plan to organize, review, and analyze different markets, locations, metrics, and other essential components of your business’s success. It is also your pitch to investors, as it shows the research you’ve put into your plan. Often, this means writing an executive summary, company analysis, industry analysis, customer analysis, marketing, and operations plan, and financial assessment. An executive summary provides a clear overview of your hotel business plan. It’s the section investors, lenders, realtors, and other necessary figureheads read to see your qualifications. A company analysis shows the stage your hotel is in today and what sets it apart from the competition. The industry analysis assesses the current state of the hotel and hospitality industry and how your hotel can be successful within it. Similarly, the customer analysis, competitive analysis, and marketing plan show the target market and the competition’s roles in your hotel’s operation. Operations plans, management team, and financial assessment summarize your daily, quarterly, and annual operational goals; the team you will need to reach them, and the costs and profits you’ll spend and earn along the way.
Capitalize Your Primary Market
Once you’ve created a business plan and shown it to investors, it’s time to capitalize on your primary target market, so figure out who that is. You might position your hotel on the beachfront of a coastal town, within a historical area, or adjacent to an airport that caters to business travelers. Regardless, by considering your target markets in your location, you can cater services to those who are likely to stay at your establishment. These services could range from your amenities to food and beverage. Knowing your primary target customers also helps when you’re considering hotel literature to place in guests’ rooms or front desk recommendations for travelers.
Determine Which Amenities You’ll Offer
Many hotels offer extra services to enhance their guests’ experiences. Customers typically look forward to these amenities to feel more at home and comfortable, so consider what services will put your patrons more at ease. Restaurants, fitness facilities, bars, and swimming pools are common services for vacationers. While it might come at an extra financial cost, these amenities prove to be popular options that lead to positive customer reviews.
Hire a Well-Balanced Team
Your staff should be prepared for the tasks at hand, also. To accommodate large concentrations of people at any given time, you’ll need a well-balanced team. First, start with your finances. Hire an accountant to manage staffing, utilities, rent, taxes, and equipment. You’ll feel more at ease knowing someone is keeping a close eye on the bottom line. Then, focus on your front-of-the-house staff, such as desk clerks, managers, and valets. Don’t forget everyday staff, too, like restaurant staff, bartenders, pool attendants, housekeepers, maintenance staff, lawyers, and HR representatives. This will cover all your bases and ensure quality, skilled staff.
Use the Best Technology
Without a doubt, you should implement new technology into your hotel for fast and efficient processes. Whether it’s eco-friendly technology or smart technology, there are a wide variety of options to choose from. For starters, use a highly reputable POS system. Some front-of-the-house POS systems come with complete functionality to manage rooms, inventory, and accounting, and they’ll integrate with other processing hardware, such as those in your restaurant or gift shop. Other great technologies to include are dimmer switches for room lights, smart thermostats to reduce energy consumption, and keyless room keys via a smartphone application. These all make a customer’s stay more convenient and adds to their experience.
Set Your Prices and Cut Expenses
Naturally, you need to set rates and for your rooms. This will determine your profit margins and can depend on various factors, such as competition, operating costs, and season. You want your prices to reflect reasonable rates that compare to your competitors. These prices should be low enough to attract customers but high enough to turn a profit against your operating costs. Likewise, the season affects these prices, too. A busy season may inspire you to raise prices to keep up with demand. Alternatively, slow seasons may force you to lower rates to attract more customers.
Market Your Hotel
To open a successful hotel, you need to market it, and in today’s business world, that means marketing online. Consider how a website, organic and paid search rankings and online reviews could benefit your business. If your domain authority is high enough, search engines will show your website over competitors, and high search rankings increase online traffic to your site. You could market on travel sites to further increase your market outreach. Also, positive reviews will likely drive more traffic to your hotel as more people read those positive remarks. Still, don’t forget physical marketing strategies, too. Television, radio, and newspaper media advertisement still draw more people to your business.
Partner with Local Businesses and Offer Incentives
Nonetheless, it’s still important to establish a positive reputation within your target location. That’s why you should partner with local businesses and other community organizations. Particularly in tourist destinations where local attractions drive business, partnering with the curators of these attractions will gain your hotel valuable exposure. In return, market these attractions at your front desk. Ultimately, this creates a cycle of reciprocity in which each party benefits from each other. You could also sponsor local youth organizations or sports teams to show your communal outreach.
With that, to find the best POS system for hotel management, check out our legacy systems. Thanks to an integrated credit card processing system, it’s clear why our complete hotel and property management POS systems excel over that of our competition. You can manage guests, loyalty programs, and gift card processing, and integrate with retail and restaurant systems all from one back-of-the-house terminal. Don’t be afraid to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We’re happy to help make our legacy POS systems work for your business.