Achieving and sustaining growth is an ongoing challenge for many independent hotels. Consumer preferences and industry trends constantly evolve, so hoteliers must work to stay appealing to guests and ahead of competitors. However, as many operators experience, hard work alone doesn’t always produce the desired results. Sometimes independent hoteliers must make strategic investments to drive their business forward.
We’re just weeks away from the start of 2016, so now’s the time for independent hotel operators to set goals and think about how they can improve their properties. Here are a few ideas we believe hoteliers should consider:
Give your hotel a makeover
We know hotel renovations are costly and cumbersome, but with more of the booking process shifting online, a hotel’s visual appearance matters more than ever. Travelers comb through dozens of online travel agencies (OTAs) to compare rates, reviews and photos, so hotels may only have one opportunity to capture their attention. Hotels in need of repairs, renovations and upgrades should avoid putting them off any longer and create a plan to address the updates needed to remain competitive.
If project needs are too large or expensive to complete at once, layout a phased approach that allows for gradual improvements. Regardless of the reasons why improvements weren’t made in the past, independent hoteliers should commit to finding a way to complete them now.
Inspire your team members
Many independent hotels operate with a “lean and mean” team of employees who multi-task and pitch-in whenever and wherever needed. While on-the-job training is the norm at most independent hotels, operators who want to raise their level of service should look to enhance their team members’ professional expertise with specialized training for hospitality professionals. Whether on-site or online, independent hotel operators should look for programs that provide training geared toward maximizing the potential of hotel employees across various functional areas. Investing in employee training will not only benefit hotels and its guests, it will inspire team members to continue improving and advancing within their careers.
Invest in your operations
An independent hotel’s operations define its identity, so committing resources toward increasing productivity, achieving cost and time savings and improving the daily experience for guests and team members will have a positive, lasting effect. Investing in a hotel property management system (PMS) is an ideal way to centralize essential functions, including front desk, back office, marketing and sales, revenue management and housekeeping, into one fully integrated system. One out of four hoteliers who are in the market for a hotel PMS are still using pen and paper to manage their property. In addition to being inefficient, manual systems put hotels and their guests at high risk. All it takes is one cup of spilled coffee or a misplaced batch of reservations to create serious problems.
As a trusted partner of hundreds of independent hotels across North America, innRoad’s cloud-based hotel property management software is the industry’s leading solution for optimizing hotel performance. Contact our sales team today to learn more about improving your independent hotel operations in 2016.