Late December is the time of year when many independent hoteliers naturally begin to shift their attention toward the quickly approaching New Year. While planning for a successful start to the New Year is essential, it’s also important to reflect on the past 12 months and take stock in your hotel’s performance. Fully understanding why certain ups and downs occurred will better prepare you to navigate through whatever challenges you’ll face in 2016. We know that every independent hotelier defines success differently, so here are a few ways to answer the question, “was your independent hotel successful in 2015?”
Did you keep your promises?
Did you make any promises or resolutions to enhance your hotel operations at the beginning of 2015? Did you successfully follow through on all of them? Developing good business habits is a major part of operating a successful independent hotel and is one of the characteristics that separates good properties from the exceptional ones. By consistently setting goals, achieving and sustaining their results and then repeating this process year after year, hoteliers set expectations that guests come to appreciate and value during their stay. If you didn’t keep your promises, work to understand why you didn’t completely follow through and apply those learnings to your goal setting for 2016.
Numbers don’t lie
An independent hotel’s core performance metrics, such as Average Daily Rate (ADR), Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and occupancy, tell the truest story about how well a property is operating. Analyzing your 2015 metrics will help you identify various performance trends that developed over the past year. Here are a few scenarios to examine:
- As rates were adjusted, how was your occupancy impacted?
- Which months experienced the most and least amount of bookings? What circumstances drove this activity?
- What months did RevPAR reach its highest and lowest points? What factors accounted for this?
- Was profitability maintained as occupancy fluctuated throughout the year?
Taking a deep dive into your hotel’s prior year performance will help you identify your hotel’s strengths, as well as its opportunities for improvement. Most importantly, this analysis will provide you with a data-driven starting point for kicking off 2016.
Did you implement or launch anything new, such as a website, booking channels, social media campaigns, guest services or employee training program, in 2015? If so, now’s a great time to evaluate how it’s performing and decide if it should be continued in 2016. Independent hoteliers are constantly being pulled in multiple directions, so finding the time to evaluate new tools and programs is always a challenge. Before we move into the New Year, schedule time to survey your guests, speak with your team members and/or review digital analytics to determine if your latest addition(s) is enhancing your hotel’s operations or, unfortunately, adding an unnecessary expense to your balance sheet and taking away valuable time from your guests.