In part 2 of our “Celebrating independents” blog series, we’ll examine some of the strategies independent hoteliers use to build their brands from scratch. As a hotel management software provider, we tout the importance of utilizing effective technology to manage a new hotel, but there’s much more required behind the scenes. For insight, we called on our partners Alli Baldwin and Ilene Mitnick, owners/operators of Roux, an award-winning, Provincetown, Massachusetts bed & breakfast opened in 2014, and asked them to share tips on how to successfully launch a new independent hotel brand.
Understand your purpose
“We knew we were genetically-wired to own and operate an inn… So we decided to host an on-going sleepover party for friends we’ve yet to meet.”
Operating an independent hotel is more personal than most business ventures. Guests trust hoteliers to keep them safe while helping to create memorable travel experiences, so expectations are always high. Many successful independent hoteliers are as passionate about providing great hospitality as they are about capturing profits – it’s an hotelier’s ongoing balancing act. So before launching a new independent hotel brand in this challenging but rewarding industry, it’s important to truly understand your purpose, both professional and personal, as it will serve as motivation for your long-term success.
Cultivate your hotel’s personality
“Our tagline is “The Art of Staying” because there is an art to vacationing and guests can design their experience here.”
Independent hotels are more than just a place for travelers to rest their heads – at times, they’re the centerpiece of the travel experience. A hotel’s personality is just as important as its comfort, so operators must think about how their brand looks, feels and speaks to travelers. Whether running an urban hotel, countryside B&B or roadside motel, hoteliers should focus on cultivating a unique personality that sets their property apart from competitors. With a strong brand personality, independent hotels can better position themselves to capture bookings online and enhance their reputation in their community.
Put down roots in your community
“We have been blown away by the power of the local community. Word of mouth started to spread quickly. Roux has become a remote “guest room” for many locals. All of this has resulted in building a winning reputation…”
Strong community relationships can provide independent hoteliers with the resources needed to sustain long-term success. In addition to delivering valuable bookings, establishing community ties helps hoteliers stay aware of local happenings that may impact their business, develop partnerships that can enhance the guest experience, unlock opportunities to capture more revenue and profits and build a lasting, glowing reputation. Local communities are known to support their own, so independent hotels should make it a priority to weave themselves into the tight-knit fabric of their neighborhood.