Just imagine the dream comes true and it’s the beginning of a new adventure. An adventure where you actually own your own hotel. We all know that there are certainly easier ways to earn a crust! Are you mad?
Every year a certain type of entrepreneur takes the plunge, dips a toe into the murky waters of hospitality and buys their own hotel. Many succeed but many do not, and that’s when a speciality hospitality consultancy like Victus can prove invaluable. Any opportunity for a shameless plug – let Victus help!
Some believe that running a hotel looks easy. It appears glamorous, rewarding, filled with new and interesting characters coming through your door each and every day. But many new hotel owners can quickly feel overwhelmed by the amount of legislation to fulfil, allergens to consider, licensing to apply for, staff to recruit, train and manage, invoices to keep on top of and time required to market your accommodation effectively to secure business.
We all know that sales are vanity and profit sanity. This is paramount when owning your own hotel. Bedrooms generate money and an empty bedroom does not generate income…fact! Understanding every financial consequence of every decision is the difference between success and failure.
As a consultant my advice is simple:
- Talk to others in the same field. Gather advice and opinion, look for information, research areas, population and audience. Hospitality is an open, friendly industry and others are usually happy to share
- Work versus home life is a topic that we spend much time pondering
- What is clean at home may not pass the EHO standards, and guest expectations are so high now that we have to push the bench
- Planned preventive maintenance is paramount
- The upkeep of your hotel should be addressed weekly. Have a plan in place for the quieter periods for refurb or decoration
- Time is king While you search for your perfect hotel, try to use this time to gain hands-on experience by working in one. Learn the trade, learn the policies and procedures, understand the business, the staff, the clientele. Use this time to read the trade press and see who is doing what, where and when and try and be part of this. Immerse yourself!
- Look at the longer term business plan and strategy. So, we now have the hotel – are we in talks about adding more rooms, which is vital as increasing occupancy goes straight to the bottom line
- Understand discounting in order to fill bums in beds without undermining your offering
- Understand the food and beverage margins and cost of sales
- Understand payroll and what percentages must be adhered to
- Will my restaurant be run in such a way that it looks independent of hotel guests?
- What is the marketing and sales plan?
All of the above is essential but every business, no matter what the industry, needs a team. We cannot do this alone. Staff are the most valuable asset to any organisation and they will help make or break your hotel. Keep the team in the loop, discuss menus, specials, customers, new products, wine lists, standards, policies and procedures in order to make the team part of the team.
If the team is highly motivated and engaged then they are the best people to be directly responsible for looking after your customers. By encouraging staff to give their opinion leads to better communication channels, better morale, a stronger working culture, happier customers and ultimately a more successful, profitable business.
Thinking of buying a B&B, guest house or hotel? Victus Consultancy can help! We can guide and support you through the recruitment and training process, advise on licensing and legislation, allergens and F&B, and help you create a business plan.