The following guest blog post was written by our friend, Mary, who discusses how a hotel can generate more bookings with an enhanced business plan.
Even if your hotel has the luxury of close proximity to a beach, mountains or tourist destinations, you could benefit from having fewer vacant rooms each evening. There’s no better time than now to be in the hotel business, with the American Hotel and Lodging Association reporting more than one billion guests stay in American hotels every year.
If you are going to get in on this action you need to ensure that your hotel stays in the black. You could be getting customers, but at what cost? One way to do this is to create a business plan. Having something to follow will help you to better draw customers to stay at your property.
Create An Executive Summary
An executive summary represents the brass tacks of a company’s business plan and can often seem simple. The US Small Business Association recommends that you write your executive summary last, but feature it at the beginning of your plan (2). Highlight the strengths of your property, such as its proximity to tourist destinations, and what goals you seek to achieve in the near future and the long-term. When you show this document to financiers, creditors, accountants, and all other professionals you rely upon, they should immediately have the capacity to either offer solutions to help or explain to you why and how you should change your company outlook.
The economy has, by and large, recovered from the recession and more and more people are willing to open up their pocketbooks to pay for vacations and lodging. The situation isn’t all wine and roses, however — the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the hiring of hospitality-related employees will slow to below the national average. Spend time in your business plan to examine strengths and weaknesses of the industry that your hotel can benefit from. How will your hotel overcome issues like seasonal fluctuation in numbers or too many customers for your staff to handle?
Do you know how many workers it take to strip every bed in your hotel or how many cooks you should hire for an in-house restaurant? Spare no detail documenting the number of workers you need during all times of the year and how much you can afford to pay them to remain competitive. You can utilize merchant services to calculate the numbers for payroll and tax deductions. Some services can accept payments via mobile, Web stores or QuickBooks. This ensures that your hotel stays in the black when calculating how much you owe Uncle Sam.
A five-star luxury resort can depend upon investment bankers, brain surgeons, CEOs, and oil tycoons to provide them with a steady stream of customers. Your hotel, however, may make the majority of its revenue from a very diverse customer base. The Small Business Accelerator suggests breaking down your plan into no less than seven steps, defining prospects, changes over time, ways to attract the competition’s customer base, and market niches to be exploited.
Mary Villaneuva has been a CPA for 15 years and shares her expertise on a number of websites.