Starting a hospitality business is a great idea for anybody determined and passionate enough to do what it takes to make it in this competitive industry.
It is by no means an easy task, but if you can do it, you can stand to make a lot of money. It’s certainly a lucrative career choice.
Just like with any other business, you’re going to have to deal with competition, whether you’re starting a small hotel, restaurant, or bed and breakfast.
A careful business plan and great organisational skills will help you on the way to creating a business you can be proud of.
However, before you begin, you need to make sure that you have what it takes to make it in this industry. Read on for some tips, information and ideas that could help you.
Do As Much Research As Possible
First up: research. This might not be the most exciting part of start a hospitality business, but you need to know everything there is to know about starting a business like this.
You need to know exactly how you’re going to make your business stand out from the competitors already out there. Making sure you can differentiate yourself is a must.
If you’re thinking about opening a hotel, you’re going to need to look at hotels nearby and check out what they do and any reviews they have.
If they have negative reviews in the area you’re thinking of opening up in, you’ll want to make sure that your hotel has something that the other business just isn’t giving people.
Make sure you take a close look at what other businesses are doing successfully, too. By the end of your research you should know all of the strengths and weaknesses of businesses in the area, so you can be ahead of the game before you’ve even launched your hotel/bed and breakfast/restaurant – whatever it is you want to open!
Knowing How To Differentiate Your Business
It can be the little things that set your business apart from the rest of them out there. How about offering things like wine on tap in your restaurant, or personalised area guides left for guests in your bed and breakfast? Make sure you go above and beyond.
Knowing Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is key to launching a business that they are going to come to. Who do you want to market to, and what is your plan for marketing to them?
When you know exactly who they are and what they want, you will be able to create a personal experience for them and cater to them exactly as they want to be catered to.
Be as thoughtful as you can and personalise your audience’s experience as much as possible. The little touches will mean a lot to them in this business!
How Will You Make A Return On Your Investment?
When you begin running a business like this, you need to make sure you have a good ROI, otherwise all of the hard work you’ve put in won’t mean anything.
You need to know your numbers off by heart if this is going to be a good idea. First off, how will you get capital to start out? How much is it going to cost to start up, and then how much on a monthly basis?
How long will it be before you start making money? When you know the answers to these questions and more, you should have a good idea on how long it’ll take you to start making a return.
It’s important to work this out and put it in your business plan, too, as investors will want to see that they are going to get their money back and that they are giving it to somebody worthwhile.
Planning Your Management
Every hospitality business needs great management. This means having great organisational skills. What type of person do you need to put in charge? Usually, it’s best to find an experienced person to give this role too, rather than trying to do it yourself.
You’re also going to want to make sure you’ve assigned your staff out properly. A cleaner in charge of the rooms, a receptionist who will take bookings, etc.
Consider all of the staff members you’re going to need right from the off, and make sure you hire the right people first time round.
Don’t rush, and definitely don’t choose a person because you can pay them as little as possible. These people can make or break your business.
Should You Provide Free Wi-fi?
In the hospitality industry, one thing people want is free wi-fi. It doesn’t matter whether your business is small or large; guests will want that Wi-fi. People want to be connected 24/7.
People will even take this into account as a deciding factor when choosing the place they want to stay in. If you want to make sure you grow your client base, then you need to make sure you’re willing to do this.
It’s a standard expectation that you just can’t ignore. That is, unless you’re starting some kind of retreat where using technology is discouraged.
Ideally, you need to set up a system that is easy to manage, or you’ll have to look into hiring an IT team to help iron out kinks and keep things running as smoothly as possible.
Make sure you have a simple networking infrastructure, and that your internet is as secure as possible. This will protect the people who use your wifi.
Focusing on the customer is key in every single thing you do in hospitality. They are the most important group of people to your business. So user experience should be your number one concern. This goes for whether you’re designing your website or designing your bedrooms!
Do you think you have what it takes to start a hospitality business? Making the initial leap can be scary, but if you’re willing to put in the work, it could be one of the best things you ever do.