The pandemic dealt the hospitality industry a significant blow, and while things are looking up for restaurants, hotels, and the like, there are still obstacles ahead as everyone slowly progresses back to their version of normal. Despite these hurdles, however, now is also proving to be an excellent time to launch a business.
Succeeding in the hospitality industry requires flexibility and the ability to pay attention to the finer details. Newcomers have to meet high standards, and even a minor slip-up can be a major setback; that includes not choosing the right property for your operation. FSR magazine notes that many factors go into finding the right location, including crime rates, foot traffic, parking, visibility, and, of course, affordability.
If you want to excel in hospitality, these are the four things you absolutely need to do.
Build Your Brand
Ask yourself: What do I offer that the competition lacks? The answer is your unique value proposition and it's the cornerstone of your hospitality business's brand. Your brand is arguably the most important aspect of your business. It doesn't matter how excellent your service is if you can't convince customers to walk through the door.
Good branding is cohesive and compelling. That means it speaks directly to the types of clientele you want to attract and does so in every facet of your business, from the name and logo to the customer experience itself. SiteMinder has sage branding advice for hotels, but the same tips apply to any corner of the hospitality industry.
Without a background in marketing, it's difficult to achieve truly great branding on your own. Whether for your personal brand or a new business venture, hiring an in-house marketing team or contracting with a hospitality-focused marketing agency yields better results. If you're on a strict budget, use ThriveHive's guide to decide what you can do yourself and what you're better off hiring out.
Also, look for ways to get customers to visit your website. This can include guest blogging, boosting your SEO, email marketing, and staying active on social media.
Manage Your Reputation
The hospitality industry is deeply interconnected. The odds that you'll end up working with someone in your professional network are high, so it's important that your industry colleagues think highly of you.
How you interact on the job is an important part of your professional reputation, but so is the way you present yourself outside of work. That's especially true for social media, which is increasingly used as a screening tool by employers, customers and everyone in between. As a hospitality pro, it's imperative that you avoid posting anything on social media that might reflect negatively on you or alienate customers and colleagues. That goes for both personal and business social media pages.
Anticipate Your Customers’ Needs
It's not enough to listen to your customers and respond to requests. If you want to excel in hospitality, you need to anticipate your customers' needs. Mindset matters too. Businesses with the best customer service aren't looking for the next opportunity to upsell and earn a dollar. Rather, they’re analyzing industry trends and looking for the next problem to solve so they can turn solutions into business opportunities.
Closely Manage Your Finances
It’s all too easy to become consumed with the day-to-day of your business and to let the accounting side fall off your radar. However, strict financial management is absolutely critical when it comes to the health of a business. This means setting up proper accounting processes from the beginning.
For up-to-date insight and strong organization, accounting software will be key. This software offers everything from payroll automation to inventory management to real-time reporting and more. You may even be able to take advantage of a mobile app, which allows you to track time, manage payroll, and even make scheduling changes.
Hospitality isn't an industry where you can skate by with minimum effort. If you want to thrive in hospitality, you have to deliver your best every day, on every platform. It's not easy, but if you do it right, you'll be rewarded with a fulfilling career unlike any other.
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Article written by Amy Collett (firstname.lastname@example.org )