With travel just opening and International Travel still very much restrained, one sector of the accommodation industry that is feeling the strain are the Boutique Hotels, Guest Houses and B&Bs. With months of lockdown and zero revenues, these mostly privately owned and funded businesses, find themselves cash strapped. Not only has lockdown drained any available funds, but starting up an accommodation, after months of being mothballed, is a costly exercise.
Most owners in this sector has either come from outside the industry and invested their life savings in their property or they might have been running their own property with no knowledge about how other properties are run and operated. With limited specialists in the field with knowledge about how to help and very little information available on the net, owners are desperate.
If you are one of these operators, we have put together a few simple steps for you to consider.
Employ Multi Skilled Staff
With low occupancies and an all-time low room rates, it’s now more important than ever to be mind-full of your wage bill. Any investment made now needs to be made in multi skilled staff. The only way now to get your wage bill down is to employ staff that is able to wear multiple hats.
Recruit for attitude and train for skill
With longer hours and workloads getting more demanding, the attention should be on employee attitude. You should be recruiting staff with a willingness to work, learn and with scope for growth. Entry level staff also comes at a great price and they can be taught to fill multiple rolls on the property. This means they grow as the business grows and will result in better staff loyalty and retention.
Invest in training
The answer to future success is customer retention. Invest in training your staff, hone their skill set and offer guest the best memorable experience that will make them come back in the future, even when your rates increase. Review scores that set you apart from your competitor will eventually lead to you being able to increase your rates and therefor revenues.
Study Your Expenses
Knowing what you pay month on month for variable expenses and being able to control these will give you the extra cash you need. This means studying your expenses and knowing what your average expense per room is for amenities, cleaning, laundry etc. You can cut some basic set expenses to an extent, but you can control your variable expenses.
Invest in measures that create savings
Invest in energy saving by installing energy saving lights, movement activated sensors, low energy equipment. Also, water saving items like specialized taps, showerheads and water saving dishwashers and washing machines. This investment will pay off right now, but also in the future with another recession or drought. It will keep creating the saving over future months which will put money back in your pocket.
Many properties in the accommodation sector took too long to act when lockdown was announced and this has cost them dearly, for some it cost them everything. Don’t make the same mistake, act now and act swiftly to ensure that your property not only survive, but flourish post-lockdown.
If your hotel needs assistance in establishing a ongoing strategy to get through the next few months please contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation