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Managing Profitability in the Hospitality Industry

Posted by Jersey Towel Supply on 10/27/2014

In the wide world of business, there are few industries that require more managerial skills than operating a hotel, bed & breakfast or other hospitality enterprise. From marketing to customers outside your local area to providing highly legislated food services to managing a diverse set of employees, a hotel manager or owners needs to have a deep knowledge base in a wide range of esoteric disciplines. While a single blog post is far too limited to provide a comprehensive list of tips to help you in all aspects of your job, there are a few key areas that can be exploited in the interests of improving the profitability of your business.

Effective Marketing

Know and Target Your Primary Market: To borrow an oft-overused cliche', it can be hard sometimes to see the forest for the trees. But by spending some time getting to know who your primary customers are, you can tailor your marketing mechanisms to more accurately target the group or groups that comprise the majority of your paying customers. Are they families with children? If so, what are the local attractions or sites that these families are coming to see? Are they Single men and women on business trips? If so, what areas of industry do they belong to? What local businesses are they there to visit? In both cases, are there peaks and valleys during the calendar year where your market is most likely to visit?

Use Social Media and Promotions: Everyone loves a deal, and everyone likes to feel like they are part of a "special situation" like a promotion or contest. By offering up elements of your business that have a lower actual cost than the perceived value, you can increase the hype without overextending your budget. Partnering up with other local businesses for promotions can also help defray the costs. Social media, if handled in an organized fashion, is an extremely affordable way to reach an extremely high number of potential customers. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets to connect with your customers. Not only can social media help reinforce your brand, it can make customers feel closer to you, and therefore more likely to choose your establishment, rather than one of your competitors.

Keep Your Staff Motivated

A Happy Staff is a Productive Staff: Keeping your employees, from desk clerks to kitchen staff to the cleaning teams, highly motivated requires walking a fine line between being a nice guy and being a tyrant. Discipline is necessary, but too much browbeating or harsh treatment can turn an employee into a reluctant worker, and reluctant workers never perform anywhere near their maximum capabilities. Be kind, but don't be a pushover. Be disciplined, but stop shy of being unyielding.

Establish Standards in Performance: This can apply to virtually every task that every one of your employees performs. Let them know exactly how you want your bed linens folded, how many bath towels of which size in each bathroom, how much time it takes to clean a room, how much time it takes to set up the breakfast buffet. When your employees understand the standards that need to be met, they will find a comfort zone where they can perform satisfactorily.

These are just a few basic tips to remember that can help you get the most out of your business. By approaching each area with a logical and realistic perspective, you can quickly identify which areas are lacking and need to be improved, as well as which areas are strong and can be stretched, squeezed or otherwise capitalized on to improve your bottom line.
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