Revenues are down, or flat at best, and you're now looking for ways to cut expenses. For some reason, this is where the minds of hoteliers turn from driving profit to basic survival. Having been there, I understand how difficult it is to operate a hotel in times like this. Making those decisions, what to cut, what to keep, is one of the hardest parts of your job.
It's time to prioritize operational and marketing functions; you don't have to do everything, but you do have to do the right things. While prioritizing those functions, choose those which provide the best return-on-investment no matter what the cost. Shoot for the near-term and long-term results you will need to grow your ...view middle of the document...
Having already reduced corporate waste and having trimmed operating expenses, companies will return to a travel solution to grow their revenues. They can't function without it.
Some Change Is On The Horizon
Of course, only the foolish will continue to operate "normally" in a recession. Sharp operators will implement new marketing and operational strategies. Consider new co-promotional strategies to leverage relationships in your market. Create new value-based promotions and make new value-added deals with companies and groups. Connect with your transient business base with more one-to-one contact and personal service. In order to build business, you need to keep the business you get; just think about how much it cost to get that business in the first place.
Learn how to use TripAdvisor to solicit and retain business; consumer-generated comments have become a stalwart force in the hotel selection process. TripAdvisor even provides an RSS feed, which will automatically notify hoteliers when consumer comments are posted. Monitor good and bad comments; you can learn from them.
This is a good time to hone your skills in revenue management. Even in a recession, there will be business spikes, which will give sharp operators the opportunity to boost average rate and maximize occupancy. Don't leave money on the table. Average rate drives profit. Remember also that often your published rates define your product and service. Rates that are too low erode your superior presence in the marketplace.
Step-up your training efforts for all customer-contact hotel associates, especially sales. Climbing out of this economy will require good skills, practice, and knowledge. There is no longer any time to let people develop naturally and at their own pace. Many of these training programs are very affordable and don't rule-out Webinars and WebCasts.
The basics never change and they never fail. Don't even think about going...