5 Things that you should be doing now to position your hotel for success after lockdown
Whether you have already opened your doors or waiting for lockdown restrictions to lift, there are a few things that should be done to set up your business for post-lockdown success.
5 min read
The first and most important item on the agenda is to evaluate. Assess everything.
Reducing costs, market positioning and visibility, efficiency of rates distribution, to hold/increase or discount rates, updated staff training, required COVID-19 regulations and hotel policies, sales, and marketing plans. These are all important questions to ask and when this process is done with objectivity will make a significant difference in your recovery.
Hotels operate with a high focus on cost cutting but it is important to revisit this topic regularly and with interest. With cashflow shortages it is important to cut costs quickly – do not delay. Categorize costs into groups of necessities and indulgences. Working through them line by line identify which costs can be cut permanently, suspended temporarily and those that are essential. Essential costs are items that will either effect your operation negatively if not available or which will have a significant impact on your guest experience.
- Market positioning
Understand consumer behavior when considering market positioning. Product perception versus desired target market. Are these two groups aligned? It is equally important to identify competitors and how they are positioned relative to your business and then, to identify opportunities in the marketplace. Focus on your strengths and uniqueness and how it can be used exploit these opportunities.
- Rates distribution
With the technological advancement, rates distribution is made easy with GDS, Meta Search Engines, Websites and Online Travel agents. All confirmed bookings from these channels are commissionable. Consider these fees as marketing costs. The overwhelming benefit of these channels is that your brand can reach markets that it would ordinarily, with your own marketing budget, not have reached. A clear return on investment, as fees are only charged on confirmed bookings. In turn your market reach improves and if you are eager to have rate parity across these platforms trust and confidence in your product is boosted.
Discounts cannot be used to stimulate demand in an environment rife with consumer fears and travel restrictions. Rather than lowering rates, our approach is to focus on safety, security, value, and comfort along with the unique selling points of the property. Although there is a place for discounted rates, it is good to use promotions from time to time, we need to avoid coaching our guests that our product and services are valued at a lower price point. When discounts are used it needs to be for a fixed period for a specific offer. Discounts assist in the short term to fill hotel beds (at a smaller margin). However, it also makes the future recovery of REVPAR much more difficult.
- Policy Changes and Staff Training
Comprehensive protocols and procedures with best practices during this epidemic are readily available. Review your current procedures along with these best practices to ensure that your workplace is a safe environment for both your staff and guests. All measures may not be applicable to your unique situation however, adopting measures and doing your part in stopping the spread is imperative.
Staying motivated with a stop-start outlook is difficult. Yet, proactively preparing for the re-opening of your business will reap results. Let’s Africa Hospitality and Events has the expertise needed to kick start your recovery. Much hard work and strategic planning is required to get on the recovery path. The team at Let’s Africa is dedicated and focused. We understand that each hotel has unique challenges and hurdles to overcome. We are focused, experienced, professional, and innovative. Let’s help you navigate the road to success.