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Hotel Business Idea

Learning how to start a hotel can put you on the fast track to enjoying success in the hospitality industry. Starting a hotel is an enormous undertaking but with skill and determination, it can reap great rewards.

The hospitality industry is one of today’s fastest growing business sectors. With the right location, excellent customer service, and captivating accommodations, a hotel can thrive. Tourists, business people, vacationers, and other travelers all require a comfortable place to sleep, rest, and eat.

Understanding How to Start a Hotel

Experience in the hotel or lodging industry is a plus for those starting their own hotel business. Even with no experience, however, basing your business decisions on the fundamentals will help you succeed. Hospitality means “welcoming guests warmly and generously.” Every decision you make must be made with the comfort of the customer in mind.

Funding your hotel business is an important assignment. How much you require will depend on a variety of factors. Do you plan to buy an existing hotel? Will you construct a new building? Will you buy a franchise with a well-known chain or strike out on your own? Devise a solid business plan that outlines exactly how your hotel will be funded and seek financial backing, if needed.

A big part of learning how to start a hotel is finding the right location. Close to airports, shopping areas, public transportation, and restaurants is ideal. As important as the right location is, however, equally important is deciding which group of customers to target and building your hotel to meet the needs of that group.

Business travelers require a different type of accommodation than families. Thorough research of existing hotels will be required for you to determine which market is under-served and which demographic gives your hotel the best chance to do well.

Contact hotel suppliers for items like towels, bedding, furniture, cleaning supplies, and other necessities.

A hotel will require a number of certificates, licenses, and inspections. Work with your local City Hall and state agencies to completely understand your legal and licensing requirements for operating a hotel.

Finding Your Key Success Factors

As you learn how to start a hotel and begin to implement your plans, put yourself in the place of the customer. As a tired traveler looking for a place to rest, a smiling face and friendly service is more than appreciated. Every staff member you hire must possess excellent customer service skills and be empowered to assist customers even when you are not present. Satisfied customers may not thank you verbally, but they will come back and recommend your fine hotel to others.

Angry customers will often complain loudly to you and everyone else. Good or bad, word of mouth advertising holds a significant place in the hotel industry. Conduct customer service classes periodically to teach employees the best ways to deal with customers.

A unique atmosphere can make your hotel memorable. Victorian furnishings, modern decor, or using a theme makes your hotel stand out in the customer’s memory. Complimentary gifts or services are appreciated and remembered by hotel guests.

Targeted advertising is imperative. If you target the business traveler, advertise in business and trade journals. If you target family vacationers, advertise in newspapers and family oriented publications.

Online review sites have become increasingly popular and important to a hotel’s image. Make sure you check on feedback regularly. If there are negative comments you feel are unfounded, add your own comment to minimize the damage. Keep in mind, however, that these sites provide an important feedback mechanism. If you start noticing opportunistic trends with these reviews, take action and make the necessary improvements to your hotel or staff.

Success and Beyond

Hotels have the ability to serve many functions. Of primary concern is the overnight guest, but expanding services can bring in more profits. Below are a few ideas:

* Host banquets
* Host conventions or workshops
* Rent space for direct sales events
* Add a restaurant and bar

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