Starting any business in the city is a daunting task, but the prospect of opening a hotel in a city is even more challenging. This is largely because most cities are dominated by international hotel chains that have bought up huge tower blocks of hundreds of rooms. Trying to take on the giants with a small boutique hotel can seem like a futile task, but when done correctly, there is no reason why small hotels cannot carve out their own slice of the hospitality market. If you are considering opening a hotel in the middle of the city, here are four tips to keep in mind.
01. Differentiate your hotel experience
The city is full of large hotel chains with multimillion-dollar marketing budgets, and you should not be taking them on. Your hotel business is new, so it makes sense to take advantage of this newness and differentiate yourself. Rather than opening up yet another soulless tower block with hundreds of guests, why not try creating a luxury boutique hotel where your guests will be treated like individuals? With the right facilities, interior décor, and excellent customer service, you can create a memorable and unique experience for your guests. In order to ensure your customers get first-class service from start to finish, you should consider investing in a CRM for hotels.
02. Choose your location carefully
The location of your hotel is a crucial factor, as it needs to be near to the main attractions and amenities, or at least near to public transport connections. However, you also need to consider the environment and the kind of guests you want to attract. Businesspeople may want to be close to conference facilities, while couples may want restaurants, and families prefer local attractions or tourist spots. When you find potential premises, visit the area at different times of day, including at night when pubs and restaurants are shutting. This will give you a sense of the local environment and noise levels.
03. Identify your target customers
Hotels can attract guests of all types from all over the world, but you should be clear on your target customers from the beginning. Your marketing strategy, décor, pricing, and the facilities you offer will heavily influence your prospective customers. You should consider their age and how much disposable income they are likely to have. If you are targeting a luxury market, you need to ensure that your building, décor, facilities, food, and customer service levels meet this expectation. Consider how many rooms you will offer, as the more guests you can host the more income you can generate, but it also becomes harder to maintain a luxury experience.
04. Time your opening carefully
Obviously, the sooner the hotel opens its doors, the sooner you can start making money, but rushing to open is a recipe for disaster. Take your time to ensure all the necessary decoration and renovations are complete, that you have well-trained staff in place, and that your operating procedures are finalized. Ideally, you should be aiming to open at the start of your busy season, but whether this is summer or winter will depend on your location and local attractions. Choose an opening date and create a marketing campaign around it to build anticipation and interest.