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What if I told you I could walk you through three stages for reopening your hotel, resort, bed and breakfast and how to use them to get to the other side of this pandemic? Would you be interested?

I am going to do that right now.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Reopening Hotels, Resorts, Bed and Breakfasts Introduction

What I’m going to share are creative, low-cost strategies to help hospitality properties acquire and retain customers. These are designed by system analysts who tend to be obsessive, curious and analytical:

  • These system analysts focus solely on strategies related to growing the business.

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  • They hypothesize, prioritize and test innovative growth strategies.

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  • They analyze and test to see what’s working.

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  • The ideal system analyst knows how to set growth priorities, identify channels for customer acquisition, measure success, and scale growth.

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Each property is different and it’s about figuring out why you grow and looking for ways to make that happen on purpose.

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Reopening Hotels, Resorts, Bed and Breakfasts after COVID 19 | Ep. #249

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Defensive reactions

These are the immediate responses and adjustments you make for your business to survive. To slow down the bleeding and apply first aid. Aside from all the fiscal stuff your accountant should be telling you, by now you should have most of these in place.

Examples are; rate and distribution modifications, inventory arrangement to demand, channel leveraging, front desk training, adjustments to your operation, so on and so on.

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These items should by now be complete, or well on the way.

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Tactical response

These are medium-term, the here and now. Making the best of a bad situation. Looking for the tactical actions you can take to keep the cash flow alive.

Examples of what you can be doing right now include:

  • Adapting rates, conditions and finding new markets

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  • Looking at self-isolation packages

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  • Hosting medical staff

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  • Day rates for temporary offices

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  • Shift workers who can’t return home between shifts.

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  • Considering new partners, new distribution and new ways of thinking.

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This will be a constant ‘observe and act’ approach until the crisis subsides.

Every head in a bed counts right now, and you need to ensure you’re getting at least your fair market share.

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Apparent opportunities

Once you’ve taken care of the immediate and medium-term priorities, now start to think like an entrepreneur, long-term. Be more creative; be more thorough. Get onto that project, review that technology upgrade, expand your footprint, and develop that market.

You’ve likely never had so much time on your hands to work on your business, not in it. Much like a saying:

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“When race car driver cannot race, they work on their cars.”

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It’s time to work on your car. But better than that, it is time to think of new ways to win races. It’s time to optimize, time to recreate, time to re-imagine your business.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail about each of those ways to take advantage of opportunities.

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What do you need to do?

With so much information, both true and false, overloading our brains, many smaller owners and operators are struggling to find relevant information so they can put a return to operations plan in place that protects their guests and employees.

Paralysis by analysis is real, and now is not the time to fall victim to it.

The following are outlines of actions that you can take today to make the reopening process more manageable..

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Make sure it’s manageable

You don’t want to be overwhelmed. Divide your operations plan into its component parts making it manageable.

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Core job functions

Understanding the human resources you need and who will be responsible for what allows you to find and plan for gaps.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Property planning

You need to determine who will perform which task and where skills gaps exist, then the planning phase can begin. Here you should start to outline how your hospitality property will sell and occupy rooms / F&B spaces, and how guests and employees will interact.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Is this making sense so far? Let me know by leaving a comment

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Documentation

Documenting your plans for training and reference. The goal is to be able to provide effective training, ensure knowledge retention and create a system that is easy to reference when needed. In other words, updating your operations manual. Here, use the KISS formula (keep it simply simple). Find a balance between too much and not enough documented information.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Communication

Communication takes several forms and must be tailored to your audience. From your hospitality property, you could be sharing information with owners, managers, guests, vendors, employees or the general public. Each will want to know specific details about items that impact them.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Taking a logical, one step at a time approach to the planning and implementation of the process reduces the sense of being overwhelmed and emphasizes completing items before moving on to the next. This will allow you to feel organized and accomplished.

Not every hospitality property is the same so you have to look at these recommendations as a guide and should be adapted to your specific needs.

If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail about what you need to do.

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In Conclusion

What is the next step?

Set a short time period, three months, slow down and focus on what really matters.

There’s tremendous value in slowing down and dedicating the time to take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re going; providing clarity for you and everyone who relies on your direction.

Only after that can you put together a set of goals that will keep you and your team focused and prepared as soon as the “new normal” starts.

As your setting your goals, think back to some of your own experiences from the past year, talk with your employees and contact a few of your loyal guests to find out what they would make them comfortable at your property.

Look ahead and start thinking about new opportunities that are presenting themselves as a result of the new normal.

Prioritize and stay laser-focused.

An 80/20 analysis is valuable here. In other words, where can you focus 20% of the work you do to generate 80% of the benefit. There is no need to put tremendous time and energy in to a goal that won’t yield beneficial results so make sure you’re focusing on what matters and ignoring the rest.

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Goals should motivate you

They should be important to you, benefit your property and you should be able to not only articulate them but show genuine excitement if you’re sharing them with others.

Goals should have milestones attached to them so that you not only know you’re on track but so that you can celebrate the small victories along the way.

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Your goals should be in writing

Writing down a goal that makes it feel real and concrete. It imprints on your brain and is hard to shake. Use action words like “will”, “implement”, “demonstrate” or “solve” instead of non-committal words like “work on” or “would like”.

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Make an action plan

Document everything onto one sheet to get yourself focused.

 

Confirm opening or new property promotion date

If you’re ahead of the game and have been able to set a re-opening date, your focus is less on immediate damage limitation and more on generating demand and revenue for your hospitality property.

Here is the time you review your allocation strategy, making sure you’re spending marketing dollars where they’ll produce the most return, and get your message out to your ideal guests with alluring messages & attractive rates.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Directly before and after re-opening

When you’re close to re-opening your doors to guests, issues of safety and guest satisfaction will be high on the agenda along with generating last-minute demand and optimizing your rates.

This is where you need to be on top of things and making sure your key metrics are at least tracking towards their pre-COVID levels.

Guests may be travelling again, but this will not be travel as we currently know it – you’ll need to be alert to fast-moving changes in legislation and behaviour and be prepared to change course as a result.

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If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will have access to actionable workshops where I go into more detail with techniques you can use.

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Are you following steps to get ready for when guests start to return?

Let me know in the comments.

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You will have access to this episode for the next six weeks and then it’s locked in the vault for Hospitality Property School Group members only.

To see all the other valuable material you’d have access to as a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, check out the short video in the episode post-show notes.

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Reopening Hotels, Resorts, Bed and Breakfasts after COVID 19 | Ep. #249

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In the next episode, I will talk about what will guests expect post lockdown? 

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That’s it for today’s episode,

Until next time, have a fun day.

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Are you getting your weekly INNsider Tips? You can find the link in the show notes.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT:

https://keystonehpd.com/reopening-hotels-resorts-bed-and-breakfasts-after-covid-19-249

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