As the year is almost drawing to a close, the struggle for hotel owners just begins. It’s time to analyze the minute details and make a plan for the hotel’s spending for the next year -2018. We can’t deny that large bunch of reports definitely make us cringe, but having a set plan will help to keep things stable for hoteliers.
So, it’s time to tackle one of the most important question for every hotel owner, “What should a hotel spend on in 2018?” What can hotel owners do differently to optimize revenue and increase profit? Let’s take a brief look.
Prioritize your Hotel’s Budget Plan:
Before you decide where your hotel spending must be diverted for 2018, ask yourself these questions.
- What’s your prime objective for the next year?
- What went right and what didn’t work for the current year?
- Are you looking to improve your brand presence?
- Do you want to acquire new properties?
- Is direct revenue your prime concern?
These and many such questions will help you plan better for a hotel’s budget.
The Year Ahead: Things hotel owners need to focus on in 2018
Automation, if you haven’t already
A hotel’s budget plan must include the implementation of technology. Often, small and mid-sized property owners are in constant debate about the use of property management systems (PMS) for their daily operations. The implementation of PMS is necessary irrespective the number of rooms or properties. Automation is the key and the way forward. Automating tasks such as reservations, daily audits, accounts, housekeeping, front desk operations and more helps improve staff efficiency leaving no room for errors. With information available at your fingertips, technology helps in bringing data together and interpretation of the same turns easy. Revenue management becomes a much simpler task once you have the right property management system in place. You can connect with multiple online travel agencies, boost your sales, and focus on guest satisfaction for the year 2018. Opt for a monthly plan for a cloud-based property management system – this keeps your data secure without bringing a heavy load on your hotel’s budget plan. These are every hotel owner’s best bet to streamline a hotel’s operations in the coming year.
The year 2017 has witnessed a surge in mobile bookings. Travelers use their smartphones to surf information online, discover and finalize best hotel deals on their device. Smartphones have seamlessly integrated into our lives. Hoteliers need to make the move and go mobile to increase revenue and profits subsequently. A responsive website is a must and your hotel’s budget plan must include the costs for one for the year 2018. A hotel’s website must be optimized for business generation, performance management, as well as customer engagement. You also need to keep websites updated frequently as these act as the face of your company, online. Save a user’s time, master the mobile device and you’ll surely witness the benefits of increased bookings. Responsive and fast-loading sites, local SEM, notification alerts, and more should be on your agenda for 2018.
Be aware about your business objective before you finalize your digital strategy. You need to look at your current as well as past performances before moving ahead. A hotel’s budgeting for 2018 must include plans to broaden your scope with a sound digital strategy in place. Be aware of current trends as well as those anticipated in the near future. There must be a focus on being present where your audiences are likely to interact with your brand online. A look at your current data will give a complete understanding on planning a roadmap for the new year. Analyzing your current year’s social media posts, emailers, blogs, event updates and other ways of engagement with users online should help you plan a budget to focus on different channels in 2018. Distribution of a marketing budget can be a tricky element as you’ll need to consider your revenue projections, online travel agency (OTA) commissions and involvement, digital strategy, and much more. Search Engine Optimization, content marketing (use unique content to rank higher), pay-per-click campaigns and other action plans must be in place. Focus on which areas are most likely to get you a higher return on investment and plan your hotel’s budget accordingly.
The surge in mobile bookings itself reveals the amount of time users spend on sites such as TripAdvisor and OTA platforms looking up information on a hotel’s reputation. Travelers often weigh their options on what previous guests have to say about a hotel property. You, as a hotel owner must understand the importance of online reviews as these have an influential power over the minds of readers. Your brand reputation has a huge impact on the revenue. Maintaining a team in place to manage your hotel’s business pages online should be on your list for 2018. You must also train your staff to look into guest issues and seek instant feedback. A majority of complaints can be handled before a guest checks out leaving no chance for negative reviews. Online reputation was one of the key areas to be focused on as per the recent WTM event held at London for the travel and hospitality industry.
Breaking through the enormous amounts of data can be a daunting task for most hoteliers. It’s important to understand how your data works and mine it correctly. The appropriate use of customer data is the key to make informed and improved decisions. Your revenue managers must be able to effectively implement and use the data reporting and analysis tools present in cloud-based property management systems. You can also work around innovative ways to combine this information and drive profits for your hotel property.
A hotel’s budgeting and forecasting may not always be accurate but can be worked upon by paying attention to the finer details. A hotel’s budget for the year 2018 should help hotel owners set new targets (e.g.: investment in sales resources or digital marketing). A hotel’s budget can also be flexible with a monthly forecasting and should be able to help display the expected situation in the coming months. Selling rates must be devised as per the budget with a short-term strategy to help you manage your calendar appropriately. A smart property management system will help you extract data to make sound decisions for a productive year.
Have you completed your hotel spending list yet? Do let us know.