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The hospitality sector is a highly competitive one. In most parts of the world, demand is growing. But so are overheads and the level of competition. So, it is not surprising that 80% of hotels, bars, restaurants, cafés, and other hospitality businesses fold before their fifth anniversary.
Founders must stay on top of their marketing and grow their businesses as quickly as possible. Doing that keeps cash flowing, improves customer loyalty, and enables the owner to build resilience by moving into new markets.
Marketing is not only about online platforms
Any hospitality business needs to have an online presence. Suppose a hotel does not have a properly optimized Google Business Profile when someone types in something like “hotel near XYZ city” they will not appear very high in the results. Social media presence is also essential. It is a great way of staying in touch and turning people into return customers.
There is no doubt that online marketing is vital, but hospitality founder business owners have to reach out to their customers offline too. Doing that is what the rest of this article is all about.
Tap into the power and reach of digital signage
Top of the list has to be using digital signage. Screens can be deployed virtually anywhere and what is being displayed on them can be changed very quickly and very easily. This makes it easy for a hotel owner or restaurant to change the offers they show to fit in best with the demographics of the people seeing the digital signage. For example, if a hotel is booking a coach load of pensioners, the screen behind the receptionist can display details of the hotel´s pension discounts. At the weekend, when it is mainly couples booking in for romantic weekends, a deal that encourages them to dine in the restaurant can be displayed instead.
Put together an effective loyalty scheme
For any fledgling business, running an attractive loyalty scheme brings many benefits. It makes it far more likely that customers will return and improves the chances of them telling their friends and family about their experience. Importantly, it also enables businesses to learn more about their clients. Valuable information that can be used to improve the business and make it even more attractive to customers.
Review and hone processes
Working efficiently is essential. New businesses tend not to be that efficient. Launches rarely go smoothly, so staff spend quite a bit of time firefighting. They come up with ways to get past issues, which is good, in the early days. The problem comes when those practices stick and turn into the processes that are followed on a day-to-day basis.
This is why new hospitality businesses need to pause and review their processes. Doing so helps them to improve how they work and uncover new opportunities.
Invest in training
The saying that people are the lifeblood of a business is especially true in the hospitality sector. How customers are treated has a big impact on whether they will come back again. So, it is especially important to invest in staff training to improve the way people are taken care of.
Studies show that training also improves retention rates. Given that staff turnover within the hospitality sector is around 70% annually this benefit is significant.
Growing a business that is operating in such a highly competitive industry is challenging, but it is possible. The fact that so many fledgling hospitality businesses don´t follow many of the above recommendations means that the few that do take the time to do so benefit significantly.