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Starting a hotel is much more than just knowing how to start a hotel business!
Hotel owners need the mindset of an entrepreneur and a natural desire to serve.
This is because you also need an understanding of customer service in the hospitality industry, which is equally important.
The hotel industry has experienced significant growth in the past ten years, with more people traveling for leisure and business, both domestically and internationally.
In this era, it is more than important for upstart hoteliers to be diligent and strategic when launching their entrepreneurial journeys. Thus, taking concrete steps to plan the best approach to starting a hotel business is crucial.
Whether it is using the right Hotel Management Software, POS system, or Invoicing software, you need to be strategic while selecting the right tools for your business! Planning carefully, being strategic, and empowering your operation with the right technology can turn your hotel business idea from dream to reality.
Here, we have developed a high-level guide to getting started with a hotel business that can help mitigate risks in today’s hyper-competitive market. With this guide, it’s easier to turn the dream of opening a new hotel business into a reality.
Discover How to Start a Hotel Business
Opening and running a hotel can be a rewarding and profitable business decision. But it can also be challenging due to constant calls, guest demands, and constant housekeeping and maintenance tasks. These challenges can be resolved easily if you have made plans and strategized how to open a hotel business properly.
So, if you are wondering how to start a hotel business or how to open a hotel, here are some expert business tips:
1. Decide Whether to Build or Buy
Before you finalize any other part of your hotel setup, you must decide if you want to build or buy the hotel building. Be realistic about the timeline and cost of both processes. Whether you design and build the building from the ground up or just buy a constructed property directly, it will be a significant decision.
- Building the property will allow you to plan and design the entire building according to your requirements. You can choose the designs, quality, and materials used and also look for areas to save on the budget in this process.
- On the other hand, it is a relatively simpler process for the hotel owner to buy an existing hotel or a building to be renovated into a hotel. Make sure to check for sales in your desired area and inspect the property well before
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2. Establish a Solid Plan for Your Hotel Business
For a successful hotel business, you must have proper planning before taking on administrative responsibilities. With a functional mission and vision, a business is bound to succeed in the long term.
Here are some points to keep in mind:
- You need to note down your goals, business needs, and strategies required to achieve these goals.
- Make a list of services to be offered, operational structures, staffing requirements, restaurant facilities, etc.
3. Find a Market Need
Before investing in a hotel, conduct thorough market research to understand the uniqueness of the location.
Look for profitable and in-demand areas, study growing hotels and their customer base, and consider the most popular pricing in your area. This will help you make informed decisions about your hotel’s future.
While you select the size and features of your hotel, you need to make sure they align with the area in which your hotel is located. On the contrary, you can also look for the ideal location for the hotel setup that you are interested in.
4. Strategize and Project Your Finances
Considering the costs, returns, and competition in today’s market, a well-researched pricing strategy is crucial when opening a hotel business.
Starting a hotel business can also involve securing external funding through loans, grants, or institutional and private investments.
As this is a very costly venture, you need to plan ahead of time to open a successful business. This can cover costs like purchasing or constructing the hotel, refurbishing the interior, hiring staff, and installing necessary technology.
The hotel’s investment requirements, funding sources, financial goals, projections, and strategies should be clearly defined. You need to list down the conditions of startup costs, operating costs, revenue, cash flow, and profitability, providing a roadmap for financial performance.
5. Complete the Paperwork: Registrations, Permits, and Licenses
Starting a hotel is challenging, as it also involves a lot of paperwork.
You must go through every inspection and registration and gain the required permits beforehand.
Some of the required applications for permits and licenses are:
- Business registration
- Trademark applications
- Operations permits
- Tax registration
- Health and safety compliance forms
- Insurance coverage
- Employment documentation.
It’s crucial to have all necessary licenses and permits before opening a hotel business, including alcohol, entertainment, television, weddings, and outdoor seating permits. For your hotel restaurant, you also need to comply with the food standards regulations, health and safety laws, and employment laws and ensure all necessary insurance is in place.
6. Source Hotel Equipment, Decor, and Suppliers
Choosing the right furnishings, fixtures, and equipment for your property is crucial for a successful business.
While building necessities include appointing guestrooms, public areas, and back-of-house areas, you need a lot more than this.
Furnishing your hotel is an important feat. You can choose to purchase new, have it custom-built, or source second-hand. If you’re buying an existing hotel, consider refurbishing or replacing items. Choosing a good supplier can save costs and ensure quality and efficiency.
7. Hire and Train Your Hotel Team
Before you finally inaugurate your hotel, it is crucial to build an operating team.
First impressions are crucial, so ensuring the team fits with the business culture and values and properly training staff to achieve the highest quality standards is essential. Recruiting and retaining the right staff is vital in any industry, especially in the hotel industry, as they will regularly contact customers.
Create a template and determine your intended culture to create the desired organizational culture.
Starting with the management team, including hotel managers, financial controllers, human resources managers, and other roles, your business can only operate smoothly with them.
Closer to the opening date, hire and train staff for various departments on the property, including front desk, guest services, housekeeping, kitchen, banquets, administration, and other services. These positions typically require mid-level experience and are eager to learn and grow with the property.
If you have yet to hire staff, seek expert advice. Many businesses start by recruiting from the top down, securing excellent hotel management and other higher-level staff, and allowing them to oversee recruitment, onboarding, and training across their various hotel departments.
8. Use Technology and Tools
The hotel industry relies heavily on technology and tools for efficient operations, enhanced guest experiences, and streamlined financial management.
Point of Sale (POS) and invoicing software are two key components that play a significant role in the hotel business.
Some features of the POS software include:
- POS systems streamline order-taking, inventory management, and payment processing, reducing errors and enhancing service efficiency.
- It supports various payment methods, such as credit cards, mobile payments, and contactless transactions, offering flexibility for guests. This makes billing at the reception smooth and easy.
- The integration of POS systems with other hotel management systems, such as property management systems and customer relationship management (CRM) software, ensures seamless data flow across different departments.
On the other hand, invoicing software like Moon Invoice is necessary for smooth business finances and managing invoices and overall cash flow. Here are some advantages of using an invoicing system for your hotel business:
- Moon Invoice automates the billing process for various hotel services, reducing errors and accelerating the billing cycle. You can also use a hotel invoice template to make custom invoices easily.
- It also allows customized invoices that reflect the hotel’s branding and contribute to its reputation.
- Integration with POS and PMS systems ensures accurate recording and reflection of transactions, reducing discrepancies.
- Moon Invoice can also help you generate detailed reports on sales, inventory usage, and customer preferences, which are valuable for making informed business decisions and optimizing operational processes.
- The payment tracking feature allows you to track payments, send reminders for overdue invoices, and offer multiple payment options to guests.
- Compliance with tax regulations and data security standards also protects the sensitive financial information of your clients and maintains guest trust.
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9. Start Marketing & Distribution Channels
A well-researched hotel business plan is very important for a hotel in the competitive and volatile hospitality sector. For your business marketing plan, you must cover key areas such as market research, location, marketing approach, and pricing.
To make profits in the long run, you need to figure out a marketing strategy early on, especially in the online market. Here are some tips:
- Start by creating a responsive hotel website with clear information and an easy-to-use booking system.
- Make sure to establish a presence on major third-party sites like Booking.com, Expedia.com, and Hotels.com, and create an engaging, accurate, and appealing hotel profile on social media platforms. This will help attract travelers and ensure the hotel’s online presence is effective and relevant.
- Don’t forget to leverage social media channels to promote the services and luxuries provided by your hotel.
10. Launch Your Hotel with a Grand Opening
After putting in the effort, it’s crucial to announce your launch by hosting a grand opening party.
This event can help build relationships with investors, suppliers, and locals, cementing your place in the community. Guests can tour your facilities, try your delicious food, and use the event for social media content. You can also use this launch event to invite guests who will easily build your brand’s reputation.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Hotel?
The average cost of building a hotel depends on various factors such as location, style, size, and scope. The development cost also depends on labor and materials costs, financing, and the demand for qualified professionals.
- After construction, the investor must consider opening and running the hotel, which can cost up to 90% of the revenue. Operating expenses typically amount to 90% of the property’s revenue.
- The average cost ranges from $13 to $32 million in US Dollars, but these costs are often easier to compare when broken down.
How Big is the Hotel Market?
The hotel business is a profitable one, and it is expected to grow even more.
According to research from Statistics, the hotel market will be valued at USD 898.56 Billion in 2022 and at 1.21 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023.
It is projected to reach a record valuation of 1663.82 Billion by 2029, with a projected CAGR of 9.2%.
Starting a hotel business requires a combination of sales and revenue generation. You can cover all expenses and generate additional revenue by running a hotel business smoothly.
By incorporating robust POS and invoicing software, hotel businesses can enhance efficiency, improve guest satisfaction, and ensure accurate financial management, creating a seamless and technology-driven environment that meets the evolving needs of both guests and staff.
Hope this blog has answered all your questions on how to start a hotel business.
This process is complex and not for the faint of heart. However, it’s worth the effort if you have a passion for hospitality.