Starting up a business in hospitality is a wise career path, because itís something that isnít going to be going away any time soon. Hospitality has existed for hundreds of years and itís something which humans are always going to seek out.
Though the word hospitality covers a pretty broad spectrum, it can be easily broken down into four major segments. Youíve got lodgings of course, perhaps the most important part which covers hotels, hostels and B&B.
Thereís also food and beverages (F&B) which includes restaurants, bars and takeout services, but also more specifically would cover the supply of food in hotels and other lodgings. Thereís travel and tourism which are services provided for those who are away from home.
And then of course, recreation. Weíre talking movie theaters, theme parks, swimming pools, golf courses and things like that. So if you want to start a business in hospitality, you do have a lot of different choices, but there are certain practices which are important in all facets of the industry.
Letís have a quick look at a few of them right now:
So letís assume that you are starting this business basically from scratch. You will need some money to start you off, but unless you have an awful lot saved, you have some generous investors or youíve taken out a huge loan, your budget is probably pretty tight.
This doesnít mean that your business has a significantly reduced chance of success, it just means that you need to be smart and careful in regards to your spending choices. Before you do anything else, you should really draw up a budget and make sure you stick to it.
First things first, the focus of your spending should all be to do with what your prospective customers will prioritize. Do some market research and find out which lodgings or restaurants are most popular and study their business.
Youíll likely discover that the popularity often stems from convenience and comfort more so than uniqueness, and so this is where you should be focusing your financial efforts. Itís also very difficult to run a hospitality business all by yourself.
You will need some employees, but you donít want to overspend on that. Try to keep the team small at the start, because you should be paying them fairly, which means you donít want too many.
Do a rigorous interview process to make sure that despite you team being small, you are paying for the best.
The success of your business is really reliant on your customers. And as much as itís important for you to cater to their needs, this is hospitality at the end of the day, and so the personal relationship between your company and your customers is also paramount.
Customers who are taking part in what the hospitality industry has to offer, are people who are on vacation or taking advantage of some leisure time. They want to relax and they want to be able to feel at ease.
Genuine human interactions will go a long way towards helping a customer feel like theyíre more at ease and that their needs and their desires are actually important to those that they are giving their money to.
So if you have waiters, bartenders, bellhops, staff of any kind who are going to be interacting with the customers, make sure that the importance of being friendly towards, and listening to customers is impressed upon them.
And with the customers in mind, you always want to be sure that safety is a priority for your business. Itís important not only for your reputation, but also just because you shouldnít want anyone to be put at risk by making avail of your services.
There are different things you need to think about in terms of safety, depending on what sector of the hospitality industry youíre a part of. If itís F&B, then you have to ensure that your food is always fresh, and that your restaurant staff understand how to cook food safely.
In terms of recreation there are all kinds of different things to think about especially if you are offering a physical activity. Swimming pools need to be cleaned, theme park rides need regular maintenance.†
If there is safety gear such as harnesses or helmets necessary, make sure you factor that into your budget and itís always replaced when it starts to wear down. For hotels and other lodgings, think about things like smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Also consider the strong possibility of pests. Rats, roaches, wasps, there is potential for all of these things and since you have paying customers in your lodgings, I would suggest always hiring a professional exterminator instead of trying to solve the problem yourself.
So to sum this up, the key to a successful hospitality business is, for the most part, how effectively you cater to your customers. The most important practices to keep in mind are all centered around that philosophy.†
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