The hospitality business is one of the most lucrative markets to be operating within and the opportunities are certainly extensive enough to keep even the most accomplished entrepreneur excited with their new business venture. It is an industry that is much broader than most others, but in simple terms, the industry itself has a focus on providing customer satisfaction by meeting leisurely requirements.
Whether you are the proud owner of a restaurant, hotel, country club or even an event planning business, you will have no doubt realised that it is not the easiest market to conquer.
It is important to remember that hospitality businesses rely on the disposable income of individuals, which is why it is essential to offer more than your competitors. Brand loyalty is at the forefront of any thriving hospitality business and without it, your small business will struggle to keep its doors open.
Nucleus Commercial Finance have included some pointers below on how you can improve your small hospitality business to keep up with the ever-growing demands of consumers.
1. Scope Out the Competition
If you want to improve your small hospitality business, the first point of call is of course to check out what your competitors are doing. In the words of Picasso: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”
So, what does this mean for you and your small business? Well, we are not suggesting that you copy what your competitors are doing entirely. But, measuring yourself against your competitors is a tried and tested way of keeping your standards in check with what others in your industry are providing.
Compare pricing, special offers and even the quality of your products. At the very least you should be aiming to match what your competitors are offering, but if you really want to dominate your market, even just locally, then you will need to provide your customers with something that your competitors cannot.
2. Deliver Training That Goes Above and Beyond Industry Standards
How can you expect to deliver an unforgettable experience at your hospitality business if you do not have the adequate staff needed to do so? If you are hiring a hospitality manager for your business, the first requirement on the list is that they are a jack of all trades.
But you need to make sure that all of the staff involved in your hospitality business are trained to the best possible standard. They need to be hardworking and eager to learn, but it is up to your business to recognise talent and help it grow.
Invest in superior training programmes so that your staff are better than those in other hospitality businesses. Remember, the hospitality industry is about pleasing customers in their leisure time and you are dependent on them spending their hard-earned money on enjoying what your business has to offer.
3. Find a Theme and Stick to It
A popular approach that is proven to work is using themes in your hospitality business. With so much choice out there for potential customers already, there is never a need for another broad chain business that appeals to absolutely everyone.
Niches that target particular demographics are usually best for small businesses. If you own a small restaurant, rather than offering everything from comforting pub food to Italian dishes, try focusing on just one type of cuisine.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, provide a truly authentic experience. For example, if you choose to open an Indian restaurant, decorate it in a way that brings the place to life. Customers are far more likely to return if you provide the perfect all-round service and whilst food is the most important component, if your restaurant does not make customers feel comfortable, it is likely they will look elsewhere.
Decorating your small restaurant business should not be out of reach, as there are numerous options available to SME owners. If you have been trading for at least 4 months and take card payments, a Business Cash Advance may be the perfect solution your small hospitality business needs. But what can you spend yours on?
4. Invest in Technological Advancements
Technology is constantly changing the way we live and as much as some hate it and want things to revert back to how they were previously, that does not look likely. Businesses need to keep updated and in the loop at all times, as the ones who fail to utilise the technology created to improve its efficiency are the ones that will ultimately fall behind.
Cloud-based POS systems, for example, is one way in which your small hospitality business can become far more efficient. Your business will operate in a much more time effective manner, which will free up some time to work on providing a high level of customer service as a result.
5. Give Your Customers the One Thing They Want, But Often Do Not Get
Speaking of technological advancements, none of it would happen without the internet. You might be wondering what the hidden secret to keeping a lot of your customers happy is – beyond providing the best product or service, of course. And it really is something that is incredibly simple…
Offer free wi-fi to all of your customers. The majority of people are glued to their phones for at least some part of the day and a large chunk of this time will be spent surfing the net. Your potential customers are also conscious of eating into their data plans and will gladly take any opportunity to access free wi-fi.
Your coffee shop might experience a more consistent flow of people through its doors if you offer free wi-fi inside. Better yet, you might catch the attention of the local freelancers who like to work away from home regularly. You can provide the wi-fi and coffee and your customers will provide the profit.
6. Focus on Improving Your Social Media Presence
Realistically, when it comes to hospitality, it is a numbers game entirely. If you have more customers flooding through your doors than your competitors, it means that you are leading the rat-race, but your small hospitality business will need to work hard to secure that top spot too.
You need to give your customers a reason to share their experience with your hospitality business. There are numerous opportunities available to small businesses. There are clubs that are famous for having a wall that guests take pictures in front of, and at Madame Tussauds, eager visitors can take pictures with famous faces and post them online with specific hashtags. Only you will know what will work best for your particular business, but it is worth spending a few hours looking into the options.
7. Get Your Accounts in Order
If you find the task of going through your accounts to ensure that everything adds up is more than just a little frustrating, why not invest in one of the many cloud accounting software’s available to SMEs.
If you use cloud-based accounting software, you will be able to have everything relating to your finances available at the click of a finger, anywhere, anytime. This is especially helpful if you own multiple businesses and are not always in the same location on a daily or even weekly basis.