Hotel Cost Reduction: Refreshingly Simply Solutions That Work
By Lillian Connors, Senior Digital Marketing Strategist at Bizzmark
Saving money isn't easy in any business, especially through cutting back on expenses. The prospects seem even more discouraging in the hospitality industry, where the quality of service is directly related to customer satisfaction. While it's hard not to spend money, spending as a business is not that different from spending as an individual consumer of goods and services. From services that charge us more than they do, to supplies we can provide at a lower price, there are always ways to save money by cutting on costs.
Hire motivated instead of experienced
If you're confident in your training skills, hire inexperienced but ambitious people whenever you have an opening to fill. With the right attitude and good training, newbies can save you a lot of money when compared to people with a decade of experience. Invite recent graduates and welcome people with no experience who want to learn the hotel business. You will be helping them, as well, by helping them into the job despite their lack of experience. In addition, you'll benefit from having people who might provide a fresh perspective and think of better ways of doing things.
Cross-train your staff
Labour is accounted for about half of the hotel expenses, so if your cash count is low, instead of hiring more people, you may find ways to train your staff to cover more tasks. Cross-training the staff works especially great in independent and boutique hotels - you're giving them a chance to learn more skills they can use in the industry, but make sure you don't overload them with duties, as that will only demoralize them and make them less effective. For example, train your maintenance staff to help out at the front desk at peak times, while front desk people can help with social media marketing during downtimes.
Adjust your marketing channels
Even the most successful people in their business don't sometimes understand the marketing, often throwing money at campaigns without knowing if they're getting the return for the investment. Lower-cost methods, on the other hand, can make your customers aware of your existence by producing captivating content. Focus on Facebook and Instagram to show off your hotel among the target audience. Engage in conversations with people on social media. Other than the time invested, it's completely free, and from independent and boutique hotels, the word of mouth is often worth more than paid ads.
Find better deals on office supplies
Chances are that you've accepted the first offer from the vendor and now the contract is coming to an end. If you need to tighten your belt, you shouldn't hesitate to ask your stationery vendor to do the same, or look around for someone who might offer you a better deal. Certain online office supplies vendors, as Winc Australia, for instance, have a price-matching policy, where they adjust the price of any of the items their customers find cheaper elsewhere, and even shave off a further 10% difference. Vendors are more likely to negotiate lower prices with you than to find another regular customer.
Adopting sustainable business practices goes to greater lengths than caring for the environment. For example, you may invest in programmable thermostats so you don't waste money on heating or cooling the rooms when they are vacant. Another tactic that costs next to nothing is posting a note in the bathrooms that appeal on the guests' environmental awareness, asking that they reuse the towels before they drop them on the floor to be picked up and replaced by the housekeeping. In reality, many guests don't want or need their room every day and don't mind reusing their towels.
Consider free software
Hotel management software packs are expensive, but if you run an independent or boutique hotel with just a handful of employees, it's highly unlikely that you need to pay for a bunch of features you'll never use. Instead, evaluate the software you use and see what features you really need, and check out if any of these free and open source hotel management software solutions meet your needs.
Even if you're someone who knows how to run a tight ship, the changing economic times make staying on surface increasingly difficult. The hospitality business isn't an exception, so if you need a major investment that will help you get ahead of the competition, try finding additional funds through these money-saving tips.