It’s the end of January. You’ve probably done some thinking about how you want your innkeeping business to flourish in 2014. You’ve identified your REVPAR and occupancy rate targets. You know where and how you want to spend your financial, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual energy and time in the new year.
Before you pat yourself on the back, beware of these three goal setting pitfalls that will set you up for failure:
1. Is everyone on the same page? If you and your spouse own the inn, do you both agree on the goals and their priorities? If you have part time or full time staff, have you shared your goals with them and do they understand the role they play in achieving them?
2. Do you have the knowledge and skills needed to achieve your goals? If not, do you have a plan to acquire the skills or hire someone who does?
3. Have you set a realistic number of goals? When setting goals that you actually want to achieve, less is more. I recommend setting no more than three big goals for the year. That makes it easy to assess where to spend your energy.
If you’re looking for some goals related to increasing your bookings in 2014, here are five to consider:
1). Expand your network of prospective guests
Create a marketing and promotion plan to attract new guests. It should cover the entire year and include social media, print and direct mail advertising, holiday campaigns, article marketing, contests, etc.
2). Take full advantage of free listings in online directories. Pick the ones that your prospective guests are most likely to frequent and build out a complete and compelling profile with links back to your site and engaging photos.
3). Turn guests into raving fans. Create a guest referral program and thank your best guests with special deals and exclusive services.
4). Figure out what your guests want. Develop a simple feedback system and really use it to make your property irresistible.
5). Have more fun. Innkeeper burnout is an industry wide issue. Make sure you schedule in time for fun and relaxation.