Running a hotel is running a business, and to get it right takes a much broader range of skills than you might think.
As an entrepreneur myself, I know the importance of learning absolutely everything that I possibly can that will be relevant to my business. From digital marketing, branding, finance, PR, and hospitality management, right down to the details of making beds in hotels, it’s vital that I fully understand how my business works.
Hoteliers are no different. You have to be a jack of all trades, especially during the current time, when having multiple skills and the willingness to get the job done is far more important than merely listing “I have xxx years of experience at xxx hotels.” The way hotels are hiring is changing and the industry today demands more than just skills that traditionally sat comfortably within the ‘hotel’ domain.
You have to be a bit of a scientist as an entrepreneur. You must be willing to test and trial. Once you observe any given situation, you need to be creative in asking questions, and being creative needs expertise, imaginative thinking skills, an adventurous personality, intrinsic motivation, and a creative environment that sparks, supports, and refines creative ideas.
Indeed creativity goes way beyond just trying to compete with the hotel next door, upping the ante presenting an even more flamboyant afternoon tea spread than them - just because they’re doing afternoon tea spreads. Sometimes when it comes to creativity, less is more and the simplest innovations can be the most powerful. When done well, you might even find that you start competing in your very own league while the competition struggles on another tangent. Being creative is an attribute that can be learned; all it takes is a bit of guidance, hard work, and practice.
Entrepreneurs solve big problems. That’s how many startup companies take off. You have to be innovative in solving problems and your solutions must be better than the existing ones. Your innovative ideas should reduce the need for supplies and equipment, increase productivity, reduce user effort, reduce environmental impact, save time, and save money.
Is the Chatbot really an innovative solution? Still questionable from my end but we are getting there.
What’s the next innovative idea you could think of?
Being an entrepreneur or a hotelier means you are the head of every department.
You need to understand something about architecture, construction, legal and regulatory aspects, IT, marketing, social media, human resources management, accounting, finance, statistics, and revenue management. At the very least, you need to understand enough to find the experts who can help you build a successful business.
Sometimes you have to be the head of a cheerleading squad, and that’s also a skill many fail to master. You have to have good communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.
Not all problems can be fixed with the same solutions. And not all guests are created equal. The notion of “This is how we do it at xxx hotel” often leads to disaster. Hoteliers must be flexible and willing to meet the needs of their guests, or those guests will be off to stay with a competitor.
One personality trait that scientists and entrepreneurs share is persistence. We wouldn’t have discovered the use of radioactivity if Marie Curie had simply given up. We wouldn’t have been able to fly if the Wright brothers had given up testing their plane.
You can test and keep trying until you succeed, but bear in mind that this scientific project of yours is funded by others. And for them to be willing to bet on you, you must come equipped with the requisite knowledge and you must stand out.
In EHL's ( Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne) MBA in Hospitality program, all of those five key drivers are covered. You will come out well-rounded, as the MBA builds solid skills in finance, marketing, leadership, and risk management. It teaches strategies for implementing best practices right across the gamut of domains in the hospitality business. There is a core module on Trends, Innovations and New Business Models where you will examine the data and look at how to maximise returns and even nudge the business in the right direction to ensure that it achieves its goals and survives in future markets. When it comes to creativity, flexibility and willpower, you will receive exposure to a broad range of cultures and business settings as well as develop a strong global network of peers, industry leaders and alumni members that will last a lifetime. All of this helps ensure that tomorrow’s hospitality entrepreneurs have the skills that they need as they face the real-world challenges which lie ahead in their careers.
For more information, take a look here
You can also view online courses on Entrepreneurship here