By Giovanni Angelini, May 2017
A top management position becomes available, you apply for it, you have a couple of interviews and….. you got the job.
Did you make the right decision to take up the job? Are you up to the challenge? And most importantly will you take the challenge? Do you realize that hospitality is not a profession for the ‘faint hearted’?
The travel industry is as old as mankind…. how old (or young) are you? What have you achieved in the past that you can be proud of? Do you have trusted and passionate followers? ‘Are you passionate’?
Everyone has expectations; are you the type of leader everyone looks up to and loves/admires? Can you provide those expectations to your people, to your customers and to your owners/shareholders? Or……. will you be a ‘complete idiot?
You will be called on to do extraordinary things under difficult circumstances, you will be challenged. You will have to challenge yourself. You may win and you may lose.
To win, there is no substitution for hard work…..and do you drive your hotel-business to prosper or…. the hotel drives you to ‘stagnation’?……
You will hire, you will fire, you will be hated…..and you may hate…..
Trust or mistrust? Do you trust your boss? Do you trust your co-workers? And most importantly, do they trust you?
Do you know the ins-and-outs of your business and of your role, what works and what doesn’t? Or are you ‘full of hot air’?
Are you the entrepreneur that generates buzz in the market? Or are you the big-headed executive expecting that the market discovers you? And that may never happen…
What do you do to get people talking about your brand; not just to make people aware that your brand exists?
How much time you spend on forecasting vs P&L reviews? Do you apply the ‘80-20’ rule? Do you realize that the past is past and there is not much that you can do about it. How efficient you are on developing and on implementing clear strategies from your forecasting process?
Do your financial statements measure flow thru? What are the results? And how good you are at this?
Do you embrace the broader picture; what are the biggest challenges currently facing the industry and your own hotel/s? And what’s needed to be planned and achieved during the coming few years?
To be a successful hotelier, you have to have guts. You will have to achieve a minimum RGI of 100 points month after month. And month after month, you will have to generate profits……
Where are the biggest revenue potentials, what are your strategies? Which areas will you distribute the largest proportion of your budget in the next 12 months? Is this crystal clear in your mind and in your actions?
Do you manage by cost cuttings or manage by revenue? What is more important to the medium-long term success of your organization? No revenue means no costs to cut…..You ‘may get fired’….
You must keep up with and be aware of all the economic and hospitality industry indicators & trends in order for you to share and guide, but most importantly to keep you on the correct path and avoid hitting the wall….
You will listen, you will advise, you will demand, you will coach…..you will twist arms…..if you don’t want ‘your arms twisted’…..
Has technology improved your hotel performance? What is your prediction on the future of technology in hotels? What is a must and what will become commonplace? Also do you realize that in this business, no program or machine can, as yet, take the place of a human being?
In this business you have to serve people but you are not a servant. To serve people takes dignity and intelligence. Are you prepared to serve? ‘Or are you a bluff’?
Price is what you pay….., value is what you get…..are you offering values to your customers? And….. better than your competitors?
Do you manage your segmentation, sources of business and distribution channels? Or do you have a situation where the ‘blind leads the blind’s?
Knowing who your customers are is critical to your on-going marketing efforts and always be as diversified as possible. Also knowing the segment with the highest room rate is one thing, however knowing the different costs and spend is also critical.
Data is king…..who manages data in your organization? Do you know who are the top 10 producers for each of your demand segments? And what you do for them?
An effective loyalty program is an essential part of the hotel business, is your reward program in place and how often you communicate with your loyal customers? Do they know you?
What you do to provide guests with a truly unique experience? And what is your roadmap to personalization through the entire guest journey from the pre-arrival communication, while on the property and post-stay?
And as you are at it, what is the length of stay and the spending patterns by segment and by demographics? This is not rocket science, simply basics…..and of course you don’t want to be called ‘ignorant’…..by the people within the organization who are smarter than you….
Customer acquisition, what has been the cost increase of acquiring a customer during past 3 years as compared with the RevPAR increase over same period? Are you on top of it or is this beyond your comprehension?
Do you record F&B customer statistics by meal periods and beverage sales by type?
Impossible demands from the stakeholders and ever mounting concerns from below……., will you take the challenge and rise above yourself? Or are you a ‘master of hiding’?
A successful formula yesterday may be a failure today and in order to prosper you have to be a volcano of new ideas and of practical innovations. Creeping procrastination is the most insidious killer of business, it kills you as well…..What does procrastination means to you?
Do you strive for “perfection” or strive for “excellence”? Which one is more important to you? And which one will you achieve?
Are you clear at what drives your customers; convenience or brand? Price or brand? Do you care and how do you respond?
What are you doing to prevent brand deterioration and becoming a commodity? At what stage do you raise the bar? Or are you happy with the status quo that eventually ‘will drive you out’?
How good are your communication skills to motivate your team? Are you aware that wise men talk because they have something useful to say while fools talk because they have to say something……. does this sounds familiar…..? Those who know the most often say the least…..
You are faced by a delicate situation (a major complaint) involving a good/loyal employee and a repeat customer. A firm decision and action is expected from you; will you let the employee go or lose the customer?
Do you run a lean and efficient team and do you measure labor productivity? Based on what? Can you express the productivity in hours per occupied room and in hours per covered served in F&B?
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret….
You want to be at the top……but in order to achieve and stay at the top, you need a stream of innovation and constant hard work…as ‘nothing is free in this world’……
What do you do to prevent complacency? That comfortable but damaging complacency…… that takes you down…..and makes you available to the industry…..
And…….here an important question….. Have you set priority in life? What do you want to become when you grow-up? And are you working at it?