The coronavirus epidemic has created a new, almost unprecedented situation in the tourism sector worldwide. Even though most of us have little to no experience with managing such consequences that the pandemic has brought about, we need to find a way to adapt in order to successfully get through these difficult times. It is crucial that we make the right decisions with a clear head now, and use our time wisely.
If you're a hotel owner or have any kind of hospitality business that is affected by the current situation, read on to learn what we recommend you do, so that you can:
- Stay calm and make the right decisions that will positively impact the future of your business
- Communicate with your guests in a way that reassures them of your intention to overcome this challenging period
- Get ready for when things start going back to normal, and gain competitive advantage by being prepared with an effective plan
- Use your extra time due to the lack of reservations to learn and improve your processes
- Keep calm
It might sound cliche, but one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your hospitality business during a crisis situation is to try to stay calm. Panicking will definitely not lead you in the right direction, and it can also prevent you from making informed decisions.
Make sure it is not just you keeping your mind cool under the pressure, but your entire team. Regardless of what reactions you might see from competitors or other businesses in the industry, it is recommended that you sit down with your staff (even if only virtually), carefully analyze your situation, think through all possibilities, and only then decide about the course of action you plan to take.
In order to get through these rough times it is crucial to keep communication going - both within the team and between you and your current or potential guests.
Try to communicate with your staff as much as you can and organize online meetings with them regularly. Show them that they are cared for and that together you will overcome this situation. Checking in once in a while for both formal and informal chats will keep your team together and your morale high.
Don't be discouraged by low reservation numbers, and don't let it stop you from posting on your social channels or sending out newsletters either. You can still build trust by letting people know what safety measures your hotel staff has taken, or by informing them about any operational changes. Reassure your guests that you are in control of the situation and that you will do everything in your power to keep your hospitality business running after the crisis. Sending out transparent, honest messages instead of disappearing, and keeping a confident, reassuring tone will guarantee that you are top of mind when tourism starts to rebound.
- Get ready
Keep a positive mindset and get ready for when the pandemic subsides and new reservations start coming in. Even if we cannot yet tell exactly when this time will come, you can and should still start preparing with a strategy. Involve your team, create a list of tasks together, and prioritize the ideas you come up with.
In case competition will be strong again, think about the things you can do now to ensure your position. As mentioned before, the decisions you make and the direction you decide to take at this very moment will determine how your hospitality business will come out of the crisis situation. If you don't follow the crowds and can refrain from panicking, you've already done a lot for your future. If you use your time wisely and spend the next couple of weeks and months thinking about how you can upgrade and streamline your processes, you're doing even better.
Now is the time to revise your daily operation, and determine where and how you can improve. Are you using the right tools to automate your processes and to make your job more effective? How can you optimize your workflow? Answering these questions and devising a new plan after analyzing your current situation will keep your business competitive.
Once you've determined the main areas in which you could improve, whether operational or personal, start researching and plan out your learning process.
Keep your spirits up and encourage not only yourself but also your staff to analyze the details of your roles and find your pain points together. We're living in a time when personal and organizational development is crucial. If you feel like you never had the time to properly learn a new skill or software, take a course on a certain subject, or simply research a topic to find a solution to a long-standing problem, now is when you should start. Make sure to give your staff members the opportunity to gain new knowledge during these times.
We at SabeeApp are also working hard to help make this learning process easier. Our customer service is always ready to assist our partners with any questions, and we offer free online consultations for new customers who are looking to learn more about the benefits of our software. We are also preparing materials that will provide them with useful information and knowledge on topics such as automation and revenue management.
In our next post we will cover communication strategies during a crisis situation.