Peter Venison writes about “the three circles of a manager’s focus” in his book “100 Tips for Hoteliers: What Every Successful Hotel Professional Needs to Know and Do.” He explains that hotel managers must focus on things that affect staff, guests and finances, and that these areas overlap; what affects one will affect the others. Managing well in these three “circles” will balance the hotel's problems and successes. All three circles impact and affect profitability.
Set clear operational goals for the three main areas of hotel management: customer service, staff management and finance and control. Obtain accurate and verifiable management information to pinpoint problem areas and improvement opportunities. Maintain a constant presence for support and supervision for staff and customer benefit. Work for balance between the three main areas of hotel management and collaboration and teamwork between staff and management.
Ensure the hotel is meeting customers’ basic needs for safety and security in a comfortable environment, and then go beyond that with friendly staff, dining services and extra perks. Survey customer satisfaction at every turn to raise the level of awareness among staff and management. Provide to and require of all staff on-going training in customer service, hospitality, communication and administration. Work with supervisors, staff and customers to create a professional service culture.
Finance and Control
Consistent professional accounting practices are just as important as customer service and operations. Budgeting, inventory control, appropriate staffing levels, cost control and good internal audit procedures create a foundation upon which to build profits. The uniform system of accounts for the lodging industry widely used by U.S. and European hotels is key to good hotel financial management. The best operations and customer service practices must be supported by financial controls for profitability.
Constant promotion and sales support is key to successful and profitable hotel management. Implement pricing policies that are in line with market and seasonal demands. Make public relations a priority for all staff, filtering all opportunities to a public relations manager. Take advantage of every photo opportunity with local and visiting politicians and famous guests and put out frequent press releases for everything from new room service menus to remodeling progress to upgrades of hotel amenities. Seek out travel writers and reviewers for publicity and develop customer loyalty programs to reward and encourage return business.