Hotel consulting, what is it really about?
Today we talk about the duties of an external hotel consulting firm and the tasks it undertakes so that our hotel reaches all its objectives.
The main task of a hotel consulting agency involves providing professional advice to investors or individuals interested in entering the hospitality industry, as well as helping hotels or resorts, generally independent, which are already operating.
The most important aspect of a good hotel consulting agency consists of the years of experience it has related to both hotel operations and business in general, greatly valuing international experience. In the same way, wide academic background is essential if we want to hire the best professional to help us be successful, by making more effective decisions at the right time.
Hiring the services of a company specialized in hotels or resorts should not be regarded as an unnecessary expense or as a last resort when things get ugly. An experienced and well trained consultant is an excellent investment to obtain the desired results for your business.
It is true that sometimes it is not easy to resort to a stranger, but sometimes all that is needed for a standard hotel company to become excellent is its willingness to change and an external consultant to help us do it.
Why can it be beneficial to have an external hotel consulting agency?
Some general reasons to hire the services of a hotel consulting agency can be beneficial to your company:
- Some hotels have difficulty, even after some time on the market, in clearly defining their business and objectives. An opportunity appears after another, overlapping, troubling and leaving no room for the company to do that which is best at doing. An external hotel consulting agency, with experience in the world of hotels, markets, usually with contacts, is able to identify the strengths of the hotel, take advantage of the opportunities that may arise, and make sure resources are used optimally.
- The importance of details. Sometimes we do not understand our failures over our competitors. The secret of success, however, is often in the details, those that come from real-world experiences. The consultant is able to make use of this experience and use it to the advantage of your hotel or resort during his work.
- New opportunities. A consultant has worked with many companies (especially someone who works in different countries) and has numerous contacts within the most varied market segments. This can be a great way to access new opportunities and contacts for this independent hotel or resort.
- Proven solutions. It often seems that every problem that arises in a hotel or resort is new and unique, and that it takes a long time to solve it. For situations like this, it is likely that a consultancy with experience has already dealt with something like this and therefore can resolve the problem using an effective and easy to implement solution that has already been applied in the past.
- A facilitator. Unfortunately, it is very common for hotels, specially family hotels to have interpersonal conflicts that prevent the business from being successful. These conflicts are rarely resolved without the intervention of an outsider, whose opinion is respected considering that does not take sides in the debate.
The two most common scenarios in which a hotel consulting agency makes use of its experience are the following, depending on the location of the business / hotel.
Scenario A: individuals or businesses that are thinking of entering the hospitality industry.
In this case, a professional consultant can provide advise, among other things, related to:
- Forecasting project profitability
- Defining the right hotel concept
- Developing solutions for any scenario
- Determining the appropriate target
- Developing business strategies
- Running the project optimally
Scenario B: Hotels which are already operating
In this case, the work of a professional hotel consulting agency provides the tools needed to improve operative results and adapt to current demands, without losing sight of the objective of increasing the levels of profitability in the short, medium and long term by:
- Developing and implementing marketing and sales programs. Including the creation of the Revenue Management culture.
- The operational management of the hotel. Including improvements in service quality results.
- Improving the image and reputation of the hotel or resort.
In this scenario, hotel consultants help operational hotels achieve the goals through:
- Consultancy, advisory and design programs to bridge the gap between current and desired situation.
- Coaching, guidance and training (different levels).
- The development of management, supervisory and know-how skills.
- Definition of the company’s mission, goals and objectives.
- The assessment of the current situation.
- The identification of training and operability needs.
- The improvement of organizational communications.
- The improvement of job performance.
- The increasing of employee motivation.
- The increasing levels of organizational performance.
- Achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty from them.
- The expansion of the company’s customer base and the market segment.
The role of external hotel consulting
It is the consultant’s role to “feel the situation” and make a preliminary diagnosis during the first meeting with the head of the hotel, always acting with integrity and in the best interests of the client.
A consultant must know whether he/she is equipped with the proper tools and experience to solve the problem, make the changes and improvements needed, and seek for help if the situation requires it.
At this point, the consultant must be honest with the customer and offer an opinion on the effectiveness of a generic Customer Service session, explaining the need to address the root of the problem before the actual delivery of training sessions to the front-line employees.
Here, the consultant acts as a true consultant, not only as the “Facilitator” the client wanted to hire. A good consultant will first need to clarify objectives, discover the roots of the problem and help correct them. Thus orienting both management and employees towards the desired results for the hotel or resort.