Today we talk about the importance of having a solid pre-opening plan for a hotel to make your hotel project achieve the success you want.
Opening a new hotel is always a complex task, not only because of the financial and time effort it entails, but also because it is necessary to pay attention to a wide and varied amount of details that will make the final result a success or a failure. In this scenario, having a plan designed for the stage prior to the opening of a new hotel is often overlooked, which is a big mistake if we consider the importance that this plan has for the future of the new project.
As at IHCS we understand that attention is often not paid to the value of having a good pre-opening plan for a hotel, today we have decided to develop this article to explain what it consists of and what its importance is.
WHAT IS A HOTEL PRE-OPENING PLAN?
A hotel pre-opening plan is, basically, a plan developed with the objective of preparing and positioning the future hotel in the market, recruiting the necessary human resources and establishing the standards that will be followed in the different operational functions that will be carried out. once the hotel is up and running (service standards, operational and administrative procedures, marketing plans, etc.).
WHEN TO DEFINE THE PRE-OPENING PLAN OF A HOTEL?
As a general rule, a period of between 12 and 18 months is defined for large and medium-sized hotels, and between 6 and 9 months for those that have less than 50 rooms. Logically, this is an estimate that usually works well in general terms, although it is always better that the deadline is adapted to the needs of the project.
WHAT ARE THE TASKS INCLUDED IN A PLAN FOR THE PRE-OPENING STAGE OF A NEW HOTEL?
As it is logical to think, the tasks and actions included in a hotel pre-opening plan are many and very varied, so the best and most practical thing is to divide it into different areas that allow for greater understanding and better execution. Thus, we can divide the tasks of this plan within the areas of Human Resources, Marketing, Financing and Inspections and Categorization.
HUMAN RESOURCES IN THE PRE-OPENING PLAN
In this part of the pre-opening plan we must focus, at the beginning, on the hiring of those who will be the hotel’s workforce, starting with the highest positions, such as General Manager, Director of Marketing and Sales, Financial Director, etc. Once these positions are defined, you move on to the next ladder, and in this way you will go down until all the necessary positions are filled.
Before opening a new hotel, it is also essential to prepare and train all employees in the correct performance of their functions, which must also be detailed in the pre-opening plan. In this way, thanks to this plan we will be in the power of a work team prepared to turn the new hotel project into the expected success.
MARKETING IN THE PRE-OPENING PLAN
The second part of the plan developed for the stage prior to the opening of a new hotel focuses on the commercial development of the project. Thus, this part is responsible for defining what the hotel’s corporate identity will be, as well as the marketing campaign that must follow. In the same sense, the pricing policy and the distribution and sales channels that will be used to market the different hotel services will be defined.
Last but not least, the marketing portion of the pre-opening plan will also be responsible for pre-opening room sales, so that there is no unnecessary delay in acquiring new visitors from the moment of the opening. .
FINANCING IN THE PRE-OPENING PLAN
As in any project, correct financial planning is essential to achieve the best results. In this sense, the pre-opening plan will be responsible for defining the budget for the entire pre-opening phase, as well as for the first 12 months of hotel operations. The way in which said budget will be managed will also be determined by the pre-opening plan, in the same way that it will define how risks will be managed and will try to reduce financial unforeseen events to zero.
INSPECTIONS AND CATEGORIZATION IN THE PRE-OPENING PLAN
This stage of the plan focuses on preparing the hotel to receive the necessary inspections in order to obtain all the necessary permits (even those inspections that one would believe unlikely): from the Occupational Risk Prevention management inspection or the of the elevators to the one that will be carried out by the International Hotel Group of which the hotel will be a part (in the event that this is the case, of course), the pre-opening plan aims for the hotel to be absolutely prepared to overcome these and any other inspection.
As we can see, the importance of a hotel’s pre-opening plan lies in the fact that it acts transversally through the different stages of the preparation process, thus allowing us to organize the entire process in an orderly, clear and systematic manner.
We hope that this article has helped you clarify a little about the pre-opening plan for your future hotel. If you want more information about this, do not hesitate to contact us and we will tell you how, through our Project Development service, we will help you in the creation and execution of this plan.