The hotel business is another lucrative business that is currently booming in the Nigeria. This article is going to discuss how to start a hotel business in Nigeria.
The tourism industry in Nigeria is currently valued at more than $4 billion. A sure fire way to get your own slice of this juicy pie is to venture into the hotel business. Although a lot of people are of the opinion that this business is not so profitable, the proliferation all over the country is testament to the fact that it is profitable and sustainable. Applying good management and a proper attention paid to the points to be discussed below, you will definitely succeed in this business.
Before delving in proper I will like to properly define what a hotel is.
A commercial establishment that provides lodging meals and other guest services can be called a hotel. It should also have at least six rooms with a minimum of three of them en suite i.e. with private bathroom and toilet facilities.
Hotels can be rated from 1 star to 5 star, depending on the services they render.
Now that we have a clear idea of what a hotel is all about, we can now proceed into discussing how to start a hotel business in Nigeria.
There are two major routes of entering the hotel business. These are;
A good way of starting your hotel is by going in under a hotel chain. For example, The Hilton, Sheraton, Ritz-Calton, Protea are well known popular brands in Nigeria. Starting a hotel under any of these franchises will most likely guarantee success because customers will be attracted to them due to their long track record.
However this route is highly capital intensive. This is because you will be required to meet and maintain their very high standards. This option is best suited for those that have a very huge financial war chest.
The option most suitable for medium or small scale entrepreneurs is to start under your own brand. In this case, you have the freedom to set up your hotel business according to your own taste, scale and as your finances can manage.
The following steps need to be considered before starting a hotel business in Nigeria.
The success of your hotel business is highly dependent on the location where it is situated. Always have it in mind that the location will have a huge impact on the volume and type of customers that will patronise your business.
The scale and class of your hotel will in a long way affect where you intend to locate it. For example, if you intend to set up a low or medium class hotel, it should be located in busy places such as areas surrounding travel terminals. But if your intention is to set up a high end hotel business then you might consider locating it in a more serene environment for high end customers.
As with any other legitimate business in Nigeria, it is imperative that you register your business with the relevant government agencies. For your hotel business, you will need to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC).
Registering with the NTDC gives the advantage of having your hotel listed in their official tourism guide. This will give your hotel business both local and international exposure.
After completing your location selection and registration, you can then proceed to put some structures on ground. One of the most important selling points of a hotel business is the quality of the structures that is put on ground.
Customers will easily pay good money for a well furnished and well finished accommodation. In as much as you need to work within your budget, it is important that you make sure the structure is of a good quality to attract large number of customers.
Pay close attention to the finishing such as furniture, beddings, and other aesthetics. Also ensure that the exterior of your hotel is painted in bright and exciting colours.
As usual you need to make provision for a generator to cater for the epileptic nature of power supply in Nigeria. It will be a huge let down to your business if your guests are left without power. You will also need to make sure you have constant water supply in your hotel. If the public water is not available you will need to sink a borehole.
For a start, you will need to hire the staff that are essential for the running of the hotel. You will need at least a receptionist, security guard, laundry men, bar attendants and porters.
While hiring staff it could help to poach some experience staff to help you bring the green hands up to speed. It is also important that you enrol your staff to embark on hospitality training courses in order to continuously improve their skill set.
The premier hospitality training institute in Nigeria is the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism located in Abuja.
A key way of ensuring your success in this business is advertising. It is of no use to put up a good structure, hire staff and doing your registration without attracting the all-important customers.
Do not get tired of advertising your services. You can actually start off by offering discounts to new customers. This will attract them to try out your services.
Having in mind that we are in an internet age, you can also go ahead to create a website in order to give your hotel an online identity. Other services such as online booking can be done on your website.
To complement your advertising, ensure that all your staff are courteous and treat customers with the utmost respect. This will convince them to come back and also tell others about your business.
Running a hotel does not just end at rendering lodging and accommodation services to your clients. It will be a huge plus to your hotel business if you run it along with a bar and restaurant.
The bar and restaurant will create an important extra stream of income and also attract more customers to the hotel business.
Running a hotel in Nigeria is indeed a profitable business as long as the basic principles of the business are followed while starting and running it.
If you have any comments or questions, please use our comments section below.