In this guide, I will show you the strategies to succeed in hotel business in Nigeria. You will definitely need these tips if you want to grow your hotel business into a large hospitality company.
In 2015, a report by Jovago.com listed Nigeria has having over 2218 hotels in major cities like Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt, Ibadan and Calabar. The hospitality industry is growing at a sporadic rate and a lot of new hotels are springing up daily.
Getting your hotel business up and thriving in this economic clime with the large number of competitors available will require you to deploy the use of some strategies. These strategies will also keep you as the leader of the pack; this article aims to expose some of these strategies.
There are different things that contribute to the successful running of a hotel business, you have to consider facility maintenance and direct operations; servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing and human resources etc, to run a successful hotel business every part of the hotel must run and function efficiently.
Take note of the following:
One surefire way to succeed in hotel business In Nigeria is to build an effective brand. Your brand tells the story of the first thing you want people to think about when they hear the name of your hotel.
Location particularly does not matter, as long as your location fits with the image of the brand you are trying to build. For instance, consider Obudu Cattle Ranch and Resorts in Obudu, Cross River State, and the ranch is located high up in the mountains, it takes at least 7 hours by road to get to Obudu from Calabar, where you have an airport and another 45 minutes or so to get to the top of the mountains where the ranch is and yet because one of the first things that come to mind when you think or see or hear about Obudu Cattle Ranch is, premium luxury vacationing spot in Nigeria, you do not consider the distance, your desire to experience the brand is what propels you to lodge at the hotel.
Find your hotel’s niche, do you offer luxury or do you offer value at a cheap price? What sort of customers are you hoping to attract? These are important questions to consider when building your brand.
Staff recruitment and training, staff outlook, staff satisfaction and development are very important in running a successful hotel business.
The members of staff of a hotel are the first contact guests make with the hotel and so the impression they create is very important. Build a sense of community and team work in your staff members.
Ensure that they embrace values such as offering quality services, honesty, professionalism, and actual concern for the happiness and welfare of the customers they are serving while taking delight in their jobs.
In places like Eko Hotels and Suites and Sheraton Halls and Towers, staff members like the waiters, the in house chefs, and the stewards are all dressed impeccably; they are well trained in the art of communicating with customers displaying nice, polite and courteous manners.
They treat every guest at the hotel like royalty. Remember that all it takes is a few unsatisfied guests to tarnish the image of the hotel, staff members need to be on the watch for this, especially the ones who come in direct contact with the customers.
It doesn’t matter how delightful the staff is or how intense and captivating the brand is, a hotel with horrible aesthetics and an upsetting, ill form of ambience will not record a second visit from guests.
Good development and maintenance of facilities, initial and ongoing investment support (reflected in the material upkeep of facilities and the luxuries located available) and the particular themes adopted by the marketing arm of the organization are very important. The overall layout of the hotel has to be aesthetically pleasing.
Theme restaurants, family friendly restaurants, bush bars, swimming pools, events and conference halls, professional chefs, recreational facilities, air conditioned rooms, spacious parking lots, Wifi, 24 hours electricity, laundry, car hire services, gift shops, spa, gym are different forms of extensive services that hotels can offer to improve their business.
The hotel can partner with people who already run these services, so that it can be offered to the customer conveniently in other to reduce the stress of managing some of the services and also reduce the cost implications.
These third party vendors should however be well scrutinized and screened so that they do not provide a standard of service less than what the hotel intends to offer its gusts.
Customers are more likely to return to hotels where there is room for feedback and when their complaints are promptly and efficiently attended to.
The customer is king and you must always build and support that impression in spite of the attitude of the customer.
Partnership with travel bloggers who can put up good reviews of their experience at the hotels on their websites or blogs.
Campaigns centered on photograph and video coverage of the hotel can pass across the message in the hotel’s brand more intensely than advertising with words.
Digital marketing will allow the hotel spend its funds diligently as there is a degree of measurability, where the hotel can gauge the effectiveness of the campaign.
Wakanow, Jumia, Jovago, Hotels.ng all offer online help with travel and accommodation in Nigeria, they help to ease payment and potential customers can look up reviews of hotels on these portals.
Some of these sites also in partnership with the hotels offer some form of discount.
Effectively employing social media marketing strategies can go along in bringing in a new flow of patrons to the hotel.
With an average of 16 million people active using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat in Nigeria monthly, a hotel can drum up new business with well designed adverts, uploaded on these media platforms by popular brand advocates and influencers.
The hotel can also have accounts on these social media pages, make sure that the account is well handed and that the hotel has an active presence and regular interactions with your followers who could be your potential guests or even refer guests to the hotel. You can employ social media community managers, who are professionals, to manage your online presence and be the voice of your hotel online.
Ensure that your hotel’s website is mobile friendly and Smartphone compatible. This is very important. Also an online payment platform should be made available. Beautiful pictures of the different aspect of the hotel
All of these strategies are the emerging trends helping hotels to succeed across the globe and they have been proven and tested for single star hotels and even five star hotels. Your hotel business can attain whatever heights you aim for, if you diligently and consistently employ these strategies.
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