Operating a motel or an accommodation business is a 7-day-a-week operation, where the owner/operator wears many different hats throughout the day.
While larger businesses have a selection of people in specialty areas such as marketing, housekeeping, maintenance, guest relations, sales, and finance, small hoteliers are all of these people and more.
This means time management as well as self-management is an essential part of the process and daily routine.
Setting up schedules and checklists to cover all of the important aspects of maintaining and building a successful business can be extremely beneficial for time management and also help to remove the overwhelm and stress when the unexpected happens.
Each property will have its own unique requirements however there are some regular to-do’s that are necessary to maintain a successful accommodation operation. For instance, sending out EDMs to the guest database, setting future rates and reviewing the financials, performing maintenance checks on guest rooms and facilities as well as checking terms and conditions for future dates are all part of maintaining a smooth and profitable business.
One strategy for handling ongoing tasks is to spread out the crucial responsibilities across the year, aiming to address various aspects of the business within specific time frames. This approach can assist owners in effectively managing their expanding to-do lists.
Setting aside larger periods of time for the more complex jobs, such as inputting future seasonal rates, that require minimal disruption, may need a bit of planning and juggling. So, setting a goal to complete these jobs within a particular week or month can help to make these larger jobs more manageable.
For example; within a particular month set a goal to complete three tasks covering three different aspects of the business.
Complete a maintenance/upkeep check on all guest rooms, send out an EDM to the guest database as well as review the last six months of reservations and forecasts. This will address maintenance, marketing and finance/reservations assisting owners in effortlessly managing all the key aspects of a thriving business without unnecessary hassle.
Scheduling tasks with reminders can make it even easier. Allowing hoteliers to set it and forget it until the time is right. For single-owner-operator businesses scheduling tasks in their email calendar with pop-up reminders can be easy to implement.
When working with a team or multiple properties task management applications like Asana, Monday and Trello can assist in the scheduling and reminders aspect if the property management system doesn’t have this facility. It’s all about making the to-do list a breeze and prioritising downtime to avoid the dreaded burnout while working in a 7-day-a-week operation.
Continuing this pattern throughout the year for all facets of the business will help to create small changes for a big difference.
Accommodation operations was one of the topics covered at the recent Golden Chain Conference in Adelaide. This was a fantastic gathering of regional and international motel operators from Golden Chain hearing about the current trends and regional developments, meeting with suppliers and learning about new systems and technology.
The conference concluded with a wonderful night of dinner and dancing. Looking forward to next year’s conference already.
Emily Stephens, Founder and Managing Director of The Accommodation Project, has been working in accommodation operations for over 20 years. Starting as a receptionist, she has worked her way through the ranks in different types of accommodation both overseas and in Australia to now operate an apartment hotel with her husband in a beautiful coastal town in Victoria. Combining her passion for the industry and wanting to help and support fellow operators, The Accommodation Project was created. Building on the confidence and proficiency of newcomers so that all properties find their place in an ever changing and exciting sector.