Make Your Hotel More Profitable | Tip #4 from HospitalityEducators.com = “Shoulder Seasons” are Sleeping Giants!

 4. Expand Shoulder Seasons

Everyone understands peak demand periods, whether it is a certain season like spring break, or prime ski season or special events. It can also be one or more days of the week, that are always stronger than others and can command higher room rates.

One best practice for many sales people and hoteliers is to monitor the high demand periods using proven revenue management strategies. This is logical and should be continued. Another tendency for those same people is to attack the off-season, spending advertising and marketing funds and efforts to attempt to draw new clients to their location. These efforts usually include major discounting and a great deal of
effort that often yields very little measurable results.

The suggestion offered here is to carefully analyze your seasons or demand periods, so you can see where the peaks and valleys really are. For example, Manhattan was experiencing very high demand six nights per week, with Sunday the off night. Broadway already had supported the effort, with Monday being their dark night. Creative marketers in hotels packaged meals either in their hotel or with nearby restaurants, offered options for tours that appealed to social travelers and business center programs for business travelers. Room rates might have a slight discount overall when it included a Sunday night but
the concept was aimed at enhancing value, rather than promoting discounts. The same pattern followed in Las Vegas, with the big name entertainers performing on Sundays.

Shoulder seasons in locations that have high demand can target clients that might have flexibility. Families with school age children must adhere to the school calendars and cannot adjust their plans, but singles or seniors that might be drawn to the location could have flexibility and enjoy the experience without a concentration of children. It is a matter of research, which includes your own and that of the area visitors’ bureaus or other centers. Adding demand in the shoulder period can make a huge difference in revenues.

Sundays, for example, represent 14% of the total week and gaining as few as a dozen additional guests can make a substantial contribution to top and bottom lines. Adding a certain demand before or after special events or activity can keep your staff working longer and allow you a much better opportunity of gaining measurable results. It is not being suggested to ignore the off-season, but prioritize potentials. Use packages and
promote as many of your services as possible

This resource began with definitions of the words “profits” and “profitability. ” Shoulder seasons can be an enormous addition to profitability – IF people take the time to think about it more!

The HospitalityEducators.com site has many segments specifically dealing with this topic and offers a range of ideas on ways to extend your markets.

Dr. John Hogan working with clients at a recent workshop

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375
www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com.

Twelve things I consider professional Key Learnings in the past year: HospitalityEducators.com

Key Learnings

“What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge,
and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers.”
Martina Horner, President of Radcliffe College

Tryng to identify “Key Learnings” in a given year is more challenging than it first appears. The reason I found it more demanding than expected because of the immense amount of reflection to discover what actually made a lasting impact.

Here are the professional Key Learnings, as applicable to me by my speaking, writing and/or consulting this past 12 months.

  1. Renovations need to make a WOW, in their planning, their delivery and their Return on Investment.  In tight economies, there may not be as much new product introduced but the upgrades in existing properties need to anticipate the future.  I stayed at a number of properties this year that clearly missed the mark and will not be significant players in their market by 2012, regardless of brand.  On the other hand, I experienced a number of excellent projects that were well executed.
  2. eCommerce is changing at tremendous speed and we all need to work to keep up. I am not discussing social media here, but the changes in Search Engine Optimization, the rapidly evolving ways that sites are found and used or discarded and more.  This is an area that should be addressed by Executives at all levels.
  3. Ethics in Hospitality. I see the need for people to re-address values in the hospitality marketplace in hiring, operations and marketing.
  4. Financial Accounting and Management needs to be reviewed by Executives at multiple levels. Technology has made skimming and following the money trail more challenging.   Reviews are needed by many p eople at all kinds of hospitality businesses.
  5. Marketing and Sales Management is now truly Global. We have as many or more readers and interest in our services and information internationally at www.HospitalityEducators.com as we do domestically.  The reason is the availability of information that can be shared cost effectively anywhere in the world.
  6. Ownership and management structures need to be seriously examined and tested. This is especially critical in family businesses.
  7. Recognizing the Value of Hospitality Associations as Business and Political Lobbying Resources. I have been a lifetime supporter of Hospitality Associations as a member, volunteer officer, committee member and more.  This year’s political action committees clearly identified the need for more of us to embrace these associations as essential business partners and an investment with a measurable ROI.
  8. Revenue Management does not have its own “mystery language”, but it is has evolved tremendously from the yield management tactics of ten years ago. As business and technology have made communication and the sharing of information truly global, the need to evolve fair pricing for all needs intense and ongoing attention.
  9. Service Delivery needs to be re-examined – again. There are truly new hospitality customers coming, from different countries, age groups, interests and personality.  The days of mass marketing and delivering “average service” are gone.
  10. Strategic Planning means today and 2020 thought process.  We have looked at our SWOT analysis several times this year and the results keep changing.
  11. Understanding and Embracing Green Hotel Business Initiatives is not just for someone else. In updating our www.HospitalityEducators.com section on sustainability, the number of You Tube interviews and detailed answers on “how to” use these initiatives are amazing.
  12. Reasonable Care continues to grow more important in the hospitality industry. In my consulting, research and work as an expert witness, I view the need for paying more attention to reasonable care becomes apparent.  Growing populations, untrained or inadequately trained staff, a litigious tendency by many and the weak economy all contribute to this.

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special introductory pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Dr. John Hogan @ Texas Hotel & Lodging Assn Short Course 2010


Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

www.HoganHospitality.com

Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations

http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache

CONTACT

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375
www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com.