Most followers of this blog know I am always looking for new concepts and ideas to bring a hospitality business to the forefront and make it as diverse as possible. When times are hard and you operate in an industry as competitive as ours, innovation is the key. Without it, you really will stand still and slowly (and sometimes, quickly) go under. Business will be over.
I’m not an expert, I’m not an innovation guru (if such a think truly exists) but what I do is look at examples of what other businesses are doing. Why not? you have to get your ideas from someone… and these people’s are trying new ways to do business for a reason. Because if they stand still, their business will change – possibly in a negative way.
I’ve spoken to a lot of independent hotels recently on a number of topics, from how to embrace social media and open yourself up to more distribution channels for prospective and repeat guests, to looking at what technology is needed to become more efficient. But, these have also been a frustrating few weeks. I can not believe that so many businesses, who need to innovate, don’t. Blaming cost as the reason for their decisions, but in reality, it’s an understanding and forward thinking vision that’s actually stopping them.
My message is simple. Innovate. Look at things you’re not doing, and ask yourself why. Chances are if you’re not doing it, your completion will be. Take a look, investigate for yourself. Look at what your fellow industry professionals are doing. And if you are still unsure, get inspired. Be inspired to do better and push your brand further. If you don’t speak up for it and make a noise about how wonderful it is, chances are no-one else will. Look at some of the best thinkers in our industry. Someone like Michael Levie, the founder of CitizenM. what he is trying to do, rewriting how hospitality is done, this is truly inspirational. Find your own inspiration for innovation.
A great example that I am always asked about is how to start off with social media. Is Twitter for me? Should I have my hotel on Facebook? Do I need to worry about traveller reviews on sites like TripAdvisor. If you haven’t started your own social media journey, if you don’t have an online presence, it’s not too late. Wait another month, and it might be.