The COVID-19 pandemic has had major ramifications on every part of our lives. Although we’ve tried to carve out a new normal, the fact of the matter is many industries are still suffering. The hospitality world has been at particular risk. After all, travel is at the bottom of everyone’s to-do lists right now, even as restrictions lift. The hotel industry has been left to fight against the resulting tides.
Fortunately, there are ways you can project your business amid all the chaos. Hotel Investor Toolbox offers a variety of tools to help you streamline your business process and make the most of your hospitality investment, even now. Moreover, we’ve gathered these tips to help you overcome (and prepare for) COVID-19 obstacles:
Lean In On Digital Marketing
There’s one major change to the market that all businesses can take advantage of. Digital marketing has had a major boost since the pandemic began. The reason for this is simple. When in-person meetings became risky, we all moved online. Virtual work, play, socialization and entertainment have become the name of the game, and digital marketing is more powerful as a result.
Now is the time to double-down on your digital marketing efforts.
Look into revamping your website and social media content, as well as using targeted advertising to reach potential customers. If you don’t have a marketing team on staff, you can outsource contract work for everything from quality marketing copy to UX-focused web design. This is an ideal move if you need work done but don’t have the budget to invest in a permanent employee.
Broadcast Safety Measures
Part of the reason hotels face such major challenges despite loosened restrictions is that it’s hard for potential guests to evaluate risk when it comes to lodging.
We all know now that social distancing and handwashing are important, but how do you know a hotel room is safe? Even researchers aren’t clear on exactly how long the virus stays infectious in the air or on surfaces. Therefore, you have to go above and beyond to show guests your safety protocols.
For example, you may want to increase the wait time between customers to ensure all potentially infectious droplets have had a chance to fall out of the air between guests and cleaning. Require mask usage in all shared spaces, such as hallways, and consider closing indoor pools and fitness centers. These measures may reduce the number of amenities you can offer, but customers will appreciate the effort to keep them safe during their stay.
Look Toward Business Relief Funding
Hotels that lost major profits should look into relief funding.
A ton of both public and private relief programs are out there, especially for small businesses. Your application will be strongest if you have clear, well-organized documentation justifying the amount you’re asking for. Include documentation citing cancelled bookings and compare profits this year to previous years. These steps will support the lost profits you’re claiming.
You can also strengthen your application with a solid business recovery plan. Your plan should outline exactly how you intend to spend the relief money you receive. Detail every cent, whether it’s going toward paychecks, renovations, marketing, or COVID-19 mitigation.
Focus on property and operational improvements that will make your hotel safe for both guests and employees, such as installing UV-C sanitizing lights in your HVAC system. Not only will these steps make a good impression, they’ll genuinely strengthen your business going forward.
Business owners in the hotel industry have a bigger challenge on their plate than some, but that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome. Focus on adapting to current circumstances and stay abreast of new developments in COVID-19 safety. By staying on top of the game, you set yourself up to be the preferred choice for travelers.
Katie Conroy enjoys writing and created advicemine.com where she shares advice from her experiences, education & research. She particularly enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.