Budget season is an important and challenging time for your hotel business. As you begin preparing your hotel budget for next year, there is one non-data-related component vital for your business success. And that is getting team buy-in on your shiny new budget plan.
A study by HubSpot showed four out of five leaders felt they weren’t successful at getting buy-in for their vision. A simple way to change this is through communication.
Make cross-functional alignment a priority. Before setting your company vision for 2020, sit down with your department heads and customer-facing staff members, including marketing, group sales, housekeeping, front-desk staff, and food and beverage (F&B) and get honest feedback and their opinions concerning what worked in 2019 and what didn’t. Let them help shape your vision by giving them the freedom to share their ideas on ways to drive more profits and improve efficiency.
With large scale ideas, buy-in from multiple departments is essential. For example, changing BAR rates to drive a surge in occupancy will affect the housekeeping department’s staffing needs. Changing your revenue management strategy will affect operations and other departments. Making sure the revenue strategy is socialized with the hotel leadership team is key to implementing that strategy. Thinking about the impact on the hotel, beyond just a revenue strategy will ensure the implementation process is successful.
In addition to engaging in discussions with your staff, talk with your guests and examine online review sites. A thorough understanding of what your guests want, need, and appreciate about your hotel, will help you determine your budget priorities in a more defined way.
Share your tools!
Although you probably have lots of rich data sets at your fingertips, it’s not valuable unless it’s accurately analyzed and acted upon. Share the valuable insight and data you have available to you so others can utilize the data for their own purposes. Teams will be more likely to help you in your planning processes when you give them insight into things they need as well.
A comprehensive BI tool allows you to drill deeper into specific accounts, day of week production or even booking behaviors by room product. Having this level of data makes it easier for your sales team to open up conversations with accounts/customers to get to a more meaningful negotiation process. Same thinking when working with your marketing team. Plan together by sharing the booking and forecasting data you have at your disposal. They can use this information to plan their 2020 campaigns to fill low periods, or check in on how their campaigns measured up against booking rates.
Show them the data that matters
Ensure every member of your team is up to speed on budget expectations with a BI tool capable of transforming relevant information into customized reports and data visualizations. Data visualizations help decision makers – particularly those without a statistical analysis background – to easily comprehend analytics through graphic elements like graphs, charts, and tables. Each department can quickly identify trends and understand the relationship between their daily operational performance and its impact on the overall hotel bottom line. Further, using a cloud-based system provides clarity by making it easy to share budget targets and allowing teams to keep tabs on how their department revenue and spend are aligning with the overall budget plan.
Navigating hotel budget season can be a challenging prospect, with executives and department managers pulled away from their critical daily work to plan for the upcoming year. But by involving your staff through effective communication, and utilizing an integrated software solution, you’ll ensure team buy-in into the process and end up with an accurate hotel budget optimally designed to achieve business success in 2020