Hotel Budget Season: Getting Team Buy-in and Setting Expectations

Author: Kristi White

Are you ready for a more productive and profitable 2019? 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.


Before setting your company vision for 2019, sit down “Knights-of-the-Roundtable” style with your department heads and customer-facing staff members, including marketing, group sales, housekeeping, front-desk staff, and food and beverage (F&B). Get honest feedback and their opinions concerning what worked in 2018 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. Co-creation energizes your teams, breeding trust and commitment for your 2019 goals.

Guest Understanding

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.



A second component for establishing team buy-in involves having the right tools in place.

Business Intelligence

Although you probably have lots of rich data sets at your fingertips, it’s not valuable unless it’s accurately analyzed and acted upon. Inaccurate data analysis has been shown to cost businesses as much as 25 percent of their revenue. And if you’re still handling things manually, studies show that nine out of 10 spreadsheets contain at least one error.

A top-of-the-line automated business intelligence (BI) solution eliminates this issue while improving efficiency and accuracy in the process. BI swiftly combines data from disparate sources into one streamlined view. It integrates with your property management system (PMS) and customer reservation system (CRS), providing a single, consistent source of “truth” for every hotel team to work with.

Customized Reports & Data Visualization

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 2019.

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