Nowadays, running a small motel may be a smart move if you can place yourself in a niche market. If you give yourself an edge over other accommodation in the area you may make a great success of it. If you are thinking of acquiring a small building or apartment house and turning it into a small motel, then do not hesitate just because of the work that needs to be done in order to run it smoothly. Running a small motel is relatively easy once you get the hang of it.
If you want to run a small motel, here are some steps that would help:
- Set goals and expectations. Put yourself in the shoes of the traveler, a visitor, and a potential client. What would you be looking for in a motel? What would make you want to stay in a particular motel and go back to it as a repeat customer? Immediately you will have an idea of what to focus on. Everyone likes to stay in a clean, safe, and private room. If all things are the same, meaning all the services and amenities offered are the same with competing motels, the traveler will choose the one that appeals to him most because it is more attractive from the outside, the staff are more welcoming and friendlier, the rates are lower. List down all the good things that you are looking for when you stay in a motel and you will have a good idea of expectation for your small motel.
- Once you have written down your goals and expectations for your small motel, you can now make the decisions to make these happen. When running a motel, hiring staff is the key. You want to get people you can trust, who have work ethic, and who would do their jobs well. If you are starting really small, then you might want to consider involving your family in the venture as you lay the groundwork for the business. It would be a good experience for everyone because you will all learn how to work and manage a business.
- Train your staff. Do not let them think that because it is just a small motel you can lower the quality of your services and have a lower set of expectations? Run your motel as you would if you were running a chain of popular motels. You want to build a name and reputation and every step is important in achieving that. Remember that if you are doing something, it must be worth doing well.
- Invest in a software program that would let you keep track of all the services in the motel from checking in, laundry and dry cleaning, valet, etc.
- Invest also in a website. This is a way of putting your motel on the map. Make your website simple in terms of function, but have it designed to convey the mood and personality of the motel you are running. Regularly update your website and be sure to add contact information and emailing capability so that potential customers will be sure to reach you.
Go the extra mile. You can have welcome drinks or pillow treats or offer a small act or token of appreciation for patronage. This will help put you in a good position with the customers and will increase your network.