How to be a Successful Entrepreneur in the Lodging Industry

By: Linda Hayes, ijk Partners

Coffee and glasses on a table

So, what is an Entrepreneur? Let’s first define this person!

A successful entrepreneur takes a basic concept and puts their twist on it to create a sought-after product or experience. They are creative, “out of the box” thinkers who thrive on exceeding the expectations of their audience. They seek qualitative knowledge from their audience and then push to the next level.

Couple holding hands while walking down the beach

So how do we apply this to the lodging industry?

A successful entrepreneur in the lodging industry fully understands who their guests are, why they choose a particular property, and what the guests’ likes and dislikes are. With this knowledge, the entrepreneur anticipates the guests’ wants and desires by creating experiences and offerings their guests will book, enjoy and talk about to friends and others.

Entrepreneur in lodging industry looking at graphs

So, what are the steps to consider?

  • Survey your guests individually to look for personal desires, booking trends, and creative expressions by asking open-ended questions in your survey. Use “Tell me …” rather than “Do you prefer”? Or Do you like…?
  • Analyze the results by gender, age, income level, and personal interests to classify the data for specific usage.
  • Engage other successful entrepreneurs that support the lodging industry to create experiences, packages, and mutually beneficial offerings.
  • Refine and position the new offerings in your seasonal calendar.

Man working on a computer

Now comes the fun part! Marketing!

Another attribute that a successful entrepreneur in the lodging industry possesses, is the ability to share their vision effortlessly with their target audiences. Writing press releases, gathering images, and using social media to promote your fresh ideas to the media, your loyal guests, and your fellow partners will broaden the reach to new guests.

Make sure your new offerings are well promoted on your website and bookable on your reservation system. Track the results and encourage reviews and comments at all levels. When you see results, move to the next creative idea. A successful entrepreneur in the lodging industry never stops, nor should you!