In a recent AP article, Corporate Darwinism: Only the Strong Survive, it was explained that, “Economic cycles are Darwinian, picking off weak companies and leaving survivors stronger”. From my perspective, this is a pretty brutal but completely honest and interesting view of the business landscape for the New Year. Ok, so it is an interesting point of view…but what does that have to do with you and your inn?
We now know we are officially in a recession, yes, times are tough, yes, there are economic, geo-political, environmental issues and more….but the world has not come to a standstill. As I wrote to an aspiring innkeeper this week, the one underlying fact is that inns who will do well in 2009 will be the ones who are doing everything right….website, web photography, marketing, packaging, amenities, services, and providing legitimate value and hospitality to their guests.
Those inns who fail to aggressively target themselves as being the best, will be the ones who suffer. The consumer will be more discriminating in their choices of where to stay and how to spend their leisure/vacation dollars.
Now is not the time to be a meek or timid innkeeper as they will be the “victims” of these times. If you haven’t yet, grab a cup or a glass of whatever you enjoy and sit down and begin to put pen to paper as to what needs to be done to insure you are the property of choice when the i.guest, today’s contemporary traveler begins to make their travel and lodging plans. Don't be afraid to try or offer something new or that you've never done before and don't be afraid to ask for help if you're not sure. Remember, nothing ventured…nothing gained. Then after you’ve identified what needs to be done……….Do it and do it Right!
This is the time to figuratively and literally roll up your sleeves (and incorporate every other metaphor or adage applicable to your business) to ensure your inn is at the top of its game and that guests are gravitating to your site and to your inn. The AP article further comments “…but we won't remain in the dumps forever…".
At the end of the day, the message is clear. We are in a highly competitive and tough environment and will have to work harder and smarter to gain our “unfair” share of market and competitive advantages. But if you do, you will not only survive these times, you will have solidly positioned yourself for when times get better…and 2009 could just be that time!
All the best for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!