Starting a business in the hospitality industry is a daunting prospect. Not only are the startup costs higher than many other industries, but there’s always the risk of failure. However, if you’re successful, the flexibility, freedom, and control of running your own business is unparalleled. From cozy bed-and-breakfast getaways to upscale dining experience, the world is always ready for the next big name in hospitality. Here are a few tips to help you break into the business.
Understand Your Overhead
Startup costs will likely be your largest hurdle to opening your business. They’ll also vary depending on what niche in the industry you’re looking to occupy. To set up an inviting bed-and-breakfast, you’ll need the right piece of real estate and a whole lot of interior design know-how. For those more interested in the restaurant industry, you’ll be working with top supply companies like VEGA Direct to acquire necessary equipment like flatware, glassware, and dining sets.
One way to offset costs is by purchasing an existing business and revamping it under your direction. You’ll benefit from the expertise of transitioning staff members and you’ll have an immediate cash flow from the point of purchase onwards. Before you consider this route, make sure you have a detailed understanding of why the seller is stepping away from their business. If they’re looking to retire and want to change ownership, that’s one thing. If the business is underperforming, you could wind up buying a money pit if you aren’t careful.
The Right Spot
You might be serving up some of the best craft cocktails in town but you’ll have a hard time drumming up business if you’re in a bad location. The inverse applies, too. If you’re looking to break into a heavily saturated market that’s stuffed to the brim with established competitors, it’ll take a lot of time, effort, and clever marketing to get customers in through the door. Luckily, there are ways to determine if you’re looking in the right spot.
A great way to start is by contacting your local council members to request projected growth statistics for a given area. Getting in on the ground floor of an up-and-coming neighborhood is an excellent way to secure business. You can also research walkability and which nearby businesses complement yours. If you’re opening the only brewery in a district filled with casual restaurants and shopping, not only will you stand out, but you’ll take advantage of prolonged foot traffic in the area. The more times someone walks by your storefront during their day, the more likely they are to patronize your business.
Selecting the Staff
In an industry that’s so dependent on high-quality customer experience, it’s no secret that the hospitality business suffers from some of the highest turnover rates in the world. Finding quality staff members is difficult enough, retaining them is a completely different beast. That’s why you need to do everything in your power to secure lasting relationships with the top talents in your field. Whether that’s via frequent reviews and pay adjustments to growth opportunities is up to you.
When hiring employees, potential is often as important as their work history. If an applicant doesn’t have all the necessary skills but is incredibly personable and develops a quick rapport during an interview, it’s a good sign that they’re able to navigate the nuances of customer interaction. Inversely, if someone displays a poor attitude during the hiring process, they’re probably not a good fit, even if they have an outstanding resume.
One Step at a Time
Breaking into the hospitality industry is a challenge regardless of whether you’re opening a small eatery or a specialized distillery. Each niche has their own rules, regulations, and strategies, so it’s important that you do your research before investing any capital. With a little bit of a patience, a lot of hard work, and a tiny dash of luck, you may very well be the next big name in hospitality.