January 11, 2017
Think of your business plan as a living, breathing document that should evolve with the times. It can’t be written and filed away, or always followed to the letter while the world changes around you.
In today’s unsettled global environment, your plan must change and adapt to what is happening in your market, with your customers, and with the world at large.
For example, if your hotel is in Miami and wrote its 2017 business plan in September (before the Zika virus spread to the area), what will you do now that the market is looking to be 5 - 8% down in RevPAR for 2017?
What has changed since you wrote your business plan for 2017…and what do you do about it now?
Consider the following ways that members of HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board are working to update their own sales strategies for the new year:
- The overall occupancy and ADR forecasts have changed, softening up a bit. We’re modifying our sales strategies by putting more proactive reach-out plans in place to balance out the softening incoming demand from groups.
- There are more hotels opening and in the construction pipeline than before, with the competitive landscape changing in so many markets. In order to keep our strategies relevant, our sales teams are re-evaluating their comp sets as new properties come online. .
- We’re thinking about our U.S. properties that have majority Mexican or Muslim group business – and the effects that actions from the Trump administration may have on those populations. This article in the New Orleans Times Picayune says it well with sentiments that apply to every community: "In New Orleans, where tourism employs thousands and efforts to boost international visits to the city are starting to bear fruit, even the perception of a less welcoming America poses a risk."
- Expected (and unexpected) mergers and acquisitions are having an impact. Marriott is planning to sell several of the Starwood-owned hotel assets. This will likely lead to renovations and potentially new strategies at those properties. New owners at our hotel or at competitor hotels can question the planned allocation of budgets – and put associated plans into flux very quickly. As these changes come, we are working to remain very focused on what any change in the business will mean for us on the profit side.
- The stock market rallied at the end of the year and we are watching to see if this reverses the cost-cutting preparations that some corporate clients had been signaling.
- Government spending is expected to change under a new administration. Our teams are looking at how those changes might impact them in both positive and negative ways.
- The long-tail impacts of new system implementation have been surprising – and cannot be ignored. We will be focusing on additional training and communications to bring along operations, reservations, and other departments to support the sales team’s efforts and weed out antiquated processes.
Resources & Recommended Reading
About HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board
HSMAI’s Sales Advisory Board leverages insights, emerging trends, and industry innovations to fuel sales for hotels. Members include:
- CHAIR: Ed Skapinok, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hostmark Hospitality Group
- C. Becker, Principal, Titan Group of New York, LLC
- Brian Burton, CHSE,CRME, Vice President Revenue Strategy & Optimization, White Lodging
- Michelle Crosby, CMP, National Sales Manager, Allied PRA Dallas/Fort Worth
- Katie Davin, CHSE, Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University-Providence
- Lisa Giaimo, VP of Sales & Marketing, OTO Development LLC
- Linda Gulrajani, CRME, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
- Kaaren Hamilton, CMP, CMM, VP, Global Sales, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
- Melissa Kouvelas, Senior Manager, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
- Joel Pyser, Senior Vice President, Sales, Newmarket, an Amadeus Company
- Larry Silman, Director of Strategic Sales, Americas, IDeaS - A SAS COMPANY
- Ronald Taylor, Vice President of Sales and Development, WCG Hotels
- Jim Vandevender, Chief Marketing Officer, The Knowland Group
- Christine Wight, Director of Resort & Conference Sales, Angel Fire Resort
- Tony Yeung, Principal, ZS Associates
- Holly Zoba, CHDM, Senior Vice President Of Hospitality Sales, Signature Worldwide