It’s the conundrum every hotelier faces almost daily or especially if you are looking at buying a motel or some other type of accommodation business:
As with any big decision, there are positives and negatives to choosing either, however if you’re craving more freedom to put into place more of your own ideas, then perhaps it’s time to consider a new position for you and your current business or if you are looking at buying a motel, hotel, B&B or serviced apartments. Firstly, we’re going to look at some of the positives and negatives that you can experience through loyalty to a chain or brand:
So the question then is:
Is my business nimble enough to become its own unique entity, or do I need the power of a bigger brand? The answer is not always easy to find, but perhaps the following points may help you weigh up your options:
To begin with, you can actually HAVE a point of difference, and it can be every single part of your business. It may be the concept behind your accommodation – from budget motel, to luxury suites, farm-stay to inner city “glamping” experiences – it’s yours to dream up and yours to create. It could be the way you market yourself. You may feel traditional marketing is outdated, and digital marketing isn’t for you, but want to try something more out there – a flash mob, a pop up store, any form of guerrilla marketing – you can do it, and no one will be there waving a book of regulations in your face. Your point of difference could simply be the service itself. You’ve got some fantastic, and more importantly authentic ideas to take the hospitality to a new level, but they’ve always been just ideas scrawled in a note pad. Not anymore! They can become realities and you’re free to trial and change until the model is perfect.
Current trends are showing a large swing towards unique experiences, away from the predictable hotel experience and by being independent, it allows you to tap into that up-swing. Guest are looking for something to remember. It is for this reason that there is a growing market of independent, boutique, unique and authentic accommodation experiences, which continue to strengthen, and in many areas, outperform their chain-bound rivals. As an independent hotelier, you’re free to pay more attention to detail to your customer’s experience, and focus on providing an original and exclusive stay that they cannot find anywhere else.
With a chain, you can forget about your dream of running a hotel or motel that is your creation, as you probably already know too well, you have no say over the way things are done. There’s no room for uniqueness and creativity in design with the big name brands, but achieving an original identity for your premises that isn’t branded and doesn’t replicate a stock-standard layout, but one that fits with your style and personality is 100% doable, and will work far more in your favour than the standard chain rooms we are so used to seeing!
As an independent hotelier, you’re able to significantly decrease your overheads and out of pocket costs, such as that commission you were paying on every booking, so the bottom line for independent hotels, a market which is only getting stronger, looks pretty good. If successful, your independent hotel, and the marketing, design, and experiential benefits that come with being your own entity, will stimulate a far better return on investment. After examining the realities of remaining bound by the ever-tightening shackles of a chain company, and seeing your dream property on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to begin laying down the groundwork to get that amazing business you’ve so longed for.