All posts by Aparna Desai

About Aparna Desai

Content Writer at eZee Technosys, I also administer social media updates and a little bit of digital marketing besides just writing. I am an engineer, a journalism fellow and a Literature fanatic. Old books, science and nature make a happy Aparna.

How to save hotel business from closing down: Turnaround tips

If it is a business, it has got risks involved.

Here the word risk holds true in every sense. When you fail in risk management, your business fails. Same goes for hotel business plan. Hospitality is all about relationship between a guest and a host, wherein host receives guest with goodwill, including reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. (That’s what Wikipedia says) This very nature of hospitality business makes it inherently competitive, volatile and thereby subjected to go downhill.

Hotelier worrying about his failing hotel business plan

The industry is at a touch-point where hardly one-third of hospitality business start-ups sustain and make it longer than a decade. Evidently, most of the properties that are opening up now won’t be around in next couple of years. With low overall profit, hotel businesses might struggle to outlast an average business lifespan.

Hospitality industry as a business

When it comes to running a hotel business, there is a lot more than just people checking in and out. Hotels operate 24/7.

Hotel management covers diversified operations and departments such as customer service, staff management, inventory and assets management, hiring, training, marketing, accounting. Therefore, it takes immense expertise to sustain the business and last long in industry.

My business is working very well. Why should I read this?

Because precaution is better than cure. Simple!

It is better to safeguard your business from a set of events and situation leading to close-down than trying to fix when the ship starts sinking. Send this research to your fellow hoteliers for them to stay mindful of these key practices. Nevertheless, this guide shall give a slight hint of what can cause a turmoil in your smoothly running business and how to overcome it.

Reaching to the root of the subject under consideration, Customer Success Team at eZee approached some businesses to figure out why a hotel business plan would collapse. Here’s what they found:

What do hotel businesses do wrong?

Businesses don’t fail just like that; at times, they simply fail to reach their full potential. Economy, guests influx, places, expenses, wage and goods costs and management can be hard.

Not all reasons are responsible to collapse a hotel business plan, but these are factors that could erode your profit. Presented below is just a collection of how-and-why-it-happened. You can mitigate risk of damage by keeping in mind these strategies in order to radically elevate business performance index.

Stay prepared and take insights from this compilation and you’ll learn what to do and what not to do. Let’s explore!

Bad reviews by guests speak a lot about you!

Bad reviews are never healthy for any organization, let alone hotels. Poor customer satisfaction renders negative reviews. When a guest is not happy with services they often take it to internet and it can be hazardous to your business.

Unfortunately, one such bad review can attract plenty of other bad reviews too. Impact of testimony is so severe that it can influence many other potential guests. Ripple effect is you might end up losing existing guests for life. Displeased guests can spread the word about your not-so-good services like anything. And online review websites allow them to speak aloud about their experience with you.

The best way to deal with negative reviews is to RESPOND to them, quickly and politely. Justify their pain points and restore their faith in you again.

Mind well, your response to a negative review helps other guests decide whether to visit you again or not.

Solid burns: Unfavorable market conditions

The neighbourhood your hotel is standing in changes with each passing moment. The market you operate in is no different. When economy is at the downturn, value fluctuations of assets and business; and subsequently revenue; can be dead expensive. Poor market timing, declination in year-over-year, resulting in compact RevPAR, all these are signals that you are falling through cracks.

If only you have ample capital/refinancing resources and workforce, you can pull through the distressed downturn environment and possibly recoup your CapEx. Otherwise, it may bring about foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If you don’t have comprehensive knowledge of conventional operations in industry, market behaviors; then all that you need is a concrete advice.

Incompetent staff leading to amateurish performance

Hiring inexpensive readily available staff can cost loads to your business. When a hotel project is administered by amateur hands, it would eventually lead to subpar results and probably a complete disaster too. The incompetent people in operations create impedance for an organization to operate in full swing. When your staff is not adequately skilled, it increases cost contingency.

However, recruiting right people can prove to be a difficult job. The right people with a solid track record have diligence to directly impact business performance to the bottom line.

Employee dissatisfaction

The properties that do not have a defined ‘people culture’ always face a hard time in business. How would a discontent staff create a pleasant ambiance for guests? When your hotel is resolute to serve guests in the best manner, you need a victorious team.

You cannot build a winning team if people keep coming and going.

Educate your staff, provide them with growth and advancement, cultivate the harmonious mindset among them and reap the reward.

Huge debts, non-payment of loans, cost overrun

When cash flow reaches the bottom, your last resort would be reserved assets or liquidation. But when even this fails, you default and simply lose the property. Incidentally, higher leverage typically renders a hefty interest rate. Simply put, as capital cost and debts go higher, so does risk to reward ratio.

When you borrow money (for renovations, maintenance, property extensions, or for any sane reason) and accrue huge debts, you put your hotel business plan at stake. In case if you fail in repayment, then you have no choice but to close down.

Not to forget, upon failing to abide by loan agreements, lenders can legally recover the loan amount by liquidating hotel assets.

When your reserved capital is insufficient, it results in reduced profit and thereby quality; brand erosion, and eventually lifespan of business – something that took years to build.

The remedy is a disciplined approach to managing cash flow and CapEx. You should stress test entire business plan in order to safeguard from potential downswings of seasonal impacts and industry cycles.

Rule of thumb
Always set aside a contingency amount that you can sustain on for at least 6-12 months for repayments or operational essentials. Keep a check on expenditures, Because, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Old school business model: Non-adaptability to market changes

Some businesses still operate as if they are in stone age. Is yours one of them?

  • Are you relying solely on past guest referrals and walk-in guests?
  • No additional efforts to escalate growth rate?
  • Have boring old-world menus and services?
  • Are you miles away from creativity and contemporary swag?

If you have these symptoms then you are suffering from ‘non-adaptability issue’ and you are prone to definite eventual business failure.

Only treatment is to implement new dynamics of hospitality technology to take business to a new level, and those are,

  • Staying updated with new industry trends and tools,
  • Technology: Installing a Hotel Management System,
  • Booking Engine and Channel Manager to capture online bookings (70% of travellers book a room online! Did you know that?)
  • Adapting practices and systems that bring in higher productivity and effective returns.

Lack or absence of Marketing/Internet presence

If you are still not able to let go of those obsolete marketing methods, matter-of-factly death bells are ringing for you.

There was a time when just putting a neon sign for vacancy outside hotel entrance, you could bring in guests looking for accommodation. But times have changed! A neon sign does not work anymore.

Today, marketing has grown to be deeply sophisticated and systematic. You can target guests you are looking for. There are segments of audience, channels to approach them, and all tools to get global: Online travel agents, distribution systems, software to capture bookings, and websites; everything to help you showcase your services right from your desk.

Then you have emails, mobile apps, and social media to connect with your guests in each and every corner of world. Travellers have gone digital!

Get yourself enrolled in an online marketing class to learn nooks and crannies and to master all those modern marketing and advertising strategies and tools. However, before jumping in unpredictable results, all you need is right systems and right strategies to achieve long term growth.

Bottom line is, you should be able to attract right guests in right season, utilize complete inventory, drive more profits and manage business like a boss!

Lastly, perspective matters. Take time to analyze what your guests seek from you. And channelize your efforts and resources accordingly to deliver what is expected.

Bad location

Your location can be quite weak to expect reasonable guest influx or it can weaken over time due to changing landscapes of a location.

How easily your guests can find you? Is parking available? Are you close to popular entertainment or sports venues attracting high footfalls? These factors signify right location as well as property valuation.

Sometimes, property is located at a wrong or marginal location, hence wrongfully calculating potential business variables might lead to downfall. Once infrastructure is built, it becomes a permanent address of your hotel till it running, it cannot be moved. Nevertheless, market condition would always change, in your favor or against you.

In a Nutshell
The location based factors such as cash flow, ROI, asset valuation, exit value, and everything that you can imagine; always speculate them as early as you can to withstand varying location dynamics.

Shortcomings in management

When management thinks they can do away with business, that is when downfall starts. If there are,

  • Disparate views in managerial body,
  • End of contract or lease for property,
  • Discontinued investment,
  • Underwriting and liability risk,
  • Groundless assumptions made in hotel business plan,
  • Disputes with landowner,
  • Or, Real Estate issues.

Then, the governing body might show inflexibility, leading to foreclosure.

Low occupancy rates

When room occupancy rate in market hits low, you have no choice but to wait.

Increase in accommodation facilities in your area or (comparatively!) higher prices of your rooms in market; can lead to lower occupancy rate.

Have you heard about Revenue Management Services? They have expert methods to optimize occupancy and thereby revenue. Give it a try. At last, breaking even is better than operating in losses.

Absent or poorly structured business plan

Your hotel business plan must be structured so as to define marketing and development strategies, budget and expenditure speculations and more.

You need a plan to know your target. Wondering why you have no control over your business? Because you don’t have a plan.

Increasing competition

If your competitors are doing better than you, then definitely they have a better shot at business than you. Strongly positioned competitor, be it new or renovated; can nudge you out of market.

Competition is inevitable. you cannot escape it. Only way out is to develop a “Warrior Mindset”.

Thus, values plunge with increasing competition, making it difficult for you to survive. Then, only time and rise in demand would decide recovery duration.

Little or no understanding of Business Metrics

As a business owner, it is imperative for you to understand key elements and performance indicators that determine and control business course. Identifying break even points, contingency, known-unknown-fixed-variable costs, contribution margins, wages, asset values, gross profits, and suchlike ascertain how your business is doing at any point in time.

Build systems and standards along with KPIs in order to measure business performance without having to be present at property.

Technologically challenged

Lack of integrated business systems can lead to poor administration and execution in recent times. Using pen and paper or, excel sheets and old computer in name of technology simply will pin you down.

Try using advanced hospitality technology that gives you

  • Power of operation automation,
  • One touch information,
  • On the go access,
  • Single dashboard administration.

There are plenty of services and solutions that suit your hotel business plan and property type, implement and make the most of it. You will be rewarded with more efficient staff, quick services, and giant reduction in operational costs.

Other reasons include,

  • Poor property maintenance
  • Wrong business model
  • Demolition of the building, new infrastructure to replace it
  • Business disconnected with local community
  • Failure to control theft and nuisance activities around property
  • Tax policies of local government and business regulations.

Coming to a conclusion, we can believe that success and failure of hotel businesses are driven by several factors. Troubles materializing from both, internal and external sources make the industry challenging. Additionally, modern travellers laden with all the information at fingertips will make it no less challenging. Only tactically dealing with those troubles helps a business sustain.

To make it easier, here is a checklist for you. While you go out and strategize for a perfect hotel business plan, don’t forget to check this up!

The Master Checklist

A detailed review of the market
Analysis and understanding of demand driving factors and future changes
Understanding competition and its impact on business
Detailed study of periodic performance reports and stats
Trying and implementing new hotel management technologies
Timely review of contracts, agreements and licenses
Creating and keeping in check the back up systems

Final Thoughts

If you learn and assimilate in advance every nuance of how to avoid such mistakes, you would soon become a seasoned hotelier. Way to go!

Hospitality is a service industry, unlike other businesses. It needs to be actively managed consistently day after day. You need to have systems, processes, policies, plan and a purely analytical mindset to survive and succeed.

However, when you get vibes that it is falling apart, take quick and wise actions. Don’t just sit back and hope for it to get better eventually. So now that you have read this guide, you are all set to dive in hotel business and rock it! Thank me later.

eZee gets a new CTO: Transformation on its way

Chief Technology officer. This designation itself expresses that the personage leading this position would be subjected to scientific and technological aspects and governance in an organization.

For a tech-pro company like eZee- living and breathing technology; position of CTO is a vital rank in itself. Hence, choice of a successor would affect company’s technology strategy and become a deciding factor in upcoming growth and development plans. However, with technology transforming everyday, technology officers are expected to develop and implement ingenious strategies. Consequently, aligning these plans with organizational goals is what a technology leader does best.

The Big Announcement

On the morning of 25th March, a general assembly was called at eZee. All eZeeites gathered with a dash of surprise and wonder on their faces. As zero hour approached, Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee started addressing the audience. And during discourse, in presence of all employees, Vipul Kapoor declared name of his successor, that is, Harshdeep. He announced that Harshdeep Khatri will be Chief technology Officer to lead tech innovations at company.

After 9 years of dynamic leadership on various technology frontiers in eZee, Harshdeep Khatri will now officially rise to mantle of CTO of eZee Technosys: the company constantly innovating with breakthrough technologies.

After effects: Reactions. Cheers. And Congratulations.

eZeeites rolled out red carpet for Harshdeep, new CTO. Fondly Known as HRK in entire eZee, people know him as a master of converting theoretical concepts in reality.

This decision has come on a very right time, when eZee is going for a next level growth and expansion plan. Appointment of new CTO will open up a whole new dimension of growth in terms of technology.

Today hundreds of users are using eZee’s cloud based hospitality solutions. We are growing exponentially in terms of customers, users, partners. In that case, major challenge is to control technology to sustain this massive growth. We are enrolling and serving a mighty number of clients with each passing month. Summarily, we need solid optimized products along with strong and skilled teams of engineers to be in the service of such high volume of live users. As a leader Harshdeep can bring in same vision in entire team and deliver ultimate user experience.

New CTO is totally equipped with all expertise to manage products on a larger scale. Dynamic in nature, Harshdeep always goes that extra mile. People know him as a leader with example. A unique trait in his personality makes him go to the depth of puzzles, execute from various perspectives, and then design a solution that fixes solution forever.

What lies behind co-founder’s discovery of successor

Vipul has certainly got some plausible arguments on why he put seal on HRK’s candidature. “He is very good at implementing different concepts of technology, concepts that are complex in nature.” he said. “Theoretically existing concepts too require research of applicability. And I am confident that Harshdeep contains that grit and can certainly take eZee solutions to the next level.”

Enlightening further with wisdom about CTO and accountability that the designation holds, Vipul shared, “One has to be a team player, one has to run large teams and numerous products. A CTO works with everyone, works on every technology. Therefore, an understanding to gel with everyone is a must. Talking to team, dealing with their daily affairs, requirements, questions, challenges, and career aspirations is a critical and essential skill a leader should possess.”

Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee welcomed new CTO with ultimate gratitude. He said, “I particularly thank Vipul for bringing about succession plan and eventually select Harshdeep. I welcome him and offer complete cooperation and assistance to him in execution of new ideas and new technologies that make eZee solutions even better. “

Hitesh Patel, co-founder and Managing Director of eZee expressed delight on decision saying, ”Harshdeep has played an exceptional role as a Head of Cloud technologies in eZee through a challenging period of technology transition. His proven track record of successfully leading cloud based products assuredly makes him a perfect candidate to be chosen for position of CTO to lead technology advancements at eZee. I am happy to see him at this position today.”

Throwback: A look into the flashback

To sum up Harshdeep’s journey in eZee, he went from a junior programmer in 2008 to Head of Cloud Technology by 2015 and now Chief technology Officer in 2017.

He is known for massively bringing down scheduled downtime from 2 hours to 2 minutes during the release of new versions of eZee cloud solutions, and he heads towards 0 downtime now.

As an interface programmer, Harshdeep worked with desktop based technology in initial days. Foreseeing potential of cloud platform, eZee went ahead to build a cloud based service segment. Harshdeep took over research and exploration part to evaluate viability of cloud platform in eZee solutions.

He researched on what technology to implement, which infrastructure to use, thenafter leading the team, he kick started production of cloud based hotel PMS eZee Absolute. Going forward, he commenced development of other cloud based products like eZee Reservation booking Engine and eZee Centrix Channel Manager. He closely supervised minutes of software framework, architecture, development, deployment, support, troubleshooting and everything concerning those solutions. As a result, we could build robust solutions and are able to support hundreds of live users using them.

And yes, eZeeites had to say this

The way forward

In a product based company like eZee, position of CTO can prove to be challenging. Not only the technology but hardware, infrastructure, devices, databases, live users, support, teammates and every peripheral that one can imagine emerges as a challenge.

How innovation comes into play? You come across a tech advancement such as Machine Learning, and you think about how can you use it to make your own products better. What new feature or adoption of which new mechanism can make it easier for your users? Well, that’s how a Technology Officer can lead and build a technical masterpiece that facilitates every user.

“Operating in domain specific company operating in hospitality industry, leaders cannot do without sound knowledge of industry. Ultimately, why we develop hospitality solutions? To solve hoteliers’ daily management troubles and help them run their business more effectively. Until and unless you understand their needs, what their guests demand from them, you won’t be able to build a right software. That’s another skill set you require.” says Vipul Kapoor.

One must be strong and ready to build and sustain massive IT infrastructure, millions of live users, and ability to support them, in order to go to the next level.

A technology officer observes and analyses changing industry trends and advancing technology spectrum. In order to maintain numerous product mix altogether and handling such large teams, a CTO must be equipped with dynamics to adopt new technology and fundamentals. To drive growth, one needs to acquire skills; have unique approaches; listen to customers, partners, team players, collect feedback and work accordingly.

eZee and opportunities: A promise kept forever

Here at eZee, we have always offered utmost assurance to high performing talent to be recognized and brought to right place. In upcoming time, we are looking for more talent. We shall observe and create platforms and opportunities for them. Right talents always find matching challenges and responsibilities at eZee.

Best example of rewarded talent is CEO Aeijaz Sodawala himself. Aeijaz went from a support engineer to achieve CEO position eventually. And now, starting from a junior programmer to reaching CTO rank, Harshdeep has certainly raised the bar higher with this remarkable achievement.

Notably, in eZee; every talent gets equal exposure and a chance to grow like never before.

Endnote

Meanwhile, the new CTO sends out an energizing message, “We are ready with all new plans and goals to be best in technology. We are at a place where a single person plays multiple roles. Together we can work on everything what we are and can be best at. Our strength is strong portfolio of various products. Therefore, we will be focusing more on providing flawless user experience and building trust factor.”

To which eZeeites respond, ‘It is big time to stand with new CTO. We shall march forward and thrive together. Whatever we do and whatever we develop, our sole aim would be unanimous – to provide best technology to all hoteliers worldwide.’

eZeeites to march forward with new CEO Aeijaz Sodawala

After conduction of an extensive search, eZee Technosys: world’s leading hospitality solutions provider finds an impeccably qualified candidate for the position of company’s new CEO.

Privileged to announce the discovery of the new CEO, eZee is appointing Mr. Aeijaz Sodawala, the present COO of company as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) in January,2016. Succeeding Mr. Hitesh Patel the current CEO and Co-founder of eZee Technosys, Aeijaz will be responsible for taking the company to new heights.

  • Aejaz Sodawala speaks about Client Satisfaction
  • eZee Technosys introduces the CEO designee
  • eZee Products to advance under administration of new CEO
  • New CEO to expand Global Administration
  • CEO Agenda: New Business Processes to be designed

The search for a worthy successor was prolonged in order to scrutinize and establish the emerging candidacy, so that the seal could be set upon it. Having been working in eZee since 7 long years, Aeijaz Sodawala was unanimously chosen to hold the position of company CEO in upcoming future.

Congratulating Aeijaz Sodawala, Mr. Vipul Kapoor- Co-founder and CTO of eZee Technosys said,We have made this decision after a comprehensive search pursuit and detailed planning of inheritance, I can think of no one better to manage and lead a singular company like eZee.

Upon this significant announcement, we ought to shed some light on the distinctive qualities of the new leader by virtue of which he has set an inspirational benchmark. Associated with company since 2008, Aeijaz has developed a sharp understanding of hospitality business processes. During his journey in eZee, he has closely worked with all the departments of company; which made him a 360° know-how with innovative thoughts to make every operation well organized.

Efficient frontier and CEO desingee of eZee, Aeijaz holds the track record of successful entrepreneurship in the South-East Asian market. Aeijaz has acquired vast experience in start up establishment. He has been a key driver in creating the foundation for hospitality software of eZee Technosys outside India. He worked on multiple projects in Thailand where he discovered vast opportunities for eZee solutions in ASEAN hospitality market. It took a great deal of exploration and research to determine risk-reward ratio, then eZee Malaysia was established and for next 3 years he worked hard to get the company up and running.

Aeijaz Sodawala said expressing gratitude.am honoured to receive this amazing opportunity, and excited about the possibilities foreseen in near future. I strongly believe that the only way to measure a company’s potential is by client satisfaction which can be achieved only by providing a flawless user experience and not a massive marketing budget. On the core level, eZee already possesses a varied range of cutting-edge solutions that are regularly upgraded as the technological market demands keeping user experience in mind. I can’t wait to embark on this exciting journey with my team and continue to deliver high-end service.

Fellow employees of eZee perceive the change in leadership passionately, declaring unanimous support of team members. Aeijaz himself is an epicenter of zealous passion and never-ending enthusiasm, all time pointing the way to mutual goal achievement. The enterprising CEO talks about his major strategies and approach through which he is expected to trail-blaze the business and innovation in company. He assures and prioritizes client satisfaction by delivering best products and by technically strengthening the team eZee.

Mr. Hitesh Patel, current CEO manifested faith in the management’s choice,Aeijaz is a young and hard-working man with a track record of strong leadership, great ability to empathize with clients as well the team and deep understanding of the industry business processes. This along with his spectacular vision for the future of the company uniquely qualifies him to lead eZee successfully into the future.

A peculiarity of his influential persona is consolidation of thoughts and efforts in a unified direction. The extensive knowledge and experience he has collected requires a lot of time and patience that creates a footing to serve CEO responsibilities. The board is sure to itself that this change in leadership is expected to provide momentum to rapidly growing organization ensuring future sustainability and development. He can influence and persuade the team mates to action that eventually leads to greater growth, better outcomes and utmost customer satisfaction.

Lastly, getting ready for the marathon; the CEO designee quotes a maxim,To develop a world class organization delivering world class services, effectuate bottom and top line business processes.


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