Congratulations. You finally own your hotel. After grueling years of hard work and self-sacrifices, it’s here. Now you’re the Big Kahuna and it’s – let’s face it, it’s extremely scary.

After all, one tiny slipup can land you into bankruptcy, poverty and a host of many other unpleasantness it churns your stomach to think about it. Your employees also count on you to make the critical decisions. And it’s your job to make sure they do their job otherwise it’s a sinking ship for the lot of you. But we know you’ve got this in the bag. After the years of grinding work to put your hotel on the map, you know what you’ve gone through is enough to galvanize you for the challenges of the future. So believe in yourself and inscribe these tips t heart. They are the difference between an abysmal failure, and making a great start.

  1. Go get you a Sensei

Sensei is Japanese for master and in this case, it means getting yourself a mentor. Someone who is battle-hardened, with a lot of experience in the industry. It’s one thing to read a lot of research material and binge on YouTube videos, and it’s quite a different ballgame to have a discourse with someone who has lived the industry.

It’s up to you to make your establishment flourish. Quit with the defeatist mentality and the “Oh, I don’t know anyone to talk to” and get off your butt to go look for some contacts. Nothing stops you from going into a well-established hotel to ask around. You just might find someone who’s willing to teach you the ropes to succeed.

  1. Scrutinize Your Hirer

A wise man once said “You are only as good as the sum of people you surround yourself with”. A wise saying indeed. Hire yourself some smart people. Hire people with proven industry experience. If possible – and if you can afford it, outsource the hiring process to a company well-known for excellence.

It’s always better to higher people who are far smarter than you are, that way, they get to think for you. It’s a heck of a job to lead a bunch of people, talk more a bunch of clueless people. The buck stops at your table, if you’re going to have to watch over your employees like a helicopter mum watching over her kids, then you’re better off selling your assets and closing shop because the hotel business isn’t for you. But when you make smart hires, you get freed up to do other activities which can improve the value of your hotel such as implementing feedback from your guests.

  1. Implement feedback from your guests

Yep. I literally just said that. Without feedback, your hotel can’t grow in the right direction. The world is dynamic and society is ever-changing and so do people too. What was the rage in the past is likely not what’s in vogue today. Listen to your guests. They are the only ones whose opinions matter. Not you, not your employees, and not your spouse – unless your spouse is a paying guest. So try to interact with them at every time an opportunity comes up.

It’s also important to talk to them because this registers in their consciousness that you care enough about their experience to ask them if they enjoyed their stay. Print questionnaires and give your guests. Also don’t forget the usefulness of social media. You could conduct polls online and make them rank their experiences and it’s an efficient way to collect feedback.

  1. Communication is Key

There’s nothing better than feedback. And I don’t mean between guests, but your employees. Always leave an open line of communication. A broken chain of communication is a recipe for disaster.

Organize meetings as many times as possible. Give them the freedom to air their concerns. Because your employees are better positioned to know certain developments you may not, it’s always important to make sure there’s a level of camaraderie and warmth between employees and their employer so they can feel free to go up to you in case there’s an urgent issue to be resolved.