Businesses can’t do it all themselves. Nor should they try.
Many businesses want to internalize every function of their operation. This business model requires hiring new staff and continuously training employees. Last - but certainly not least - it requires a significant financial investment.
In this blog post, guest blogger Lidia Staron explores four services hotels should look to outsource to save budget and focus on primary business operations.
When possible, it is often a wise decision to outsource some business operations to outside professional services. This decision ensures that the business can efficiently focus its internal employees’ efforts to run the primary business operations. In contrast, some of the satellite operations are handled by those well-equipped to excel in their areas of expertise.
Hotels are no different. There are several job functions that a hotel can - and probably should - outsource to professional service providers. This practice will save money while ensuring that these services are being performed at an optimal level. So what services should you look to outsource? Here's our top 4:
1. Information technologies (IT)
Many businesses have their own IT departments to maintain their computer systems, networks, and any internal proprietary software that they may use. However, it is becoming increasingly common for businesses to outsource their tech needs to IT Management services. In fact, according to a 2021 report, 37% of all companies are currently outsourcing for their IT needs. And that number is increasing yearly.
Maintaining computer systems and networks requires a lot of specialized knowledge. The amount of training needed can be much higher than that of other departments within a company, and the costs tend to be higher.
Outsourcing a hotel’s IT services can reduce overhead while ensuring that systems are kept up to date and well maintained by a staff of professionals in the industry.
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Another job function within a hotel that is ripe for outsourcing is equipment maintenance. Maintenance of the hotel’s equipment and mechanical systems is an area where it is almost always better to outsource.
Think about all the different hotel equipment and systems there are that need maintenance. Air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical systems, and landscaping are just a few of the different areas where a hotel will need regular maintenance and repairs. That is a lot of variety, and it is unrealistic to think that a hotel can manage maintenance staff internally that can adequately handle all those specialties efficiently.
The better solution is to outsource all maintenance to service providers who can guarantee an expert level of experience across various necessary maintenance tasks. There are two approaches to take when outsourcing for maintenance, and they both have their merits:
- The first option: Identify service providers for each system or equipment type that will require maintenance. For example, hire one company to handle the HVAC maintenance and another to take care of plumbing upkeep. This approach takes more effort in identifying which company to use for each specialized maintenance area, but it could potentially result in cost savings with the freedom to shop around.
- The second option: Utilize a single agency that partners with professionals in different areas of maintenance expertise. This way, the hotel only needs to deal with the agency, and the agency will then take care of the rest.
3. Outbound sales
Selling is difficult, and there’s a reason that the best salespeople have very lucrative careers. When you have a knack for convincing consumers to buy, you’re bringing increasing cash flow for the business and thus are rewarded for the value you provide.
The problem is that training and keeping a highly skilled sales staff is difficult. For a business such as a hotel, that’s a lot of overhead in staffing and training for what may only be a modest return on investment. Instead, trusted outbound sales services can be utilized to reduce a hotel’s costs while seeing a higher sales conversion rate.
4. Digital Marketing
In the 21st century, any hotel that cares about reputation and exposure has a website. One could also argue that in modern times it is also prudent for hotels to be active on social media and actively market their business on several digital platforms.
Digital marketing is a highly specialized area of expertise and is one that should be outsourced. The landscape of online marketing is vast and in a constant state of flux due to ever-changing algorithms. It takes an expert with a high level of experience and dedication to keep up with these changes and always be a step ahead in their marketing strategies. A Google advertising strategy that worked just a year ago may prove utterly ineffective today.
A hotel has too many other priorities to also staff and constantly train a digital marketing department.
Businesses of all sizes and across all industries are becoming more open to outsourcing segments of their operations. Accounting, IT, maintenance, sales, marketing, and many other job functions can be performed at a lower cost by an agency than to be staffed internally. Overhead is reduced, and quality is equal to or better than what can be provided in-house for many specialized job functions.
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