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Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, December 14,  2009

Hotel Common Sense –
Now is the time to invest in Your People


By Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA MHS, December 14, 2009

For much of the past two years, many industries faced serious economic challenges, including dramatic erosion of revenue and profitability, as well as the loss of long-term customers and loyal staff.  As an industry, hospitality in literally all segments struggled to find ways to meet the global financial meltdown and the scorecard is not yet in for 2009 end of year results.

Simple cutbacks and “tightening of  our belts” is not a full or effective course of action and the proactive leaders in our industry realize they must do more in 2010  than to “stay the course” in this economic slump. In my career, I have experienced four major economic recessions that all dramatically hurt our industry for a period and I have participated in four recoveries.

Now, beginning in January 2010, is the time for hospitality business owners and managers to invest in their teams.  As we rebuild our focus into an anticipated recovery over the next 8-24 months (depending on the particular forecast for specific markets), those practical industry leaders will recognize that now is the time to pay attention to those professionals in our organizations who are the key components of why guests will stay with our businesses.

I hated every minute of training, but I said, "Don't quit. Suffer now
and live the rest of your life as a champion." 
Muhammad Ali 
It is a challenge in cost-conscious operations today for managers to leave their properties for professional development, but it also a reality that there is seldom dedicated time for on-the-job training, which has habitually been a strong element of the hospitality industry’s career advancement path.   There are many issues facing the diverse world of hospitality and today’s managers need to be aware of that diversity, regardless of their own special focus

As an individual who has been involved with well thought-out learning as both an academic and a corporate educator, I have come to recognize that delivering a balance of real-world business skills and comprehension with structured learning is essential to long-term success.

An excellent example of this balance of learning is an annual program offered by the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association. The Association’s 65th Annual Short Course program is scheduled in Houston in the 2nd full week of January 2010 and I am proud to have been asked to return for a third consecutive year. I will again participate with both a key note on service and a workshop on Operations in Understanding the Heart of Hospitality – Housekeeping and Engineering.

The 2010 Short Course , proudly co- sponsored by American Express and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, has its traditional strong range of topics including: 

  • Change is Good 
  • Controlling Alcohol Risks Effectively
  • Creating a Service Culture for the 21st Century
  • Customer Service
  • Employment Law for the Hotel Industry
  • Hire Tough,  Manage Easy in Today’s Tough Times
  • Food & Beverage Strategies
  • Hotel Law
  • Building Operations:  Understanding the Heart of Hospitality – Housekeeping and Engineering
  • Interdepartmental Communications
  • Loss Prevention
  • Marketing
  • Positive Management for Positive Performance
  • Revenue Management
  • Team Building
  • The Connected & Committed Leader and
  • “Where Do We Go From Here?”
There is only so much content that can be included in a one-week program and other universities and associations globally offer strong programs of varying length, content and investment. 

Additional programs of study I would recommend to individuals for consideration in 2010 include: 

  • Ownership and management structures (especially critical in family businesses) 
  • Strategic Planning 
  • Real Estate Development and Taxation
  • Technology for Executives 
  • Global Marketing and Sales Management
  • Financial Management and Accounting for Executives 
  • Diversity and Ethics in Human Resources
  • The Need and Value of Hospitality Associations as Business and Political Lobbying Resources
  • Capital Project Management and 
  • Understanding Green Hotel Business Initiatives
What are you doing at your hotel today?

Feel free to share an idea for a column at johnjhogan@yahoo.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements …………. 

And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES can be obtained from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com,  www.smartbizzonline.com  and other industry sources. 

All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.   The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication

Expertise and Research Interest
• Sales Management and training
• Turn-around and revenue management
• Professional Development & Customer Service 
• Hospitality Leadership and Executive Education
• Making Cultural Diversity Real
• Accreditation & Developing Academic Hospitality programs

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

John Hogan, a career hotelier and educator, is a frequent speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is a successful senior executive with a record of accomplishment leading organizations at multiple levels.  His professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development, consulting, management, including service as Senior Vice President of Operations. 

As the principal in an independent training & consulting group, he served associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He has managed hotels with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independents and in his tenure at Best Western International, he created and launched a blended learning system for the world’s largest hotel chain.  He has conducted an estimated 3,200 workshops and classes in his career, including service as an adjunct faculty member for 20 years at three different institutions. 

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Contact:

Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
johnjhogan@yahoo.com

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Also See: Hotel Common Sense - Where Is Your Desk? / Dr John Hogan / November 2009
A “High Touch” Lesson for Hospitality Managers - Understanding Body Language / Dr John Hogan / November 2009
The Annual Review: Options to Avoid Struggling to Measure Staff Performance (part 2) / Dr John Hogan / November 2009
The Annual Review: Options to Avoid Struggling to Measure Staff Performance / Dr John Hogan / October 2009
Hotel Common Sense - Recognizing the Many Ways to Reach and Influence Potential Guests / Dr John Hogan / October 2009
Hotel Common Sense - The Most Important Words for the Workplace / Dr John Hogan / September 2009
Hotel Common Sense - A Message to General Managers on Creating Successful Sales Management for 2010 / Dr John Hogan / September 2009
Hotel Common Sense - Understanding the Facts for Effective Hotel Sales Management / Dr John Hogan / September 2009
Hotel Common Sense - A Hotelier's Self - Assessment Quiz / Dr John Hogan / September 2009
"A Baker’s Dozen" of Strategies for Hotel Human Resource Managers & Directors / Dr. John Hogan / September 2009
A Baker's Dozen of Strategies in Maximizing Leads and Attendee Sales Potential at your Hospitality Trade Show Booth - part 2 of 2 / Dr John Hogan / August 2009
Increasing Traffic at your Hospitality Trade Show Booth / Dr John Hogan / August 2009
A Sales Self-evaluation test for General Managers / Dr John Hogan / August 2009
Hotel Common Sense – Effective Sales Management: Short and Long-term Planning, Forecasting, and  Expense Budgeting / Part 2 of 2 / Dr. John Hogan / August 2009
Hotel Common Sense – Effective Sales Management: Short and Long-term Planning, Forecasting, and  Expense Budgeting / Part 1 of 2 / Dr. John Hogan / August 2009
Hotel Common Sense -Recognizing There is More than One Approach to Ongoing Success in Building Revenues / Dr John Hogan / July 2009
Hotel Common Sense – A New Look at Awards and Recognition / Dr John Hogan / July 2009
Lessons on Brands and Discounting / Dr John Hogan / July 2009
Hotel Common Sense Using Business Social Networks Productively / Dr John Hogan / July 2009
A Common Sense Review Process for Capital Investments / Dr John Hogan / July 2009
Understanding Values: The Challenge to Identify and Keep Them During Tough Economic Times / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
Personal Stories of Delivering Hospitality and Pride / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
What is Your Definition of Leadership? / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
Examining Why Do We Really Do What We Do? / Dr John Hogan / June 2009
Delivering Hospitality and Pride / Dr John Hogan / May 2009
Act As if You Are Number Two / Dr John Hogan / May 2009
A Baker’s Dozen of Fundamentals for Retaining Quality Staff / Dr John Hogan / May 2009
Customer Relationship Management Requires a Blending of High Tech and High Touch for Optimal Results / Dr John Hogan / May 2009
Do You Know Where Your Customer Is? Or Knowing Where Your Business Originates / Dr John Hogan / April 2009
Understanding what we measure and making it count! Strategies for Hotel Controllers / Dr John Hogan / April 2009
“A Bakers Dozen” of Strategies for Hotel Controllers / Dr John Hogan / April 2009
A Different Appraisal of Our Biggest Challenges in 2009 / Dr John Hogan / April 2009
Reflections: Mentors and Friends - Vermont Hoteliers Borden and Louise Avery and their Son Allen / Dr John Hogan / March 2009
Remember to Embrace the Essentials in Sales; Revenue and net profits can often depend on how one of the most fundamental practices in sales- how incoming phone calls are handled / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009
Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment; Working With Your Hotel Franchisor for Everyone’s Success / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009
Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment; Evaluating the franchise business model as a potential franchisee / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009
Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel Franchise Investment / Dr. John Hogan / Dr. John Hogan / March 2009
Four Steps: How to Make More Sales Calls than Any Other Way Or Trade Shows Can Be Invaluable If. . . / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009
A Baker’s Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Chief Engineers / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009
"A Baker's Dozen" of Strategies for Hotel  Banquet Managers / Dr. John Hogan / February 2009
Making New Year's Sales and Marketing Resolutions Real and Practical / Dr. John Hogan / January 2009
Planning in a Challenging Economy - Probing Hotel Expenses / Dr. John Hogan / December 2008
Planning in a Challenging Economy - Fundamentals of Hotel Sales Planning / Dr. John Hogan / December 2008
A Message for Hoteliers: Giving Thanks - and Not Just One Day Each Year! / Dr John Hogan / November 2008
Hoteliers Must Remember the Lessons of Reasonable Care! / John Hogan / November 2008
Enthusiastic and Sincere Attitudes Will Pay Off For Hotel Salespeople / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / November 2008
Unleash the Potential! Recognize the True Value of Your Front Line Sales People / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / November 2008
Defining Hospitality - Readers Respond with their Insights / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008
Understanding the Value and Power of Breakfast / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008
A Bakers Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Restaurant Managers / Hotel Common Sense / John Hogan / October 2008
A Bakers Dozen of Strategies for Hotel Food and Beverage Directors / Hotel Common Sense / John Hoganv/ September 2008
My Definition of Hospitality. What’s Yours? / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008
Principles for Success as a Hotel Manager: 6 Observations on Finding and Employing Problem Solvers / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008
10 Hotel Sales Action Steps to Succeed in Today’s Competitive Marketplace / Dr. John Hogan / September 2008
10 Hotel Sales Mistakes to Avoid in Today’s Competitive Marketplace / Dr. John Hogan / August 2008
Ways to Identify and Build Repeat Guests / Dr John Hogan / August 2008
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Maintaining Relationships Throughout the Organization / Dr John Hogan / August 2008
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part four: Communicating with Clarity and Candor / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part three: Using your management style effectively / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager - Part Two: Motivating the Team / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager Part One: Understanding the Organization / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008 
Updating Hotel Marketing and Sales Strategies Mid Year NOW Is Essential / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008
Don’t Underestimate the Impact of the Hotel Sales Office / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008
Factors for Successful Interviewing Potential Hotel Sales Candidates / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008
The Importance of Meaningful Sales Team Job Descriptions / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008
For Hotels with Limited Service, Fewer than 100 Rooms - How Do You Determine if You Need a Person Dedicated to Selling / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008
Extending Your Sales Team or Make Travel Agents A Regular Part of Your Sales Programs / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008
Finding Business Leads Can Be Easier Than You Think / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008
Understanding the Differences Between Marketing and Sales / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008
Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008
...

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