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Principles of Success:

Evaluate Your Hospitality Business Strategies to Create a Real
and Measurable Competitive Advantage

by Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS 
March 11, 2011

In my consulting practice and work with individual hotels and smaller brands, I regularly discover that too many individuals and groups tend to look elsewhere when they are trying to gain market share and to serve a larger number of clients.  The real solution in becoming and remaining a market leader means offering measurable competitive advantages over your competition, and not relying on others to carry your hotel forward.

Below are a handful of ideas for your consideration:

1.      When was the last time managers and owners seriously looked at the budget?  I do not mean as compared to the income statement for last month, but rather how the numbers were created and how realistic they are.  Are they still reasonable?  Has the market shown tremendous growth or has a major client relocated?  Ignoring the facts do not mean they will be addressed.

2.      When was the last time managers and owners seriously looked at the marketing plan?  I recently wrote a column on sales blitzes and the range of feedback I heard from readers told me that many marketing plans seem to be created for a third party. If there was staff turnover or if business conditions changed, too many properties seem to abandon the plan and either discount or try to steal business not in their target markets.

3.      How many owners of smaller hotels even share operational financial results with their managers? Too many managers are left in the dark and owners wonder why things do not change.

4.      Hospitality businesses and hotels are always looking for a way to stand apart from the masses and that no longer means being with a particular brand.  It means providing something that means the needs for a specific target audience and there is the (secret) answer. It should be obvious – to excel and lead the field means being better than the rest of the field.

5.      Offering and providing a competitive advantage requires identifying a specific target audience with distinctly defined requirements.  It means developing and delivering high-quality and suitably priced accommodations, meetings and/or other services that you provide better than anyone else in your competitive set and market.

In the past six months, I have had the privilege of interacting with a large number of meeting planners across the United States in a series of programs that defined what they were looking for. In an upcoming column,  I will share their observations (and frustrations) as they try to work with hotels in these times of continuing uncertainty in the economy, global unrest, rising costs related to energy and other items that affect us all.

In the meantime, what are you doing to be the BEST in your market?

“What are you doing at your hotel, restaurant or hospitality business?

Hospitality Tip of the Week®: 

“If you don't like the status quo, change the status of your thinking and ol' quo is going to be all right,  no matter what you are selling.”   Zig Ziglar

10 Hotel Mistakes to Avoid in Selling- Making Hospitality More Profitable

Part of the 2011 Keys To Success Workshop Series

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS, Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success

Feel free to share an idea for a column at [email protected]  anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder of a consortium ( of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today. is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them [email protected].   Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.


Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
[email protected]

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Also See: Sales Blitzes: A Look At the Benefits of Team Efforts / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles for Success: No Nonsense Benchmarking for Hotels and Hospitality Businesses / Dr. John Hogan / March 2011

Principles for Success: What we have here is a FAILURE to COMMUNICATE! / Dr. John Hogan / February 2011

Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Last - Part 3; Real and Practical Action Steps #13-28 / Dr. John Hogan / February 2011

Making This New Year's Hospitality Resolutions: Real and Practical - Sales Action Steps #1-12 / Dr. John Hogan / January 2011

Making New Year's Hospitality Resolutions Real and Practical; A “Fresh Air- New Ideas” Perspective / Dr. John Hogan / January 2011

Keys to Success: Be Aware of and Work with the Law; Do Not be Afraid of it / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: Make Your Hotel More Profitable and Successful – 2011 is the critical time to invest in Your Talent and Your Team / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Keys to Success: A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry; 13 Best Practices for Hospitality Training Managers & Directors / Dr. John Hogan / December 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Looking Ahead! / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Learning from The Greatest Business Leaders of the Twentieth Century / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

Five Considerations in Hiring a Hospitality Consultant; Understanding the Qualifications for Effective Hospitality Consultants / Dr. John Hogan / November 2010

5 Reasons Using A Qualified Consultant Could Make a Huge Difference in Your Hospitality Business / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Half Luck and Half Brains - Kemmons Wilson's 20 Steps for Success / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Ten Quotes Addressing the Topic of SERVICE / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations - Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance (Part 2 of 2) / Dr John Hogan / October 2010

Hospitality Conversations – Understanding the Developing Perspectives in Quality Assurance Part 1 of 2 / Dr John Hogan

Hospitality Conversations: Examining the Learning Options Available in the Hospitality Field / Dr John Hogan / July 2010
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