Ski lodges in Innsbruck know it. Vineyards in Chile know it. B&Bs in New Orleans know it. All types of businesses experience peaks and valleys to their sales. While multiple variables contribute to the fluctuation, seasonality is perhaps the most common cause of boom—or bust—to business.
People working in the lodging industry know seasonality better than anyone. An entire year’s revenue can hinge on a few months’ profits. And with peak season just around the corner for properties worldwide, check our top six tips to prep your property now for peak season.
- Hire and train staff
Staff turnover in the offseason means that you might have to hire new members to your team. A learning curve exists for any new employee. Luckily, putting time and resources into a comprehensive onboarding program will quickly prepare new employees for the peak season rush. Preparing all staff members to perform their best is a good business strategy that becomes even more important during peak season when mistakes are more costly than any other time of year.
- Establish a solid tech infrastructure
Technology has helped improve property performance for decades. However, your property’s technology might be out-of-date.
Does your PMS make it easier for your staff to manage day-to-day tasks, or does the system lag, drag, freeze up, and confuse? Does your revenue management system use an Open Pricing model? Take an audit of the technology staff uses and decide which software and hardware needs upgrading. The right tech can make all the difference for an efficient and profitable peak season.
- Connect with former guests
Keep the conversation going! Contact past guests of your property through social media, email newsletters, and other marketing collateral such as good old-fashioned mailers. Repeat customers are key to seasonal businesses. Remaining in touch with these people makes sure that they will remember you while planning their much-anticipated travel. Help former customers continue their story with your property by engaging them right now.
- Anticipate big (and small) local events
Property managers and staff are well aware of big events in their region. However, there might be niche events that you’ve overlooked. Gardening, gaming, pets? Every hobby has meet-ups and conventions. Cater well to annual events and you’ll gain repeat customers for peak seasons to come.
- Plan ways to avoid burnout
Take care of yourself! Proper self-care is an obvious, yet elusive, way to stay productive during peak season. Even during the busiest times of year, it is important to schedule time to exercise and plan healthy meals. Even just fifteen minutes a day of exercise can help improve your mental clarity and physical wellbeing.
- Prepare for next year’s peak season
Once peak season is in full swing, take advantage of your website and property’s high traffic by growing your contact database. Make sure your website has calls-to-action where visitors can sign up for your newsletter or email blasts. You’ll thank yourself during next year’s off-season when you’ll have plenty of customers to engage through great marketing.