Navigating Nigeria’s Economic Trend Through Innovation And Learning

It is regrettably so that in our today’s hospitality industry- the hotel, tourism, recreational and lodging deliverable is not enjoying relative ” Demand pull patronage as the sector is increasingly considered erroneously as a sorphisticated line of business; where it is likened to be attracted to, Only the ” Belle-full”. This narrative we have deployed for so many years has not granted us much staying power among individual investors over the years.

But this article is scripted to communicate to all practitioners and investors in the hospitality industry to navigate these assertions by re-thinking to align with current pragmatic thoughts of the writer.

Let us consider some quotes by some great minds!

1. Innovation is taking two things that exist and putting them together in a new way.“

2. Tom Freston (born 1945), Co-founder of MTV

3. What is the calculus of innovation? The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: Knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives economic growth.“

……..William Brody (born 1944), Scientist

4. The Stone Age didn’t end because they ran out of stones.“

……Ananymous!

I would like to buttress my thinking in line with these great minds I quoted.

This is because it suffices to the degree since the intelligent hospitality escavation we want to do in this article would be generational.

What is innovation? Simply put, innovation is taking what is already in use or in existence and making it to serve better purpose and to yield better return on investment.

In my over two decades cognate experience in this sector and I think we have traveled through the “status quo” so long and so many actors in this industry have acted the script others have written out. But it is time to innovate and act your own script through professional intelligent guidance so we all can navigate through any emerging turbulent ECONOMIC negativity.

Now, let’s us look at what hospitality businesses offers.
1. Accommodation
2. Drinks
3. Recreation and leisure
4. Entertainment.
5. Functions.
6. Ancillary. services- car hires, salon services, some off- the -shelf consumables etc.
In the light of the aforementioned hospitality business deliverables, I will like to forward some critical questions for you to answer on a sheet of paper and then write out your findings.

1. What is the unique selling proposition your business have ran with over the years?

2. What new technology have you deployed in your hospitality business if you have spent two years and above in the industry?

3. Have your hospitality business introduced any new service to your customers/guests for in recent time?.

4. Has your business been able to sustain 40% of your first- time comers customers/guests till date?

5. Are your management team taking initiative and ownership of the business?

6. Are your workers status quo workers or facilitators of customer satisfaction and retainership?
These questions poses some delicate “sauces” with which your hospitality venture can “eat” with.

They form the basis for longevity of “stay” in this business.
I have really come to sympathize with hotel owners and other Hospitality business owners over the business trajectory being experienced in the face of economic challenges artificially created. And for any business of hospitality to survive this ” harsh ECONOMIC realities there is the need to gather enough abstract intelligence to prosecute and mitigate all unforseen bad weather.

FIVE VARIABLES YOU MAY NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER!

1. YOUR OVER-HEAD- power, gas repairs and maintenance etc. These variables are not in your control as the sector that governs it manipulates the system and takes decision that will ultimately affect and “claw” into the fabric of our business profitability. So what we can do in these overriding circumstances and consistently find ways to increase in our turnover to be in proportion to the ratio of the “price economy”.

2. PRICE INFLATION OF COMMODITIES: All consumable items that we use in the industry are not what we manufacture directly; so we can’t control the price of such materials. Still we can not increase the rates of all our products and services in our various point of sales and revenue centers arbitrary, due to the numerous options our customer have as a result of the proliferations in the industry. So we are left with the only option of increasing our turnover to prosecute various price variations we are faced with.

3. OVER CONCENTRATION OF HOSPITALITY BUSINESESS: Meaning that so many hotels and hospitality businesses consentrated in a given environment. This would lead to cannibalization of market share and affect turnover consequently. And until in the nearest possible future we are able to regulate the industry in Nigeria, where their would do our business according to regulations for all players in the sector. In mathers of class and ratings if hotel facilities and other hospitality outfits.

4. STRENGTH OF YOUR LOCAL CURRENCY- how much purchasing power can our naira prosecute?. Our economic intelligence have increasingly fallen short because of mono- economic dependency. Unfortunately, we may wallow in these realities until we deliberately do something pragmatic about it in mobilising our human and natural resources to integrate our economic endowments.

5. HIGH LABOUR TURN-OVER: Meaning that the labour force crisscrosing the industry is in high frequency, due to un-regulated proliferation in the sector.

Today, in places like kaduna metropolis, and several other states, you hardly can find a hotel that have tasted the services of 90% of workers in this sector as a result of reasons beyond occupational mobility.

Having seen in all the afore-mentioned variables in this article, one may ask, what should we do differently in other to leverage on innovation and remain progressive in this industry?

WHAT TO DO WITH INNOVATION AND LEARNING.

1. You have to review your Unique selling Proposition (USP).

What is unique selling Proposition? It is that element of service delivery or product offering which brings satisfaction that makes your customers prefer your facility and would want to come back again and again.
But, when over a measurable time that doesn’t happen, then your business have deviated be form that uniqueness that makes your business. This question could be best answered in the “pay off” the owner’s of Hospitality outfits have designed.

2. UP-SKILLING YOUR SELECTED WORKFORCE: What I mean here is that there is a generic skill to run your “corporate persona” ( organisation). I have always insist that organisations must consistently do Business efficiency meetings. And by so doing owners representative and investors would be able to know if there management team are the THINKING people of what I call ” “sit-down- look” team. We must task our management team to consistent think outside the box and get out of the box.

…..Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” —
……. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Hotels.

……Trilyo Logo

1. “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” ….. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Hotels

2. …….“Hospitality is almost impossible to teach. It’s all about hiring the right people.” — Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group

3. “Motivate them, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them… they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.” —
…… J. Willard Marriott, founder of the Marriott Corporation

…… “Don’t hire people to fill a position, select people to fulfill a dream and to serve a purpose.”

………. —Horst Schulze, former president of The Ritz Carlton Hotels and CEO of Capella Hotel

These quotes by seasoned hotel owners and practioners says it loud. There is therefore the need to consistently review this imperative and deliberately resolve and do our business of hospitality for transgenerational results.

3. Training and integrating your operational workforce for our hotel business ownership: I have examined I’ve the years that most investors have not taken the initiative to ensure that the operational workforce in their hotel facility are trained periodically to engage their Intelligence to move the business forward.

Remember that these operational stuff are those that always interface and interact with your customers and guest alike. They know their names, etc. So we must treat them with great sense of respect and dignity. Are our operational staff trained more to keep engaging our guests and customer more and more to make them feel home away from home? No matter the reason we may proffer not doing so; is far inferior to the reason why we must consciously engage our operational staffers and integrate them in the value chain of customer relationship in our hospitality business venture. This and many more, forms part of the deliverables that will enhance our business potency and a better return on investment.

4. We must innovative on our current technology with which we do our Hospitality business. Have you thought of syncing guest register on your system portal, so a welcome text message can automatically be sent to your guest who just checked in and a “warm good bye and do please visit our facility again”- text message could pop in his office her phone when the system checks the guest out?. ( Just teasing your mind with this suggestion).

Well, so much more on what innovation on our technological approach to customer satisfaction. Is our soft ware doing enough? can we innovate on it and take our business to the next level? Oh yes! It is imperative we begin to take the next step into the future of our hospitality business venture.

5. We need to consistently creat events around our hotel, tourism and recreational facility brand. You have heard that any Brand of business has life and can either die naturally or be killed through posinous business activities consciously or consciously by all parties running the venture. There are so many big and vibrant hotel and tourism brands you know in the past, that are no more in business near you or around Nigeria. Well, your thought is as good as mine! Therefore, innovate and learn to navigate in a dynamic way to avoid inertia, hysteria and quagmire for your facility and or Hospitality business.

I hope to bring to you another article that will enhance your Hospitality business, together we shall continue to navigate at any harsh terrain and remain resolute as we make progress.

………. “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” …….. Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels.

Article by Napoleon Mamman- Pgdm, mimc, mnichm,Hatman, mnha

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