“To succeed in hotel business in Nigeria, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organisational skills. Many people ventured into hotel business thinking that they will turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought.”
Above were the views of Sandra Ogbahor, the Regional Manager of BON Hotels Nest Bodija-Ibadan, Oyo State during an interaction with some senior Travel and Tourism reporters on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.
According to her, investing in hospitality business is very lucrative and profit driven, however such an investor needs lots of patience, tolerance, discipline and as well planning out all the necessary steps to achieve success whilst also avoiding the pitfalls of the business.
She said: “To be successful in hospitality business you need to be organised. Organization will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day. As you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and you’re completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business.
“You equally need to establish robust customer loyalty that will give you great advertising. Offer deals or specials. Group discounts, free breakfast and lower rates for several-day stays are a good way to attract customers on a budget.
“Design a website. If your hotel isn’t on the internet, it’s basically invisible to your potential customers. You could design your own website but it may be worth the investment to have a professional work on your site. At the minimum, your site should have the hotel’s name, location, contact information and nightly rates. The person would have to spend money on advertisement; get necessary equipment and facilities. Above all, hire professionals and good hands to manage the business.
“Also, the owner of the business, as the chief executive, must be duly involved in the business. It is also important that you have industrial washing machine, have the water treatment in the hotel so that the guests would have good water, not just for drinking, even for bathing. Hygiene is very important.
“Besides, you must be able to get your products directly from the companies without having to pass through the middlemen especially when the business is at its infant stage. That would further save cost and boost your profit.
“I mean, such products like soft drinks, beer, juice, foods like semo, milk. Then you must buy your cow, chicken, goat live and slaughter them. This means you must have a pick up as well as a cold room for preservation. With those things in place, the hotel business is a good business.”
While offering further perspective on investing in Nigeria’s hotel business, Sandra, an alumnus of prestigious Lagos State University has this to say:
“All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you’ll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome those challenges.”
Sandra is also of the belief that business opportunities abound everywhere in the country, but with a caveat that it takes an astute investor to identify these opportunities and utilize them properly, particularly when the choice of investment is in hotel business and management.