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By David Lund

A very colorful GM that I worked with many years ago, had a lot of slogans he would use to get his point across. One of my favorites is, “Any Monkey Could Fill This Place When The Phones Are Ringing!”

He would say this to our director of sales quite often, not only to ridicule their efforts but to remind them that the business is there it’s really about maximizing the opportunity and knowing that this telephone ringing condition will not last, it never does. So, what are we doing, and what’s the plan to siege the day?

This is the tale of any and every hotel. “The rising tide lifts all the boats.” This quote was made famous by JFK and it is said that he got it from the chamber of commerce in a small New England town, probably a resort town.  The relationship from this idea to your financial leadership is one of opportunity. We all know that when we have a good month, season or year we know it’s because the business was there. It all starts with that. Without the business being there and coming in like spades we are sunk. The reality in that statement is true but we also need to see that we can have a much bigger impact when we have a high tide.

We seldom examine the excellent results for ways to improve. Why would we bother to do that? We just had a record year, double digit RevPAR increase and profits are off the charts. All indications point to the fact that we are doing an excellent job. But we also know deep in our sole that the volume hides a multitude of sins. The opportunity in all of this is to step back and look to see what these sins are and how we can correct them when business is good. We seldom or never do this exercise when it’s actually the best time to do it. Imagine doing a staffing review in the middle of the best year we have ever had? That’s right, doing the staffing review on a full tide will yield much more treasure. In addition to finding more opportunities you will see that finding the money to do this is much easier when times are good. Why wait for headwinds in your business and your pesky asset manager telling you its time? The same is also true for an expense review. Looking at your spending when you’re spending the most will uncover the biggest opportunities. There is a reverse psychology that appears when you do things that all others miss. People are much more willing to adjust and change when times are good. Try and do this when your business is in the tank and you will meet resistance and bad moral.  The same needs to be said for looking at ways to increase revenues, do this when business is strong and you will have more creativity and certainty. Being the leader that always looks for the opportunities to grow especially when all others look away is the greatest use of your talent.

There is quote by Earl Nightingale, it goes like this, “enter a market and observe what everyone is doing and do the opposite” To sum this up, look at what everyone else is doing in business and especially when business is strong and find the opposite, do that, siege the opportunity. Creating the kind of culture inside your business and inside the hearts and minds of your team will have a spillover effect. Any monkey can follow the crowd, it’s the clever chimp that knows there are more opportunities when the house is full.

Tags: david lund

About David Lund

David Lund is The Hotel Financial Coach, an international hospitality financial leadership pioneer. He has held positions as a Regional Financial Controller, Corporate Director and Hotel Manager with Fairmont Hotels for over 30 years.  

He authored an award-winning workshop on Hospitality Financial Leadership and has delivered it to hundreds of hotel managers and leaders. David coach’s hospitality executives and delivers his Financial Leadership Workshops throughout the world, helping hotels, owners and brands increase profits and build financially engaged leadership teams.  

David speaks at hospitality company meetings, associations and he has had several financial leadership articles published in hotel trade magazines and he is the author of two books on Hospitality Financial Leadership. David is a Certified Hotel Accounting Executive through HFTP and a Certified Professional Coach with CTI.   

Contact: David Lund

david@hotelfinancialcoach.com / (415) 696-9593

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