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September: Back to The Future of Your Revenue Strategy

September: Back to The Future of Your Revenue Strategy

Waving goodbye to august, summer, holidays and going back to work and the daily routine is a blue moment for many but not for the Revenue Managers and their Budget season that is everything but like boring!

NB: This is an article from Revenue Acrobats

I always loved September and the busy schedule ahead – the planning and preparation for the next year is a great opportunity to dedicate time to deep dive on what happened in the revenue performance of the past months and start building a new path and better winning strategy for the future. Also, a chance to learn and improve: growth comes from experience and despite the too many discussions and theories around Revenue Management

the truth is that the more you experience – the more you learn.

There are many ways to analyze your actual hotel’s performance when it comes to start working on the actual figures to refine your next strategy: it all depends on your hotel’s peculiarities, market, demand and what makes sense for you to measure on the specific time you are in.

I spent long Budget reviews focusing on so many different topics and every year it was different: channel mix one time, room type booked another time, accounts performance one other time. Concentrate your efforts on what is really impacting right here, right now on your revenue performance.

This will naturally lead you towards the right considerations and analysis to focus on, to enhance your revenue strategy for the future.

Still, there are some milestones that you need to include in your yearly business analysis review and that will help you to enlighten your strategic path ahead:

BACK TO THE PAST: ANALYSE THE ACTUAL PERFORMANCE

MARKETPLACE:

The marketplace analysis provides great insights on your competitive landscape, market performance and changes that impacted the overall demand. What to consider:

  • SWOT analysis of your competitors: assessing and refreshing the analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats compared to your competition will help you define your price/quality positioning ranking and work on the challenges to turn them into strengths to support your ADR.
  • Changes in supply and demand: the change in available market rooms has an impact in the overall demand and conversion. Understand how supply and availability is changing over time beyond your competitive set, will help you understand where (if any) are any unexplored opportunities to capture or challenges to overcome.
  • New openings and renovations: besides tracking any market supply changes and variations in the available rooms, product enhancements are important to measure the influence they have on your positioning and quality ranking.
  • One-time business and one-time events: any special happening that either brought incremental demand or unusually low volumes to either the market, your Hotel or your competitors. Identifying those outliers will help you to properly address any other similar event for the future. Eg. Conventions, weather conditions impacting demand, unexpected closures of some hotels’ inventory, sudden unpredictable cancellations.
YEAR TO DATE ACTUAL + YEAR TO GO FORECASTED PERFORMANCE
  • Address the main drivers of the performance: map your positives and negatives like what business decisions or demand patterns drove your performance, what where your top performing months, weeks, days; what where your low demand days and where did you miss on incremental revenue opportunities, how did you leverage the booking window and how did you perform in market share.
  • Top markets: where did your demand come from, how did your geo source change from last year, what was the average spend of each market, how was demand distributed per market, per channel, per segment.
  • Segment mix: How did your segment change in terms of performance in both volumes and ADR, any shifts in production, total spend per segment, change in lead time.
  • Channel Mix: channel contribution and cost, NetRevPAR, channels shift and cannibalization, parity issues, revenue displacement.
  • Room types performance: occupancy, ADR and RevPAR per room class, booked vs occupied performance.
REWIND AND REPEAT

for F&B, C&B, Meetings or any other revenue centers (Total Revenue Management)

MEASURE THE KPIS

Occ%, ADR, RevPar, TRevPAR, GOR, GOP, Nrevpar. Covers, Average check, F&B revenue and total C&B revenue + any other revenue centers’ KPIs.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE BASELINE FOR NEXT YEAR

MARKETPLACE:
  • Expected changes in supply and demand: future openings, upcoming renovations, inventory changes in your compset, hotels vs vacation rentals (if relevant to you), inflation rate, marketplace evolution over the years.
  • Transportation and connections: any new flights or transport connections that may open new geo markets or on the contrary reduce the demand from some others.
CALENDAR AND EVENTS:
    • Map your recurring yearly events and adjust the strategy accordingly
    • Highlight any one-time or first-time events to monitor for forecasting purposes
    • Remove any outlier from past years on your forecasting assumptions (any periods with unconventional demand or cancellation patterns that may not occur again)
ON THE BOOKS

Monitoring the on the books data is the starting point to build on your new strategy. Before focusing on the micro market segments though, it is recommended to look at some baseline business segments that is important to address on a timely manner:

  • Corporate contracts: RFPs and contracting status. Look at your corporate booking patterns and day of the week distribution, ADR and RevPAR variance vs fully yieldable rates. Evaluate any revenue opportunities or displacement caused and plan for healthier contracting terms if necessary. (LRA vs NLRA, room types, rate ceiling, floating vs contracted)
  • Leisure Accounts: booking behavior in terms of volumes per day of the week, room types booked, ancillary spend. Negotiated vs fully dynamic rate shift opportunities. Average length of stay and booking lead time. Customers’ lifetime value.
  • Group backlog – group business on the books per booking status: Definite, Tentative and Prospects compared to same time last year. Expected materialization and wash. Group segment distribution per day of the week, volumes impact and ancillary spend.
  • Channel mix: distribution channels contribution evolution and NetRevPAR, any channels cannibalization and revenue displacement. Evaluate any opportunities to shift demand from one channel to the other to drive incremental RevPAR and save on costs.
  • Price differentials: based on your room class performance, evaluate a revision on your room types differentials per season and per day of the week to get the most from your room type upselling opportunities.

Data is everything, without data there are just opinions. Make data, analysis and planning the starting point of your future strategy. Strategy bridges the gap between ends and means.

Charles De Gaulle once said:

“You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless”.

Plan ahead and path the analytical way to your 2020 goals but remember that your target should be written in pencil. Change and adapt to leverage any changes in demand and overcome your objectives whenever the opportunity is there.

Happy planning and welcome back to your busy September!

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