If your hotel suffers from dead space during the week, corporate bookings could be your knights in shining armour.

There’s just one issue these days: attracting – and keeping – corporate clients is becoming increasingly difficult. The lure of the GDS and big chains and the never-ending search for the best possible rate often means independents get overlooked by corporate bookers.

Don’t despair, though – your independent hotel can attract more corporate bookers, and the following tips will help you strike up relationships that become profitable for your business.

Don’t skimp on the services they need

If you’ve ever travelled for business, you’ll know how frustrating it can be when the essentials aren’t where you’d expect them to be.

For instance – imagine having travelled by train, plane and automobile only to arrive at your hotel and find that the WiFi is either cripplingly slow or overtly expensive. It should be free, fast and immediately available. The same goes for an abundance of wall outlets for charging, a decent food and beverage offering and meeting space. Think about all of the services your corporate clients need and make sure they’re not skimped on. The investment you make now will pay back, big time, when those bookings start to flood in.

Automate as much of the process as possible

Travelling businesspeople and travel managers don’t have the time to wait for hotel systems and processes that are manually driven by staff. The booking process and checking in and out of the hotel should be seamless, simple and super-fast.

To aid this, make sure your hotel property management software links to all of the right systems, and provides a convenient booking portal for your website. Corporate bookers will give up far quicker with this stuff than leisure guests.

Don’t try and be a big brand

If you’re an independent hotelier, you’re markedly different to the big chain competition. And that’s absolutely fine! It’s common for independent hotels to try and mimic the chain competition by becoming mini versions of them. Don’t. Your independence and the quirks that come with that is what makes a stay at your hotel a unique experience.

Business travellers often want home comforts and something more traditional when staying away from their families. So, make a big noise about being independent and, as part of your push for more corporate business, show the world what it is that makes your hotel unique. You’ll stand out far better that way.

Keep a close eye on local business events

Depending on where your hotel is situated, you might be in a prime location for annual business events. If you’re unable to host such gatherings, you can still benefit from the fact they’re taking place. And, with that in mind, it pays to keep an eye on your calendar for the following types of event:

  • Exhibitions
  • Product launches
  • Trade shows
  • Award ceremonies
  • Networking events

As for the last one above, why not put on networking events of your own? If you reach out to the local business community and demonstrate that you have ample meeting space and a great F&B operation, you might just tempt them away from the big chains.

Wrapping up

Slow midweeks aren’t to be feared as an independent hotelier – they’re to be relished as opportunities to find additional, on-going business. This is the beauty of corporate business in hospitality; when you eventually encourage it through your doors, you might find a customer for life, because businesses and travel managers are always keen to find cost-effective relationships that need as little management or tweaks as possible.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.