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  • Writer's pictureSophia Brading

Develop A Venue Strategy For Success

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique used to help a person or organisation identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning.

It is important for your venue, whether it's a hotel, bar or restaurant to fully understand the strengths and weakness of your business.

A SWOT Analysis is useful to discover what's working for your venue, and what's not working so well.

A smart hotel, bar or restaurant owner should be aware of the opportunities and threats facing the business.

A SWOT analysis provides important insights for your business.

To create a SWOT analysis for your restaurant, bar or hotel, you should get everyone involved. Ensure you include your team - your General Manager, Head of Housekeeping and Chef involved in the task to get varying points of view.

SWOT Analysis for Hospitality
SWOT Analysis for Hospitality

Strengths - Characteristics of your venue that give it an advantage over others. This refers to the tangible and intangible advantages your hotel, bar or restaurant has at its disposal.

What does your venue do particularly well? What distinguishes you from your competitors? Think about the advantages your venue has over other bars, restaurants and hotels. This could include your well-trained, motivated staff, your brand reputation, or your location. How about your strong connection within your local community, access to certain materials, your use of local produce, your luxury furnishings. Is your menu creative?

Identify and analyse your venues Unique Selling Point (USP), and add this to your Strengths section.

In marketing, the unique selling proposition (USP) (also called the unique selling point, or the unique value proposition (UVP) in the business model canvas) is the marketing strategy of informing customers about how one's own brand or product is superior to its competitors (in addition to its other values).

Then lastly, turn your perspective around and ask yourself what your competitors might see as your strengths. What influences customers and means your venue gets the bookings ahead of them?

Remember, your strengths will bring you a clear advantage over your competitors.

Be in no doubt your strengths should be one that are important to your customers. If the strength you’ve identified is important to you but not important to your client, it’s not a competitive advantage. Strike it off the list for this exercise.

Weaknesses: characteristics of the business that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others.

Now it's time to consider your venues weaknesses. Your SWOT Analysis is only valuable if you gather all the information you need. It's only useful if you are realistic, and face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.

For this exercise a weakness refers to things that hold back your hotel, bar or restaurant from growth, or achieving its peak performance.

Understanding your weaknesses involves brutal honesty and some critical self-evaluation. Your weaknesses may include your location, high staff turnover, poor reputation and bad reviews, any budget limitations, lack of technology, lack of facilities or an outdated website.

Weaknesses, like strengths, are essential features of your business, so focus on your people, resources, systems, and procedures. Think about what you could improve, and the sorts of practices you should avoid.

Once again, imagine (or research and find out) how other people in your market see you. It's a valuable exercise. Do others notice weaknesses that you tend to ignore, or not see? Take time to examine how and why your competitors are doing better than you. What are you lacking? This is where you will find...opportunities.

Opportunities - this refers to all the things you could do to increase your direct bookings, improve your guests satisfaction and therefore guest reviews and increase your profits.

Take time to do your research - find out about market trends, and study guest reviews for ideas of where you can open up new streams of revenue or reach new markets.

Your opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to materialise, but you'll need to make these things happen for yourself!

Think about good opportunities you can spot immediately. These don't need to be game-changers: even small advantages can increase your venues competitiveness. What interesting market trends are you aware of, large or small, which could have an impact?

You should also look out for changes in government policy related to your business. Watch for any changes in social patterns, population profiles, and varying lifestyles - these can all throw up interesting opportunities.

Threats - this refers to elements that could cause trouble for your bar, hotel or restaurant.

Threats include anything that can negatively affect your venue from the outside, such as supply chain problems, shifts in market requirements, or a shortage of key staff. It's very important to anticipate threats and make a plan to take action against them before you become a victim of them and your bookings take a dive.

Think about the obstacles you currently face in getting bookings. Evolving technology is an ever-present threat, as well as an opportunity!

Always consider and watch what your competitors are doing, and ask yourself whether you should be changing your venue's way of doing things, it's focus or outlook on things. Also do remember that what they're doing might not be the right thing for your venue so avoid blindly copying them without knowing how it will improve your position and be sure it will fit your brand.

Explore whether your venue is especially left open to any external challenges. Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems, for example, that could make you vulnerable to even minute changes in your marketplace? This is the kind of threat that can seriously damage your business, so be vigilant.

List out every strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat you can possibly think of, both externally and internally. This will take time and effort and lots of market research, a deep dive into your hotel data and an investigation but the work will be well worth your time.

Let us know how you get on and if you need any assistance. We would be happy to help.


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