Who is it suited to?
Having training and experience in the hospitality trade will be of great benefit in being able to provide the quality of service that guests have come to expect from hotels.
The Institute of Hospitality represents professionals within the industry; while there are no professional qualifications or association memberships required to begin trading, the Institute does have a range of management guides and training programmes for those looking to establish a hotel business.
While a track record in the hotel business may not be a requirement, the ability to work with people is a necessity. Stephen Hipwell and Jerry Lee took over the Granville Hotel on Brighton's seafront in November 2000.
Hipwell had previously been a paramedic working in London, while Lee was a shipping manager. "Neither of us had any experience of the hotel trade, but we were both used to organising and dealing with staff and the public," says Hipwell. "In this business, people skills are everything."
An eye for quality is also a prerequisite; guests are looking for quality all the time, such as in the food and the standards of the rooms. If they are dissatisfied, they won't come back. It’s also worth remembering that people travel more now, and so expectations have increased. Guests are less tolerant of rudeness or uncleanliness than they’ve ever been before, and they expect to get value for money.
Quality does not mean having to be expensive, but it means having to be good at your price level.