The hospitality industry is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts to survive in an industry where you are routinely castigated by customers, clients, and suppliers. It takes a lot of passion for someone to stand silently while an irate customer spouts off inconceivable and often impossible demands. But here, you are not only succeeding but actually thriving in a world that has always been cruel to its workers. Why this business? What are the traits that allow you to survive in this industry?
When starting a hospitality business, the first thing you need to determine is your ability to take a risk. Are you capable enough to take a risk on your personal finances? Even though you choose the right business structure, applying for a commercial mortgage means that you’re taking a chance on your personal money. What if the business doesn’t succeed and you have to repay the loan with your own money? What if you are forced to sell your assets, such as your car and house? If you want to be in this industry, you have to risk securing a loan that will beautify your establishment and reach your target market.
Ability to Listen
A lot of times, your guests will rant away without a care. Whether they’re speaking the same language or not, the truth is that people come from different cultures, family traditions, temperaments, lifestyles, and social statuses. Learn to listen to your customers regardless of whether you think they’re right or wrong. Learn to listen first before you argue your side. Customers are fickle-minded people. They will easily drop your brand like a hot potato and choose a different hotel or restaurant in the future.
Your communication skills complement your ability to listen. You have to let the customers know that you understand their sentiments and that you are going to do something about their concerns. A lot of times, misunderstandings happen because the manager or owner cannot effectively explain to the customer what they plan to do about their complaints. Great communication skills will bring you far in the hospitality business.
In the hospitality industry, you are going to work with a lot of different people—from the maintenance crew to the chefs to the receptionists to the marketing and advertising personnel. Not to mention, you will need to deal with suppliers and business partners. If you are not a great team player, you better start learning the ropes now because no business in this industry has survived on its own merits. You need to help others and learn to accept help, too. You have to be respectful and considerate of others.
The hospitality business is unpredictable. There are good days, but there are many bad days, too. If you do not know how to cope with these challenges and changes with a smile, the business will eat you up alive. You need to be ready for anything, and that has always been a stressful thought for people in this business.
How do you cope with stress? That’s one of the first things you have to learn if you want to enter the hospitality business. If you have no outlet for your stress, you’re going to have to bear everything. They will weigh you down, and that will affect the business. So, take time to figure out what helps you manage stress and stick with those strategies.
You have to be optimistic. It would be best if you looked at the brighter side of things in this business. There will be weeks when there are more bad days than good. If you don’t know how to look at things positively, the bad stuff will eat you up until you are no longer productive and functional. Things can get depressing quickly in a business, no matter what industry you join. You need to bring sunshine into your work. There’s no other way to survive such a cutthroat industry than to think positively even in the most challenging times.
The hospitality industry is not a joke. This isn’t something that you can dive into and just exit almost immediately. It takes commitment to succeed in this industry, but it also takes a great deal of heart and passion for maintaining that success. While there are still many other skills that will help you thrive in this journey, your interest in hospitality and passion to serve others will bring your business to new and great heights.