I am considering starting a hospitality consulting practice. How do I go about doing this?
What is the best way to start a consulting firm? What are the pitfalls? What is the best way to contact potential clients? How do I charge for my services?
I can help you by providing complete business research & establishment services.
If you have strength and expertise in this area , especially in niche domains, you can take the freelance route and begin networking with people/ organizations. Please remember that patience and relationship building is the key in expending your business.
I would also recommend that you assess the need in the market befor you proceed. Detailed ground work has to be done for the process.
This is great, but in which country, and which area. then we can develop a feasibility and viability plan for the firm.
the mode of legal registration for operating
cheers , let get talking
You need to researh your demographical location, who your expected potential clients will be, what you fees will be, what kind of hospitality consulting are you going to have, look at other hospitality consulting businesses and examine the good aspects of the companies along with the bad so you know what could go wrong or how they created successful businesses.
Compare other consulting businesses' fees. This will help you determine what the basic fees are and an estimate of what you should charge potential clients. How will you charge the clients? You need to have your banking system set up to deposit the monies, but also, pay business expenses.
You will need to advertise. With social networking, you could create a website, but also, make an account on LinkedIn, or another social network. You can go to hospitality conferences where you could meet potential clients and hand out business cards.
When starting a business, you should choose a LLC. You would register the business name on your state's corporate bureau website and get your federal tax I'd number.
The staff you hired is inexperienced and can't help clients.
Not enough advertising.
Not enough clients.
You charged outrageous and expensive fees.
Don't have a PayPal account, credit card, check, or cash system set up.
First things first: you work on a venture design plan, before working on the business plan. Do you have one, or a template to use?
You need to review the web sites of others offering hospitality consulting services. This should give you a better idea of the magnitude of the challenge you are contemplating.
Starting a hospitality consulting practice is a good idea to consider, however it is an onerous task that will be profit oriented. Besides, the first to consider is your technical ability needed to run and manage your consulting firm. If you have this already, you need to develop your business template that will be customer friendly and competitive in your chosen market area. By this I mean being able to provide your services at an affordable rate considering the prices/rates charged by the most established firms consulting in hospitality businesses in that location where you hope to establish yours.
Also, you must define your human resource requirements needed to assist you in providing your proposed services to your identified clients.
Furthermore, you should draw out your business proposal detailing your expected cost outlay and income projections while maintaining low cost profile to ensure business profitability and sustainability always. In addition, you must be guided by the principle of good customer relations while abstaining from get rich syndrome that is capable of destroying your organization in no time. Also, Your charges should not be exorbitant so as to receive patronage but not too cheap so that you will not be considered incapable or incompetent to deliver your proposed services.The watch word is that your charges must be within the industry range while manoeuvering around it in order to get good patronage.
Apart from the aforementioned, you must define your asset acquisition level to avoid tying working capital that is needed to facilitate operations. Also, you must be aggressive in your marketing strategies. This will enable you to lunch out to the clients in their remote locations as well as giving you an edge over established consulting firms that usually depend on mass media among others for their marketing programmes. You must be the leading Marketing Manager and not an arm chair marketing manager.
Finally, your Corporate values and goals should be defined at the outset and ensure that all your employees imbibe these values because professionalism with sound moral, ethical values and attitude is exercise in futility.
Poor client relationships, poor corporate attitude, over promising and under delivering in you business promises, corporate lies, poor services, outrageous charges, improper feasibility studies, too much asset acquisition, sharp practices and poor facilities management.
WAYS TO CONTACT CLIENTS.
Personal contact and referral from friends and colleagues, Visit to outreaches to inform them of your services, Internet platform among others.
While I appreciate that you are asking the right quesyions I need to question wether you are ready to consult?
The type of question you are posting is the type of question a consultant would know
You need to be in the industry to know people and have the knowledge that would make answers to these questions superflous
Consulting is not an answer to a whim, it is a very serious profession that requires knowledge and accountability built from experience, know how and trust in the industry you decide to consult in
If this is a scholastic project then just google the questions you will get hundreds of answers+
Be firm in your standard. You'll be getting the customers by being a member in social medias or portals. Target your right audience. Even if you are adding a friend is very important. Why i mention this statement is even a single irrelevant may harm your standard. Create a website, briefly explain about your service and pricing and promote it online. You can even run ads, this make you popularize in online industry. Try to register in local listings related to your category. Once you reached a right road you can travel for a long way. All the best :)
As a consulting firm, first you need to build up a repertoire of your knowledge products and solutions. These could be presented in the form of testimonials(from your old employers or clients) and case studies on your website or as blogs(including on Linkedin) on your views on management issues (in case you do not have testimonials). Create strong content based website/blog page /professional linkedin page..
Have a newsletter for all those who have read your content and shown interest. Chances are that barely 1% will transform into clients, but the entire exercise will give depth to your promotional activity. It will add credibility to your knowledge base.
The power of personal calling to build your prospects and client base is undisputed.
Formalize a standard service delivery protocol and strive to offer more than your clients' expectations.
All the best!
Consulting is a nice way of utilizing skills . I would suggest to look out all the travel websites , they needs freelancer as local experts . You can contact them to understand the business and touch points of your target group . Later you can scale this up
There will be a lot of consultants out there in the hospitality area... and that's a great thing for you if you are any good.. because a lot of them won't be! However, they all have skills and they will compete on price to get the work if they feel they have to. What i have to add to the previous comments is that coaching / consulting is all about relationships. Know what your personal brand is promote it hard. To understand what i mean go to http://www.skillmasters.co.nz/values-culture-i-10053.html and you will see the values and rules I have in place to build my personal brand... and if you want some help putting yours together feel free to contact me. A site that will help you start marketing yourself is a membership site you will find at this link. http://startingabusiness101.co.nz/ it is a membership site and well with the $NZ97 per month investment.
First of all make a list of the things you can offer, which others can't. Contact your close friends and clients if you have some. Get a listing of the hospitality places you want to target from the association or magazines etc. Make some phone calls and offer what you can do for them along with your experience and knowledge. You must be persistence and honest in your approach with confidence and ability to deliver what you stated to your new and old contacts. Networking is a full time job in the very beginning till you have some clients and later, it depends upon you how much more you can handle or need to expand with the help of other people or employees. Pradeep Berry
Lots of great pointers in the thread.
I'll add a couple of more mundane things: you may well have all this but if not it'll take a couple of hundred dollars (pounds) but it will be well-spent.
You don't need to look like a Fortune 500 company, but you do need to look like you are committed to being in business. It's amazing how often people will follow up once they have your business card - and when they decide you're not serious they throw your card away.
Decide on a corporate entity name, get a phone number that isn't also used by your family or friends; get at least a generic e-mail. Then get more decent business cards (not the cheapest) than you think you can possibly use. Then get a website and invest a day or two in spiffing it up beyond the "generic" freebie website so that people who get one of your cards can look you up to see what you do. Don't worry about SEO, just make it credible for someone who already has a reason to look you up (they have your card, or you submitted a proposal).
Then go out and do all those networking things everyone is talking about. The odds are extremely limited that you'll get consulting work as a result of someone searching the web. But if you are set up to look somewhat professional, you won't end up disqualifying yourself when opportunity was just getting ready to knock.
One more thing - save up some money. Lots of it. You'll be surprised how many people who may really be great friends - as opposed to so many more who are just acquaintances from work settings - and should, you think, send you some work simply cannot do so. In reality, only a few of the people you know really do have the clout to make money move. It may be more months than you think before your plate fills up. But once it does, what a glorious ride it can be!
In consultancy business there is no pitfall, since there is no physical investment. Consultancy business is risk-free except for your own credibility.
Target the Expansionist Policy. The existing business generally go for expansion and they might feel to further expansion. Also there are many who have excess money and wish to invest in new projects. You can give them idea of hospitality business.
You can charge of 2% of the total project from the client and 15% from the vendors allocated towards execution and supervision charges.
As everyone has mentioned you need a client list. The best way to do this is to ensure every client you work with is more than satisfied so that they will recommend you to the people they know in the industry.
I recommend you have a structured analysis to conduct in each business to highlight areas in need of improvement. The last thing a business who has hired a consultant wants is intangible results. If you do an analysis at the commencement of a consult and then again after your recommended alterations you can empirically show the results your services have provided. Then instead of looking at how much your services cost they will see how much your services have saved them and will not be able to help themselves but to let everyone know how great you are!
Hi Elliot. . .My first suggestion would be to get familiar with all the Hotel Property
Holding companies in the area(s) where you are wanting to work. Check out their portfolio of types, ages of builds, and upcoming or recently opened new builds of Brands they currently hold, occupancy numbers, etc. You will probably find at least two or three Hotels (Motels) that are borderline, either in occupancy or condition.
As a Consultant, you could go back to thet Management group and suggest some
of the ideas you have for those particular Properties. I would suggest
conducting a brief Telemarketing/Research campaign to both engage the Owners
and to put into action what you discover to drive New Business to those borderline Hotels. A base Consultant Fee for a minimum number of hours (say, 20 hrs.) would be in the range of $1500 - $2,000, with a Report provided with your findings. Think of yourself as a combination PR person, solution specialist,
and a "go-to" type of guy. Everyone needs a' 3rd eye' feedback on their business,
particularly in the ever-changing, demanding Hospitality industry. Good luck!
Hi Elliot, I am currently in the process of re-defining my business and focusing exclusively on the hospitality industry and retail. My background is sales and I'm based in Ireland. I'm happy to share some of my experiences and successes with you if you're up for it. We may be able to help each other out as we're going into the same market. I'm happy and willing to share my knowledge and I believe with your extensive knowledge in the industry we might be able to help each other.
Just a thought. If you want please feel free to connect with me via linkedin.
Hello Elliot I think consulting firm for any activity is to make your vision very clear , determine the quality of your services , compare to other companies in the same activity , e.g Services that show the clients a different way of serving them , from A-Z
step by step with the client . making or helping clients or providing them with different ideas for the same project so that the client feels your participation with him . I used to give the client more than idea to move on .
Elliot; You have asked some very important questions and I hope you get them answered to your satisfaction before you take the plunge.
1. You have to know who your ideal prospect is in great detail, where are they and how do you reach them.
2. You have to know what your service offering is in great detail and how it will solve a difficult issue for your prospect.
3. You have to develop relationships with prospects through direct contact at trade shows, association meetings, industry forums, etc.
4. You have to develop advocates that know and trust you and that will make referrals to prospects on your behalf; they are willing to make introductions.
5. I recommend you charge a flat fee for each project which would be determined by an internal hourly rate you set for yourself. Flat fee billing let's the prospect/client know what to budget for and that there will be no surprises.
6. You have to learn that it is a Collaborative world we live in and that is the best way to work with prospects.
7. You have to be willing to give away some information of value so that the prospect knows you are with talking with.
I hope this helps, Bob