Any writer of a technical document must keep two things in mind – the audience and the goal. In the case of writing a business plan for a hospitality property, the audience is people who will hopefully invest and the goal is to get funding. This is an oversimplification because it’s also important to pitch your ideas to the right type of investors. Not everyone sees the value in the tourism trade. Once you’ve identified the demographic for your audience, it’s important to keep them in mind throughout your business plan.
In general, a hotel business plan follows the template of most standardized business plans. It starts with an executive summary. This is a summation of what you are looking for and how it will benefit the investor. Executive summaries contain a quick look at your company and its current structure and organization, along with other items such as your mission statement (company’s objective and goals), your vision statement (company’s desired impact long-term), an outline of your strategy, a brief illustration of your plans and goals, and highlights of your current financial status and monetary needs. It is a brief synopsis that, when read, would give a potential investor exactly the same rough idea as if he/she had read the full business plan in its entirety. Many business plans are judged by the quality of their executive summaries.
As well as explaining who your company is, investors also what to know about your competition. The more knowledgeable you are about your industry, the more confidence you will instill in potential investors. This includes not only showing facts and figures about current competition but a 5-10 year forecast as well.
In the hospitality industry, for example, there is no longer the issue of hotel vs hotel. With the advent of rental marketplaces such as Airbnb, Tripping.com, HomeToGo, FlipKey, and Vrbo, not to mention many more, tourists now have more choices than ever when choosing a place to stay. This has greatly impacted the hospitality industry, especially large hotel chains. For this reason, it’s important to be honest about the other industry players you are up against, while also making a robust argument for how you stand out from competitors and can succeed regardless.