And what I could do for you!
Start-up and Coaching for hospitality facilities
When a new hospitality facility is opened, or an existing one is renovated or changes hands, the proprietor(s) might opt to have a professional shadowing them, someone to help them take strategic decisions but also to suggest the best option when deciding on relatively minor things. So, in addition to drawing up a cost and revenue budget for a three- or five-year period, and a full business plan, I could help you choose your corporate identity and your USP (unique selling proposition), and everything related to it (naming suggestions, services that could be offered to clients to differentiate your establishment to the target market, etc).
Nowadays, launching a hotel, a farm holiday business or a B&B involves positioning it correctly in the world market: it is necessary to be aware of the importance of building the whole trading “machinery” and digital marketing because these are the key ingredients of a successful enterprise. To show the structure to its advantage online, it is important to have an expert in the hotel industry to oversee the work of your photographer, videomaker, site analyst and designer. The choice of Booking Engine, Channel Manager and PMS (Property Management System) and other software dealing with sales and brand reputation, also needs to be carefully considered, bearing in mind the type of hospitality facility.
I could take care of all of this, effectively selecting and implementing all the hotel management tools, supervising the contractual side of using the portals (OTA – Online Travel Agency), and activating social network channels, review sites and metasearch profiles. Having an expert in the industry at your side could also prove invaluable when making prudent choices in the logistics of internal spaces: from choosing room furniture that optimises cleaning costs to deciding the surface area of rooms, etc.
When I talk about “coaching”, I mean a general form of collaboration which involves shadowing for the necessary period to train personnel working in reception and in other departments (in addition to the proprietors, should they be actively involved in the day-to-day running of the facility), in all the practices and procedures (marketing, operational, reception and management) needed for them to work independently and achieve, and maintain, optimum results. The aim, once all the necessary forms, procedures and training have been put in place, is for personnel to reach operational autonomy [as rapidly as possible],
Check-Up for existing facilities
For structures that are already operational and might be experiencing difficulties of some kind, I can offer a detailed initial analysis of the following areas: performance audit, online positioning, brand reputation and digital presence in general. The purpose of such a check-up is to assess the current situation and to show, through supporting evidence where appropriate, the problem area(s) which would benefit from consultancy work.
Sales and Online Positioning
In this area, I could assist in redefining your commercial strategy and, more broadly, your approach to promotional marketing, optimising online positioning, and online/offline sales. Depending on the type of facility, the number of rooms and its location, it might be necessary to consider the possibility of signing contracts or launching other forms of collaboration with tour operators, travel agents abroad, conference organisers, wedding planners and other sales channels in keeping with the identity of the establishment. A preliminary analysis would naturally take into account existing online sale systems, since they are the systems which most quickly return concrete results/ritorno dei risultati concreti, starting with the efficacy of the current booking engine. Given the importance of the whole Web 2.0 in regard to sales, positioning and reputation are inextricably connected, so that an in-depth and wide-ranging analysis of the image and the commercial structure of the facility will be required.
Web Marketing and Brand Reputation
Digital marketing and online reputation currently represent the strategic focus on which the proprietor of the establishment must focus their efforts. My contribution in this area would seek to optimise access to social media (presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) and review sites (Tripadvisor, Zoover, Holidaycheck, including links with OTA channels), working independently for a period, and later putting in place a series of internal procedures (such as editorial plans) aimed at facilitating the work for those members of staff who will be responsible for this area, which is among the most crucial for a hospitality facility because it is directly linked to pricing and profits. Today, there are many programs that can help manage an establishment’s web reputation automatically, so this is another aspect that we could evaluate together, depending on the size of the establishment.
Mystery Guest and Quality Improvement Initiatives
Consultancy work might start with a visit to the facility posing as a guest, without the staff’s knowledge. This would allow me to provide a detailed report of the problems – if any – that might affect both the product and the service, with relevant photos, where appropriate, and proposed solutions. The proprietor could decide to opt for a Mystery Guest visit possibly followed by a full consultation and training initiatives. Detailed knowledge of problem areas would certainly assist in launching an effective programme of quality improvements in every department: from first welcome at reception, with all its complex dynamics, to the way of making the beds and the courtesy kits made available in the bathrooms, or at the spa, to the organisation of the breakfast area, etc.
This option would certainly be very useful to those seeking to improve online brand reputation with obvious repercussions on price policy and revenue. Improvements in the client’s perceived quality standard open up the possibility of raising prices without jeopardising occupancy levels.
Performance and Budget Control
Deciding to implement a system of performance control (evaluation of performance indicators, expenditure/revenue analysis, checks against budget, etc.) is a wise choice even for a facility with only a few rooms! Over the years, I have come across smaller establishments, and I have worked with some, that had only partial knowledge of their data, often limited to the analysis of the figures emerging from their accountant’s records. In actual fact, keeping close tabs on all the figures and indicators through a suitable method that has been correctly implemented, allows all operational and strategic choices to be properly managed, from decisions concerning revenue and pricing to potential new investment, thus avoiding the risks connected with improvisation!
Human Resources Selection and Training
I have been working in the field of HR training and development since 2000 – an activity that I undertake periodically in the context of the various Masters and Training Courses in hotel management, and which I have always personally carried out in the hotels I have managed. I am a passionate believer in boosting staff motivation through development initiatives based on a preliminary analysis of training needs. In this area, my contribution might involve helping with the recruitment of new members of staff, or training/retraining existing personnel, to develop specific professional skills (staff working in reception, general management, housekeeping, spa, conference centre, etc.) or the so-called transferable, or “soft” skills, such as effective communication with guests (in person or on the phone), problem solving, decision-making, teamwork, time management, self-control and handling of difficult situations.
SOME CLIENTS TELL ABOUT ME
“Nel 2017 abbiamo conosciuto la Dottoressa Mencarelli leggendo sul web del suo ottimo lavoro svolto sia come consulente che come direttrice di strutture categoria lusso, una volta incontrata abbiamo capito subito di avere di fronte non solo una persona preparata ma anche qualcuno attento alle continue evoluzioni del mercato dell’ospitalità alberghiera. Continueremo ad avvalerci della sua preziosa esperienza per cercare di ridurre al minimo i rischi relativi alla futura apertura della nostra attività”
“La dott.ssa Chiara Mencarelli collabora con noi dal 2017 e si occupa di tutta la formazione del nostro staff interno e della selezione del personale. Nei suoi interventi formativi è apprezzata sempre la capacità di catturare l’attenzione dell’aula e di riuscire a trasmettere strumenti semplici, ma mai banali, di gestione degli stati emotivi e miglioramento delle proprie performances. Professionista indefessa e puntuale ci ha sempre piacevolmente colpito per la sua diplomazia ed innata eleganza. “
“Chiara ci ha sapientemente seguito nel nostro percorso di rinnovamento, guidandoci con la sua professionalità e le sue competenze nel viaggio verso la nostra nuova identità. La sua determinazione e la sua energia hanno risvegliato il nostro entusiasmo e la nostra capacità di sognare… Grazie Chiara “
“Ho potuto apprezzare personalmente le qualità umane e professionali di Chiara nelle fasi più complesse di avvio della mia struttura nel 2015. E’ riuscita con leadership e pazienza a stabilire procedure e processi necessari per avere noi oggi una fantastica reputazione che porteremo con noi per sempre”
“Chiara é arrivata per una selezione a Borgo Lanciano nel 2009. Mi ha convinto ad assumerla, oltre alla sua determinazione e alle sue evidenti doti di leadership, una sua frase: “É vero non ho esperienza, ma mi metta alla prova e non se ne pentirà!” Così é stato! Ci ha lasciato nel febbraio 2013 essendosi già guadagnata la qualifica di Direttore. I suoi risultati di fatturato del 2011 sono ancora imbattuti. Grazie Chiara!”