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You want to have an operations manual for your property but how do you know it’s worth the time putting together.

I will show you how to make sure it works.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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In the last couple of episodes, I looked at why and how to prepare your operations manual.

I looked at the framework or the structure, and in the last episode, I gave you examples of the types of forms you should include.

I understand, to some of you, the list might have seemed extreme, but I am serious when I say, you have to have documentation for everything.

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Okay, you’ve got your organizational structure in place, everybody knows their responsibilities, their duties and how to perform them step-by-step.

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Now, you have to ask yourself “When it is complete, will it work?”

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To know this you have to ask yourself another question

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“Will the concept, my operations manual be saleable?” And then you have to ask “Will I be able to clone it? And if so will it provide good returns?”

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Yes, I want you to look at your business as a product and this is a product you want to sell.

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No, I’m not telling you-you have to go out and sell your property, but for you to know for sure that your operational procedure, your operations manual works, you have to put your head in a different mindset and look at your property as a product.

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I want to force you to think that the business system you are creating is a business you’re going to sell, and it would work once it was sold no matter who bought it.

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I’ve had many hospitality property owners tell me they have no idea how they would do this.

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It could be difficult for some, and it may sound a little strange for a hospitality property owner that they have to start thinking of their property as a systems-dependent business, not a people-dependent business.

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Your system, your operations, has to work flawlessly, even without you.

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And yes, I’ve heard.

“Work without me, I’m the heart and soul of this business, it can’t work without me.”

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Yes, I’ve heard that more than once.

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I know it’s tough, but thinking like this will not work if you are actually trying to determine whether your system works.

Don’t think of yourself as a boss of a hospitality property, but more like an engineer working on a pre-production prototype of a product you want mass-produce.

You want to think of Henry Ford when he was developing his system to mass-produce automobiles, an assembly line system, and a system that could be replicated over and over again.

Okay, you have to focus, you have to think like Henry Ford and Ray Kroc of McDonald’s. You have to think of your hospitality property as a sample, a model of 10, 100’s, of 1000’s of hospitality properties to come.

At your business, your model will become a place where all your theories are put to test to see how well they work before becoming part of your operations manual and operational in your business.

Every possible detail of your business system will be first tested and scrutinized intensively at your property model.

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“There will be no detail too trivial, you will have to pay attention to all the little things.”

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And then what you should soon begin to realize, is that you are now working on your business and not in it.

When you reach that point, you will begin to realize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but instead, the purpose of your business is to serve your life.

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“Your life and business are two totally separate things.”

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You will very quickly begin asking yourself questions differently, instead of saying

“This is a crazy mess, how am I going to fix it.”

You will say “Our policy for this situation is – this. Is there any way this policy can be improved and if approved, will it work in all situations?”

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You will now be wondering if this clone can be replicated perfectly.

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“You are now working the business, business is not working you.”

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What considerations will you have to take and a factor when working with your property model?

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Your property model has to work with people at the lowest possible skill level.

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  1. Your property model will stand out as a place of incredible order.

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  1. Your property model will have a uniform colour (branding), dress and facility code.

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  1. Your property model will provide consistent predictable service to your customers.

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  1. All the work at your property model will be documented in the operations manual.

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  1. Your property model will deliver consistent value to your customers, employees, suppliers and lenders, above and beyond their expectations.

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Now don’t get stressed, this is going to be a continuous work in progress with each aspect of your property model going through a natural progression.

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They will be to innovate the initial thoughts measuring the viability and then adapting and adding it to the operations manual.

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Now you have to set your criteria, your benchmarks.

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  • When do you wish your property model be completed?

o   In one year?

o   Three?

o   10 years?

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  • Who is your clientele?

o   Local?

o   Regional?

o   International?

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  • Are your clientele

o   Business people?

o   Families?

o   Singles?

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  • What are your criteria regarding

o   Customer service?

o   Food Service?

o   Cleanliness?

o   Employee training?

       And on and on.

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Making sense? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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If you don’t have firm criteria, your standards will be all over the place.

This is going to be a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it all at once, it will be ongoing.

To help you through this initial process, I want you to use your imagination.

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Imagine, if you will, your property model is working like a charm. Your operations manual has every plausible situation covered.

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You come to your business every day and it is full of happy customers and fulfilled employees.

A gentleman walks through the door with a sack full of money and he tells you he has heard all about your business and would like to have one just like it.

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And you say to him, “Let me show you how it works”.

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You guide him through your hospitality property, showing him how each element of your business works and how it works with every other element.

You introduce him to your employees and when he’s asking them all kinds of questions, you feel confident and are able to stand back as they proudly explain how everything works.

You feel comfortable with the thought, you can spend as much time with this buyer as you would like, knowing your business will not be affected.

Imagine, how impressed the potential buyer will be when he sees the cleanliness, order and control.

Imagine how would you feel when he says “Your property looks good now, but what happens if you have to leave?” and you tell him “I’m leaving for a month-long cruise next week, and I don’t have a worry in the world”.

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This might sound a little far-fetched but I’ve seen it work over and over and over again.

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There is no question in my mind this could be your life, but you have to start by starting.

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Start with your criteria, put your organizational structure in place, and determine the tasks that fall under each department along with step-by-step procedures to complete them.

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That is how you start.

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Slowly, begin developing your property model and build your operations manual.

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Will the property model work? “Yes!” It does work if worked properly.

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It can’t be done half-heartedly, it has to be done intelligently, reasonably, intentionally, systematically, and compassionately.

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If it is worked in the right spirit, it will work every time it’s applied because it requires the full engagement of the people working it.

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You will notice, that when you constructively introduce the development of your property model, it will create instant positive change in you and the people around you.

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“That is the key to its success.”

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It is important to remember that everybody involved in this process knows the aim and the final goal. When this is done it becomes real and something tangible.

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In conclusion

If properly written and followed, your operations manual will not only become one of your most valuable assets but will help ensure your property operates smoothly day after day after day.

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“Is your head ready to explode or is some of this starting to make sense?”

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I encourage you to review this and the last episode again to make sure you understand the basics before starting or updating your own operations manual.

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Have you started or are updating your operations manual? Let me know in the comments.

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The next episode is going to be Keystone HDC 200th and I have to admit we are pretty excited. The first portion will be informative, as normal but we have decided to celebrate the event and it’s going to be crazy. Make sure to check it out to see how you are going to benefit.

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PS. A new episode of “INNsider Tips” will be released this Thursday? They are short weekly videos that are designed to help you, hospitality property owners and managers grow your property. Make sure to check the out at KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com or on YouTube by searching INNsider Tips.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC198

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