Panic, pause or pivot? Why you shouldn’t worry about your hotel game plan

We won’t even mention the C word, because we’ve all heard plenty about it and there are many ‘experts’ telling you how bad things are now, how bad they will get, and what a disaster it will be. Yes, this is definitely a time to heed the advice of all the experts, that’s for sure.

Let’s look to remain positive and stay focussed on tangible actions that we can take to support our colleagues. Our real question to you today is:

How are you going to respond to the current situation?

What is your revised hotel game plan to not only get through this crisis but come out the other side in full stride? As a business leader, how will you respond?

As we see it you have 3 options:

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You could allow yourself to get consumed by the enormity of the situation and find yourself caught up in the 24/7 (let’s whip up a frenzy) news cycle.  If this sounds like you, you’re likely feeling quite emotional right now, very concerned about the future and beginning to feel a little overwhelmed.

Perhaps you are starting to use more negative focussed words like struggle, difficult or hard in your vocabulary. Your perception is being distorted due to focussing on the problems at hand.

This is not the place you want your mindset to go to.


Through sheer uncertainty, you may just stop, do nothing and begin the wait for the whole thing to pass over. Through all the doubt, you have perhaps become paralysed.

You are no longer asking yourself the right questions like, “How should I adjust my business? Is it the right time to be marketing? How can I innovate and look for new possibilities?”

You find your days becoming unproductive and have hardly any resemblance to a game plan or even a simple checklist. You are basically frozen as you feel stuck between a multitude of things you could be doing, but in effect, you achieve nothing each day.

Waiting for this to blow over is not a solid game plan.


If this is you, well done! You fit into an elite few that firstly take a positive approach to the situation at hand and demonstrate action, ideas and fresh thinking to the team around you. You are in fact providing hope by example, which is clearly what we need right now.

You are not ignoring the dilemma that it is, but you are taking stock, assessing and looking for the opportunity within to make a positive change in your business while the rest of the world goes mad. The way we see it, in a catastrophe, there is always opportunity. In this case, we think while we are largely at the will of the wind right now, we can prepare for the future.

The term ‘pivot’ in business came from the author of Lean Startup, Ryan Dies who stumbled across the word as long ago as 2012 and has since become a common part of the entrepreneurial vernacular. He defines it as “A change in strategy without a change in vision“.

Pivoting can come in many forms, but really it’s about keeping moving. In fact, while your competitors are either panicking or paused, you can still be moving forward. Even if your movement is only small, you are still making ground, especially when it is measured against those that are sitting still or going backwards, and so your movement is multiplied by their lack thereof.

You’ve got this

We already operate in a dynamic and fast-paced industry, that places huge demands on us as hospitality professionals. Really, we are already well trained for this as it’s the environment we have become accustomed to.

Our advice is to try to take advantage of the situation. Of course, once you have taken care of some of the basics like reducing operational expenses and sure-up your cash flow, we think you should look to what you can take action upon.

There is a quote I heard during a university lecture many years ago, that I have never forgotten:

“There’s no point worrying about things you CAN’T control, because if you CAN’T control them, there is no point worrying. There’s is no point worrying about things you CAN control, because if you CAN control them, there is not point worrying. Author: unknown”


With hotel occupancies reducing in most markets, you are likely finding yourself with some spare time on your hands, our suggestion is to why not use this time to keep the wheels in motion and pointed in the right direction.

And so, it goes without saying, we encourage you, of course, to neither panic, nor sit still, but just keep moving.


Tags: strategy


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