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Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SmallBusinessTrends/~3/aRbDnUdm4GA/impact-of-hotel-reviews.html

Impact of Hotel Reviews - 72% Say Guest Ratings More Important Than Brand

A survey of more than 900 consumers by the Expedia Group reports guest ratings carry more weight than brand value.

Impact of Hotel Reviews

For 72% of the respondent in the survey, the reviews and ratings of guests are more valuable. So much so, they say they are willing to pay more for hotels with a higher rating. As much as 35% more for a 4.4 rated hotel over one rated 3.9, and 24% more for a 3.9 rated hotel over a 3.4 rating.

Small hotel owners who can’t compete with large brands in terms of sheer size can now do so with quality service.

Abhijit Pal, Head of Research, Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group, said as much in the press release.

Pal said, “This shows that guest ratings have essentially leveled the playing field for independent hotels, as more potential guests seek out third party endorsements for hotel properties they are considering. It also reveals that independent hotels can compete on a global scale with brands if they focus on guest experience.”

Guest Rating

The internet, social media, and smartphones have changed the way consumers interact with a business. If your business doesn’t provide a quality customer experience, they will let you know with their peer reviews.

It is this ability which has empowered consumers and given small businesses the potential to compete with much larger brands.

Consumers also want unique experiences, which is much harder to deliver for a large hotel with 200 rooms. What this means for small hotels is they can go above and beyond a large chain to provide the best possible experience. And if it is done right, the reviews from your guest will drive in more customers.

Survey Report

The report says guest reviews are important, but it is not the number one factor in making a decision on where to stay. Not surprisingly, price is number one.

Consumers first look at the price of the hotel, whether it is a popular brand or not. According to the report, promotions and discounts are an almost sure fire way for customers to choose your property.

After price, guest ratings is the most important factor for the majority of the respondents in the survey. This was the case on both sides of the pricing structure. No matter how much a customer is willing to pay, they want value for the amount they are paying.

To get this perceived value, they are getting the information they need from previous guests and the reviews they leave behind.

The report concludes by saying brand as an attribute isn’t as powerful as guest ratings. And the days of brands solely driving the decision are gone.

For independent hotels who are delivering a customer experience above and beyond what their guests are expecting this all good news.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Good News for Small Hotel Owners, 72% Rank Guest Ratings Above Brand” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/personalbrandingblog/~3/_CECPu6uEBs/

Personal brands matter to everyone, not just startup founders and public speakers. In the age of social media, every employee owns a unique personal brand, and most employees want to grow those brands to boost their careers.

As the boss, you can help your team members accomplish that goal by providing the guidance and opportunities they need to flourish. Even if you invest in people who eventually leave your company to pursue other passions, they’ll remember the help you provided and speak highly of your brand to others in their network. That positive word-of-mouth advertising could pay major dividends down the road.

Follow these best practices to help employees cultivate strong personal brands:

1. Provide content contribution opportunities.

Do you publish all your company’s content under your own name — or, worse, the brand’s name? If so, you’re not just missing opportunities to help employees grow their personal brands — you’re also missing out on better audience engagement. Consumers prefer content that comes from people over brands, so give employees opportunities to express themselves and attach their names to their work. Offering different voices and perspectives will increase your readership and cultivate long-term interest.

2. Encourage time ownership.

Don’t micromanage employees or give them simple lists of tasks to accomplish. Instead, teach them calendar management or download top calendar apps, and provide opportunities for workers to use their time more wisely. You hired smart people for a reason, and the more opportunities they have to explore their innovative sides, the more confidence they’ll gain. That’s good for them, good for your company, and a good look for anyone thinking about joining your team.

3. Invest in education.

The digital world requires diverse skill sets. To stand out from the crowd, workers today need to know about more than just the tasks in their job descriptions. Invest in training opportunities for your employees, such as conferences or subscriptions to online educational resources. Ambitious team members will use their newfound knowledge to innovate and explore for your company.

4. Create mentorship connections.

Despite the popularity of new communication tools, young people at work prefer face-to-face communication over emails and IMs. Provide opportunities for more experienced employees to mentor younger ones. The “old” hands can grow their management chops, while the younger staffers can get more hands-on experience under the guidance of people who know the industry well. Both sides get to accelerate their growth while helping each other.

5. Help speakers step up.

Speaking engagements provide valuable connections and visibility for your brand, and your employees want in on the action. Instead of hogging the limelight yourself, help your employees get speaking gigs at trade shows, schools, association meetings, and conferences. When employees suffer from stage fright, help them overcome their fears by letting them create and publish short videos on the company website. The content will help you now, while the experience will help them later.

6. Get active in the community.

Modern audiences prefer brands that give back. Employees, too, want to work for companies that strive for more than profits. Get involved in community efforts, and let employees lead the way. Use your network to connect with local leaders, then step back and let team members handle the specifics. Your brand will look good, your community will benefit, and your employees will add to their growing prestige.

7. Acknowledge the value of failure.

No one grows without failure. Implement company policies that encourage smart risks. Never punish employees who take a risk and miss; your team members need to know they can explore without fear of retribution. When your employees know you have their back, they’ll feel more confident about their ability to innovate — a vital component of any strong personal brand.

The more you invest in your employees’ personal brands, the more your company’s reputation will spread. Eventually, your industry will be filled with thought leaders who all point to your company as a catalyst for their growth. Take advantage of every opportunity to help your employees expand their influence — it will pay dividends for you both.

The post The 7 Personal Branding Trends That Will Motivate Your Employees appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

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Thanks to http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/personalbrandingblog/~3/_CECPu6uEBs/

Personal brands matter to everyone, not just startup founders and public speakers. In the age of social media, every employee owns a unique personal brand, and most employees want to grow those brands to boost their careers.

As the boss, you can help your team members accomplish that goal by providing the guidance and opportunities they need to flourish. Even if you invest in people who eventually leave your company to pursue other passions, they’ll remember the help you provided and speak highly of your brand to others in their network. That positive word-of-mouth advertising could pay major dividends down the road.

Follow these best practices to help employees cultivate strong personal brands:

1. Provide content contribution opportunities.

Do you publish all your company’s content under your own name — or, worse, the brand’s name? If so, you’re not just missing opportunities to help employees grow their personal brands — you’re also missing out on better audience engagement. Consumers prefer content that comes from people over brands, so give employees opportunities to express themselves and attach their names to their work. Offering different voices and perspectives will increase your readership and cultivate long-term interest.

2. Encourage time ownership.

Don’t micromanage employees or give them simple lists of tasks to accomplish. Instead, teach them calendar management or download top calendar apps, and provide opportunities for workers to use their time more wisely. You hired smart people for a reason, and the more opportunities they have to explore their innovative sides, the more confidence they’ll gain. That’s good for them, good for your company, and a good look for anyone thinking about joining your team.

3. Invest in education.

The digital world requires diverse skill sets. To stand out from the crowd, workers today need to know about more than just the tasks in their job descriptions. Invest in training opportunities for your employees, such as conferences or subscriptions to online educational resources. Ambitious team members will use their newfound knowledge to innovate and explore for your company.

4. Create mentorship connections.

Despite the popularity of new communication tools, young people at work prefer face-to-face communication over emails and IMs. Provide opportunities for more experienced employees to mentor younger ones. The “old” hands can grow their management chops, while the younger staffers can get more hands-on experience under the guidance of people who know the industry well. Both sides get to accelerate their growth while helping each other.

5. Help speakers step up.

Speaking engagements provide valuable connections and visibility for your brand, and your employees want in on the action. Instead of hogging the limelight yourself, help your employees get speaking gigs at trade shows, schools, association meetings, and conferences. When employees suffer from stage fright, help them overcome their fears by letting them create and publish short videos on the company website. The content will help you now, while the experience will help them later.

6. Get active in the community.

Modern audiences prefer brands that give back. Employees, too, want to work for companies that strive for more than profits. Get involved in community efforts, and let employees lead the way. Use your network to connect with local leaders, then step back and let team members handle the specifics. Your brand will look good, your community will benefit, and your employees will add to their growing prestige.

7. Acknowledge the value of failure.

No one grows without failure. Implement company policies that encourage smart risks. Never punish employees who take a risk and miss; your team members need to know they can explore without fear of retribution. When your employees know you have their back, they’ll feel more confident about their ability to innovate — a vital component of any strong personal brand.

The more you invest in your employees’ personal brands, the more your company’s reputation will spread. Eventually, your industry will be filled with thought leaders who all point to your company as a catalyst for their growth. Take advantage of every opportunity to help your employees expand their influence — it will pay dividends for you both.

The post The 7 Personal Branding Trends That Will Motivate Your Employees appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

Enjoy This Post! Big working from home fan here

Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/woman-entrepreneur-3-rules-business-success-121740-1.html

As the founder and CEO of Garnysh, a Silicon Valley-based fitness and technology company, I know a thing or two about surviving in business. And as a woman entrepreneur, I’m even more knowledgeable about the challenges female entrepreneurs face in that cutthroat world.

Here are what I consider to be three rules for business success that are easy to remember and can make a big difference in how you approach running your business.

1. Rejection—the only guarantee

No one likes rejection. It feels terrible and it makes you doubt yourself. As an entrepreneur, I find that I’m walking through a minefield of rejection. Loans rejected, partnerships rejected, business plans rejected, and so on. But the next time you find you’re feeling dejected about being rejected, remember one thing: getting rejected is actually an important part of your job. I have found that when I accept that I will be rejected, I can recover much faster, and even use that rejection to my advantage.

I’m beginning to realize more and more there is nothing personal about rejection. Use it as a learning experience. Imagine if everything you did was accepted by everyone—every business idea you had was praised, every leadership decision applauded. Sure, it would feel damn good at first, but you’d also never learn a thing. How do you get better and better every day? By being rejected, getting back up, and trying again.

Learning through heartbreak

You can’t deny your feelings. That doesn’t make you a worse entrepreneur or businesswoman—it makes you a better one. We’re very introspective creatures, after all. The hurt you feel from getting rejected often leads you to examine yourself, examine your work, and take it to the whole next level.

I’ve made amazing advances in my career, thanks to screw-ups, mistakes, and rejection. In fact, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without all of that. When you really open yourself to feedback—which is all that rejection is—you can tailor-make your business to better serve your customers, and you can tailor-make yourself to better serve your business (and your family, too).

Let bad feedback guide you

What if Steve Jobs had given up on Apple because he got some negative feedback in the beginning or ran into some pitfalls? What if Oprah had stopped being an anchorwoman because she was rejected for being African American or not having the stereotypical anchorwoman body type? All that they’ve added to the world would never have been. That’s why if you really believe in what you’re doing, you must persist.

Another great way to look at feedback and rejection is to see it as a compass. Is your product not selling? Maybe it’s directed to the wrong customer base. Do you keep failing to get that one dream job and keep getting rejected? Maybe you need to rethink your approach, or, even more important, maybe the universe is telling you that that job does not use your strongest, most unique skills. Changing directions can hurt, but sometimes you weren’t going in the right direction to begin with.

2. Being cautious vs. being rash

Some people are all-or-nothing. Sometimes I want to dip my toe into something and see what happens, and other times I want to dive in headfirst. So which one is better? Even though I’ve stated in other articles that I don’t entirely believe in the importance of achieving balance—it’s a made-up idea—I think that the key here is awareness. Know when to go slow and know when to speed up. I’ll explain this shortly.

Being too cautious

As an entrepreneur, I cannot always be cautious. Often I have to take a leap, even when I’m afraid and don’t know what is waiting for me on the other side. This is so important for business; there have been no successful enterprises that were built on caution. Sure, maybe there was caution in the beginning, but the caution could never be sustained. It needs to be mixed with some boldness.

Timidity in life does not yield great results. You want to be an entrepreneur because it excites you, and it promises a life not trapped in a cubicle counting the days till you can draw from your retirement. There’s nothing wrong with taking a timid approach to life. That’s just how some people are (you do you), but if you’re a businesswoman who is naturally timid, it’s time to finally work on that! Honestly, it’s a fun challenge.

A note on pessimism

Very cautious people are often pessimists, I have found. The reason for this is because they think that the world is crap, their customers are crap, and perhaps their product is crap. When you’re always looking at the negative side of things, it’s not even physically possible to take a leap because you just assume you’re jumping into a dry pool. Constantly looking for what’s wrong instead of what’s right will take your business nowhere.

Being too rash

Here’s the flip-side of the situation: When you are rash and reckless, you’re actually quite the optimist. If you jump, you’ll land in a bed of feathers; if you have an idea, you’re absolutely sure that it will take off. Often those with a reckless character seem to conveniently forget past mistakes they have made. Keep in mind that rash people actually don’t look at the long-term consequences of things. If you see a business opportunity and you jump, despite the fact that you have done this in the past and it has failed, then your recklessness could continuously get you into trouble.

The ‘balance’

Long-term pessimism and short-term optimism are two heads of the same coin. Although you can’t serenely balance these qualities like an entrepreneurial Buddha, you can always be conscious of which of these is in play, analyze the specific situation that you’re in, and then come to a conclusion as to whether cautiousness or rashness are going to work better.

The goal here is mindfulness. Look at the long term and see what you have to do in the short term to get there. As the saying goes, ”It’s a marathon and not a sprint.” It might sound like a cliché, but that makes a lot of sense here. If you’re conscious of how slowly or quickly you’re acting, you’ll be better able to analyze the specific situation that you’re dealing with and know whether to speed up or slow down. If you’re acting deliberately and consciously, you’ll never fall into extremes.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

3. Embrace being a leader and being a woman

Women lead differently than men. I don’t mean to make broad generalizations, but science backs it up. Researchers have found that women use what is called a “transformational” leadership style. What does this mean? This is leadership that aims to promote morale, motivation, and overall job performance. Essentially, women seek to bring people together and inspire them. If you ask me, this is a pretty damn good approach. There are five keys to this leadership style:

  • Goals. Duh. Everyone knows that goals are important for business. I use goals all the time in my professional and personal life, to great success. But the real difference here between merely setting goals and seeking to achieve them, is that women leaders tend to do this by transforming the people around them. Helping them to be better people, better workers, and better dreamers. They invest time in inspiring, communicating, and developing goals that are clear and specific. Women are nurturers, and this is the case for their leadership style as well.
  • Beware of transactional-ism. Transactional leadership is the opposite of transformational leadership. If you’re a boss sitting behind a desk barking orders all day, you’re a transactional leader. When the boss doesn’t interact with their ”flock” on a personal level, they’re exhibiting transactional behavior. Women leaders do not find this kind of leadership natural, for the most part. For me, my team is a team of human beings. They’re not my ”family”—no need to fall into that trap. I already have a family, but my team members are real people that I wish to engage with, learn about, and help to grow. The transactional style is actually detrimental to female leaders, whereas men often get away with it. Does your team expect you to be  “touchy feely?” No, but they expect you to treat them like the amazing human beings that they are.
  • No bossy pants. Okay, that was a great book by Tina Fey, but in general you want to steer clear of this. Women don’t like it, men don’t like it, and you’ll get more flack for doing it as a woman. As girls, we’re called bossy when we stand up and tell people what to do. But grown men are praised for the same thing. If you were accused of being bossy as a young girl, there’s no doubt that you have trouble in your leadership position, because that insult made you self-conscious.

So, do get over your fear of being bossy, but at the same time, realize that it is never the best approach and does not see the best results for female leaders. You’re a strong, powerful, amazing woman. That means that you don’t even need to be bossy in the first place. You’re too smart for that.

  • See people’s strengths. When you truly can see your team for who they are, you’re going to identify strengths. And when you assign tasks based upon these strengths, you’re going to watch your business flourish. Transactional leadership delegates work and transformational leadership sees where people are excelling and where people are behind, while acting accordingly.
  • Work always matters. As a female leader you have the power to instill in your team that they matter, their job matters, and the business matters. I don’t feel like I need to explain why this is important. When people truly believe in what they’re doing, and it’s helping them to grow as people, everyone benefits. I mention this because, as an entrepreneur, my business means a heck of a lot to me, but I always have to be proactive to invite my team members to feel the same. My business isn’t just about me; it’s also about the amazing people that I’m on this journey with.

Summing it up

So what is the takeaway? Embrace rejection and failure, be mindful of cautious and rash behavior, and embrace being a woman to become a better leader. I have hard days where I have to remind myself of all these things, but at the end of the day, I’m finding my success because I’m conscious of my feelings, conscious of what I’m up against, and, most of all, I’m conscious of what I’m capable of as a woman.

RELATED: Why I Don’t Like Being Labeled a Female Entrepreneur

The post 3 Rules for Business Success as a Woman Entrepreneur appeared first on AllBusiness.com

The post 3 Rules for Business Success as a Woman Entrepreneur appeared first on AllBusiness.com. Click for more information about Meeta Vengapally.