As is often said, identifying there is a problem is most of the battle. If you’re on the search for small hotel booking software it means you’ve already won, since it means you’ve decided to stop managing your property by manual means.
Booking software is easily the best way to increase bookings – taking reservations via your website, social media pages, and metasearch sites such as Google.
The rest of the battle is choosing the best option on the market for your property. There’s no shortage of providers for small hotels and it can certainly be overwhelming when you begin researching your options.
This page will help you understand everything you need to consider before you purchase booking software for your small hotel including price, features, setup, training and more.
One of the first things you need to know is that not all booking software is created equal. It’s not a matter of picking a brand off the shelf because it’s exactly the same as all the others. The sophistication of hotel technology means there can be many differences between providers – some subtle, some large.
Your software needs to deliver direct bookings in a way that’s simple for you and your guests, and that doesn’t jeopardise your brand.
Here are some must-have features to look for in online booking software:
These are the minimum requirements you should be looking for when deciding which software to go with. There may be other features you want that you can add to this list and ask providers about during your search.
As with any brand or product, the best is one that understands the motivations and needs of its customers.
For small hotels, Little Hotelier is exactly this. Little Hotelier was created specifically with small properties in mind – if your property has more than 30 rooms Little Hotelier will offer an alternative that will serve your business better.
This means the challenges of small accommodation operators are well understood. In fact, to make it even easier on customers Little Hotelier can be used as an all-in-one system consisting of a front desk (property management) system, booking engine, and channel manager – along with a website builder and payments solution.
This ensures your systems are always integrated and working together as one, with you able to manage them quickly and easily usually with a few clicks.
Generally, to choose the best booking software you should take these factors into account:
You can already see how much research is required, use these considerations to narrow your options down to a more digestible list.
You should absolutely choose a provider that offers a free trial of its product. The more open your potential partner is from the start, the more likely it is that the software is reliable and delivers what it promises.
The free trial will enable you to road test all the features of a product and enjoy the benefits it brings, completely free of charge. Any bookings, revenue, and profit are yours to keep. It will also allow you to clear up any questions or concerns you have before you decide if you want to become a paying customer.
Little Hotelier offers a 30-day free trial, during which time you the results should speak for themselves and you’ll probably have already covered the initial setup fee that’s required.
To get started and try Little Hotelier for free click here.
When it comes to small hotel software price is usually not a solid figure. Instead it will be dependent on the size of your property.
The more rooms you have, the more you will be required to pay. However, there can still be fluctuations in price between providers so make sure you perform price comparisons.
With Little Hotelier, price can be determined by how many rooms your property has and is paid on a monthly basis – unless you choose a discounted annual fee.
The main advantage is that there are no transaction fees. Your monthly payment will be the same no matter how successful you are each month is driving bookings.
To see how your property might fit in, visit Little Hotelier’s pricing scale here.
Industry leading software providers will have a global presence and should be equipped to service properties all around the world, including the UK. This is another aspect of your research you should take careful note of.
Little Hotelier operates in all the major regions of the globe, in many languages and currencies so you can attract guests from anywhere. In fact, Little Hotelier even has local UK offices. This is key because it means your market is understood and you will also have access to the support you need.
The hospitality industry never really sleeps so its vital to get help immediately if you need assistance with your booking software.
Being a small business owner that has to manage all aspects of your property operations, you need to make sure your life is getting easier.
That’s the idea behind booking software but if you go with an unreliable provider things end up getting more complicated. This might be because you don’t have all the features you need, the software has a high error rate, or it doesn’t integrate reliably with many other systems.
Simple hotel booking software allows you to automate your tasks and operates in real-time. This means when you receive a booking on your website, for example, you don’t have to worry about recording this in your property management system and updating your inventory. The software will do it for you instantly. It means making changes on your backend can be done in a few clicks and be communicated immediately for other systems to be updated.
Finding simple software again comes back to identifying a brand that fits your profile as a customer. Providers like Little Hotelier know that many small operators aren’t experienced when it comes to hotel technology, or even the hotel industry at all in some cases. The platform is built with this concession firmly in mind.
When you get serious about purchasing room booking software for your small hotel, the normal course of action is to enter into a free trial.
The setup of your software will take place at this junction meaning by the time you start paying, setup is already done. You should be contacted within one business day of signing up for a free trial and ideally it should only take a week to get up and running depending on what features you need.
Hands-on training should be provided to you by your tech partner with specialist staff helping you ever step of the way. In addition, you’ll be afforded videos to watch and articles to read that will compliment what you’ve learned on phone calls and via screen-share sessions.
Support must be a constant. It should be accessible throughput your free trial and continue when you become a paying subscriber to the service. It’s imperative that support is available in your language and timezone so you never have to wait too long for help.
You should seek to clarify all of these factors at the beginning of your relationship with your software provider.
Reviews are traditionally one of the best ways to identify top quality products and measure various options against each other. Given reviews are often collected in large numbers, the general perspective on a product can usually be trusted.
Using industry specific review sites like Hotel Tech Report are the most reliable sources to use. Here you’ll find incredibly detailed breakdowns of a product, including scores on ease of use, return on investment, support, integration capability, implementation, and more.
It will show which markets the vendor is active in, and what properties it is most suited to. Even the amount of news coverage the brand has received will be included where applicable.
On top of this there will be written reviews from existing or previous users stating the pros and cons along with an overall rating. If you see comments like ‘It saved my marriage’, that’s probably a good sign.
You can also checkout social media pages such as Facebook to see reviews and gain an idea of whether the provider is perceived positively online.
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