The lodging and accommodation sector of the hospitality industry encompasses a vast range of differing establishments, from single-bed Airbnb sits, to luxury hotels, and plays a significant role in the global economy. The industry is heavily complementary to other sectors such as tourism, entertainment, or food and drink, and is a major employment source for a diverse workforce, offering a versatile range of job opportunities across various functions and levels.
Similar to all business industry sectors, lodging and accommodation faces many of its own unique financial challenges. Due to the nature of the industry, defined by its evolving trends to keep up with changing customer preferences, as well as sustainability goals, and operational demands, costs can be incurred from a vast range of sources. At Nucleus, it is not unusual for us to be approached by landlords looking to renovate a room or property between guests, or make installation additions to keep up with changing regulatory changes.
Unsecured business loans offer business owners and landlords an ideal funding solution in both planned and unexpected circumstances, to help keep their properties and lodgings inviting, safe, and legal. Our flexible, short-term facilities can be used to smooth over operation prices whilst additional funds are allocated to completing upgrades, or if an opportunity for growth presents itself and funds are otherwise short. Below are some of the most common reasons we find entrepreneurs in the accommodation and lodging sector reaching out for financial assistance with.
The purpose of any business is to make money, and regardless of the industry, change will occur that requires an investment to improve revenue. Funds are not always available to businesses off hand, especially SMEs who are new to their industry and are lacking capital. Whether it is for an expansion, or to improve current business operations and infrastructure, an unsecured loan can be utilised as a great tool to help a business develop.
Seasonal Fluctuations: Depending on accommodation type and location, seasonal events can cause enormous surges in guest numbers, typically demanding additional resources or workforce numbers. Off-peak parts of the year might also see lulls in revenue, causing cash flow disruptions. Businesses experiencing fluctuations of this kind can comfortably utilise an unsecured loan to smooth over any stresses or disruptions.
Maintenance Costs: Both regular and emergency maintenance costs can cause a disruption, especially if a business is maintaining hotels or a large number of properties. Growing a portfolio often comes with risks, and securing a loan can help manage any irregular expenses without disrupting regular operational budgets.
Competition: For newer SMEs looking to establish themselves into a location, or promote a seasonal event, it can be wise to designate funds towards competitive strategies like marketing campaigns for unique service improvements or facility upgrades that will make your brand stand out from your competitors.
Facility Improvements: Growth and expansion requires investment, whether it’s expanding a physical footprint, or renovating an established property, an accommodation can be updated to a state that is much more appealing to prospective customers – unsecured business loans can provide the capital needed to complete these larger scale projects.
Strategic Acquisitions: If a business owner intends on expanding their property portfolio as their accommodation and lodging brand expands, access to additional funds through an unsecured business loan can make these opportunities feasible.
Consumer Preferences: New trends in both internal decorations and appliance usage, along with the modern rush for innovating into eco-friendly life styles can leave a constant demand for installation upgrades. Savvy business owners who are keen on keeping up with the evolving expectations of newer audiences may seek a loan to finance the adoption of these consumer-driven changes.
Regulatory Compliance: Regulations requiring landlords to maintain health and safety standards are constantly changing. From installing fire alarm systems and correct grade fire doors, to maintaining labour laws, business owners in the industry must ensure they are up to date with their knowledge and efforts to meet regulatory requirements. In a case where a new reg comes in or a property is acquired with unexpected upgrades necessary, an unsecured loan can be a perfect solution.
Plan for Loan Utilisation: Any business owner looking to secure a facility should have a thorough plan for the usage of their funds. Mismanagement, or investing in a poorly researched project can result in a negative ROI and put further strain on long term finances.
Market Vulnerability: The accommodation and lodging sector can be highly sensitive to external factors like economic downturns, changes in tourism trends, or global events, similar to what we saw in the recent pandemic. Businesses should consider how these factors might impact their ability to repay a loan if they have chosen to secure one with the aim of expanding or making a large renovation by doing their due diligence beforehand.
Consultation with Financial Advisors: While at Nucleus Commercial Finance we have our own team of financial experts who are readily available to speak to prospective borrowers, we still always advise that you consult with your own advisor who may have expertise in your industry. They can help assess the viability of the loan you seek, in the context of your business’s financial health and future plans.
Modernising Facilities: Well utilised unsecured loans can be used to finance renovations and modernisations of facilities or appliances without causing a strain on cash flow. Because they are so flexible, anywhere from refurbishing guest rooms, to updating common rooms and enhancing amenities could be included. Well-kept, welcoming and modernised accommodations will not only attract more guests, but it also allows for premium pricing, resulting in longer term cash flow increases.
Attracting More Guests: For both new and established SMEs, marketing campaigns to promote a brand can be an essential part of business, however comprehensive marketing campaigns might include a large scope of physical and digital efforts. From social media promotions, all the way to partnerships with travel agencies to increase visibility and attract new faces. These efforts typically see long-term cash flow improvements, and unsecured loans offer business owners a stress free method to achieve that.
Employee Satisfaction and Retention: If your business model involves hotels or other accommodation types that require staff employment and customer interaction, it may be worthwhile investing in staff training that will enhance both the customer experience, and the overall satisfaction of the workforce. Loans can support programs that train staff in customer service excellence, language skills, and cultural sensitivity, directly impacting the overall guest experience.
Booking Systems and Customer Service: It is not unusual for older establishments that may once have relied solely on word of mouth or face to face interactions to have found themselves falling onto the wayside in recent years, and are on the fence about pursuing upgrades that will bring them up to modern standards or stop pursuing their business altogether.
Unsecured business loans can be used to modernise a business’s online presence, and facilitate the integration of online booking platforms, customer relationship systems, including AI-powered chatbots for immediate guest information. While daunting to some, modern technology can quickly streamline a business’s operations.
When utilised to their full potential, unsecured loans allow business owners to keep up with the ever changing standards of their industry, freeing up finances to pursue innovation, ensure long-term growth, and keep a competitive edge over their competition.
At Nucleus, we understand the unique financial needs of the accommodation and lodging industry. Our loan application process is efficient, and integrates open banking technology for quick and accurate assessments. We focus not just on creditworthiness, but also on the overall financial health of your hospitality business. Since our loans are unsecured, we place emphasis on evaluating aspects like your projected cash flow and historical performance in the accommodation sector.
Whether you manage a well-established hotel chain or a growing bed and breakfast, our unsecured business loans are designed to support your short to medium-term goals. Our loan application is a quick process, and allows you to see if our flexible funding options suit your needs. Our unsecured business loans range from £10k to £2m, with repayment terms from 3 months to 6 years, offering you the versatility needed in the dynamic hospitality industry to make upgrades or improve installations without disrupting your day-to-day finances. To discuss our services further, you’re welcome to call us at 020 7839 1980 and we can speak about your specific requirements or concerns, alternatively, you can arrange a call back at your own convenience.