Business travel has always been an important part of the hotel sector, with Britons in particular being keener on face-to-face contact than is the case in some countries such as the US, where the vast differences between cities often make such meetings impractical. When sending a staff member away on business, an employer needs to balance a number of factors. Unless it is a very senior executive, there will be a focus on keeping budgets within limits. However, there is no point sending someone to the worst hotel in town. After all, if they can’t have a comfortable stay, get a good night’s sleep and carry out important work, that will undermine the purpose of sending them off to meet clients or partners.
Moreover, any travelling worker who gets put up in inadequate hotels might consider that a very good reason to find alternative employment. All that might make a small hotel wonder if they can really offer all a business traveller wants. The answer to that is that, in some cases, they will not – such as when someone needs to hire out a large conference hall of the kind that only the biggest hotels could provide. But there are many business travellers who go alone and simply want to have good facilities they can use themselves. Such people will only stay in one room, whether the hotel itself has ten rooms or 200. The key, therefore, is to focus on the basics.
There are many small hotels that lack some basics, such as extra soap, shower gel, shaving equipment and other toiletries. A leisure traveller may not be so bothered, as they have the time on their hands to nip out to get these things, and if they don’t look and smell pristine the next day it usually won’t matter too much. The same cannot be said for business travellers. Similarly, there is an obvious need for good communication facilities, so free internet, Wi-Fi and adaptors to recharge mobiles are all important. This is not just because they could need them for work purposes, but because ringing home will matter, too.Many business travellers will need to relax after a stressful day of deal-making, so plenty of peace and quiet is important, whatever the scale of the hotel. Also, consider having some gym facilities, even if it’s just a small room, as many will wind down by burning off pent-up energy.
So while a small hotel cannot meet all business needs in every circumstances, they can provide the basic facilities that will do very nicely for many of those who travel for work reasons.