Cattle in Pasture

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  • Colin Lea, BBus (Ag Comm), BA, GDFP, CFP®

Adapt or Die...Business Wise

Updated: Aug 7

"Breakfast in the morning is on us..." A simple offering from a boutique hotel operator is one of many small nuances designed to disrupt their bigger mainstream competitors. And once traditional business models have been disrupted - and Pandora's box opened on a new way to service clients - it will be harder for businesses losing clients to win those clients back. In essence - disrupt or die!

I had to travel interstate for work to complete a course and see clients, and naturally was going to need to book somewhere to stay for the week, a few days in a hotel and a few with friends. The easy option would be to stay at the big corporate hotel in Perth's CBD where the course was to be held, but I decided to look online on and see what else was available within walking distance. And then I saw this place...

It looked like a boutique hotel so I thought I would check it out, as it was only an 8 minute walk away from where I would be working. Rate wise it checked out as cheaper than the mainstream competition, included breakfast and WiFi, and looked like a pretty cool place to stay once I checked out the hotel online. So I booked it and thought hopefully it is as good as it looks.

So when I did arrive and checked in after a full day of flying from one side of the country to the other, I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was pretty impressed. Friendly staff, good directions for local places to eat, where to grab a drink, and what was available service wise to access in the hotel. And the room - it was pretty cool...

Once settled and before heading out to dinner I checked out the obligatory hotel guide, and it was the first key indicator that this place is not only special, but approaches doing business differently.

Here's a few inclusions that the bigger, more expensive, mainstream competitors all charge extra for:

  • Breakfast: included in the standard room rate. My expectations were low for an inclusive continental, but I was pleasantly surprised. Homemade muesli, fruit, muffins, fresh yoghurt, juice, a selection of breads, plus tea and coffee. Plus if you wanted a proper coffee, you could ask and the barista would make it and add the $4 to your room tab.

  • WiFi: included in the standard room rate. No limits, no poor download speeds, no additional fees.

  • Cable TV: included in the standard room rate. Choose from free to air, or a wide selection of on-demand movies, no additional fees.

  • Phone: All landline calls in Australia free and no time limit. Mobile calls at 15cents per minute.

  • Free bottled water in the rooms. Refilled daily, no additional fees.

  • Too busy to head out to dine - ask the staff and they can arrange dine in delivered to your door.

  • An Honour system bar: As it sounds, pour yourself, bill yourself, cool as!

  • Work spaces & chill out spaces: from tables in common areas where you can spread out and work, or find a quiet place to read (from your book or their wide library), to a meeting room on the roof and an amazing roof top terrace (which is a great spot to eat takeout and have a beer while taking in the city lights).

Bottom line, all I could think about during my stay, was why aren't there more hotels like this. Old fashioned all inclusive service at a reasonable price. And in being different, and disrupting their traditional competitors, I would definitely not only stay again but next time I travel interstate, I would actively look more broadly at what other hotel options are available. And as for the bigger competitors who charge higher rates and where everything you would reasonably expect during a stay is "plus, plus, plus", then you can expect recurring business to die as a result of the disruptors...

Here's cheers!

Disclosure: This article is based on my own observations and experiences, and I have received no remuneration or payment for writing this article. I simply think that good operators and disruptors deserve to be singled out when they offer favourable alternatives to mainstream business models.

"Disruptive innovation is a term in the field of business administration which refers to an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leading firms, products, and alliances."

#Disruption #Hospitality #BusinessModels

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