It takes planning, patience and hard work to start a hotel business. There are many decisions to make to ensure that you can create a successful business you will enjoy running for many years.
Get a job in the hotel or hospitality industry. Spend at least a year working at a hotel so you can learn the details of the business, as well as what kind of problems you can expect. It's much better to get paid to learn these things than to wait until you're dealing with your own business and you're losing money.
Decide what kind of facility you want to open. Your hotel can be upscale or budget, aimed at business travelers or families, service oriented or no frills. When deciding on these issues, you should keep in mind what the local market will support, as well as what you can afford to finance.
Choose your location carefully. You'll need to evaluate where travelers to your region want to stay, as well as what areas are lacking in lodging options. Focus your research on tourist attractions and downtown business districts.
Find a building or have one built. Building or renovating a hotel is complicated. Hire a professional, such as a hotel architect or a hospitality consulting company to help you with design and layout.
Obtain business licenses and permits. Facilities like hotels and motels often require review by a city planning commission before a business license will be granted. This gives the local community a chance to voice concerns and ask questions about the project. Consult your local licensing bureau for more information. A list of business license bureaus for each state can be found in Resources.
Purchase materials and equipment from a hotel supply company. These companies sell everything you will need, including furnishings, towels and cleaning supplies. They offer wholesale prices that will help you save money when fitting out your new hotel.