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Taking Control of a Hotel without Breaking the Bank

Are you eager to take charge of a hotel but lacking the necessary funds? While purchasing a business usually requires a significant initial investment, don’t despair. Taking over a hotel with little to no money is not impossible; it simply requires determination and careful planning. In this practical guide, we’ll explore how you can successfully acquire a hotel without a hefty budget. We’ll discuss different financing options and highlight the importance of a well-crafted business plan in convincing potential investors to fund your venture.

The Power of Equity

Acquiring a hotel naturally demands a considerable amount of cash. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s important to retain essential elements such as the hotel’s leased equipment, lease agreement, and customer base. Negotiating the sale of the hotel with the owner can involve extensive paperwork, so seeking legal assistance is highly advisable (although it comes at a cost). Taking over an existing hotel business may require more financial investment compared to starting your own business from scratch. However, it’s not convenient if you’re looking to take over a hotel with no money, but it’s not an insurmountable challenge.

This is where your equity contribution comes into play. Your equity contribution refers to the amount of money you personally contribute to the business. Requesting a bank loan without offering any personal contribution can make it difficult to secure funding. So, why is personal equity contribution highly valued in a business takeover?

It aligns your interests with those of potential investors

A personal contribution sends a strong signal to investors that you are genuinely committed to your venture. Without a financial stake in the business, it’s easy to walk away when faced with challenges. However, by investing not only your time and energy but also your own money, you demonstrate to your financial partners that you have something to lose along with them. This serves as a guarantee that you will do everything possible to ensure the success of your business.

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Building Up Your Personal Contribution

Now that we understand the importance of a personal contribution let’s explore how you can build up this amount when taking over a hotel with little to no money. Instead of relying solely on your savings, you can consider alternative financing options:

1. Call on your family and friends

The first source to consider is “love money.” This refers to money you can collect from your loved ones in the form of donations, loans (with or without interest), or investments. Gathering some love money, whether as capital investment, loans, or donations, can be an effective way to secure the funding you need to take over a hotel. Your loved ones know you well and understand your capabilities, making it easier to convince them to invest in your business compared to convincing strangers.

2. Launch a crowdfunding campaign

Crowdfunding offers another potential source of financing to kickstart your hotel project with little to no money. There are two options available to you:

  • Crowd equity: Individuals or angel investors may provide funding in exchange for shares in your company.
  • Donation-based crowdfunding: Here, you set up a campaign on a crowdfunding platform, tell your story, and collect donations from individuals who wish to support your venture financially. Contributors, likely travel enthusiasts, may expect a small reward tied to your business in exchange for their generosity. For example, a free day pass for your spa or a complimentary overnight stay with a cooked breakfast included. You can customize the size of the gesture based on the generosity of the donation.
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Crowdfunding not only helps raise funds for your project but also introduces it to a wider community, creating excitement and buzz around your hotel venture. An excellent crowdfunding success story is The Jennings Hotel in Oregon. Founder Greg Hennes, after spotting a dilapidated apartment building with stunning views of Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains while on a hiking trip, raised over $100,000 from 870 people to eventually open the world’s first Kickstarter-funded hotel in 2016. Gathering contributions through crowdfunding also demonstrates to banks that potential clients have a keen interest in your project, making it a more compelling case for securing a loan.

3. Seek private investors

If crowdfunding is not your preferred route, you can also explore private investors who are interested in partnering with you to purchase the hotel. It’s important to choose someone compatible with whom you can work together to manage the business. Another option is to find business angels who can not only contribute financially but also provide valuable entrepreneurial experience and advice on developing your business. To identify potential investors, reach out to individuals already active in the hotel and hospitality industry.

4. Limit personal expenses to boost your equity contribution

Another way to build up your equity contribution when taking over a hotel with no money is by closely monitoring and limiting your day-to-day expenses. In the months leading up to your hotel purchase, consider increasing your income by taking on a side job, working overtime, or freelancing. Additionally, cut back on unnecessary expenses such as unlimited movie subscriptions, TV subscriptions, and dining out. By making these small sacrifices, you can save a significant amount in the long run.

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The Importance of a Comprehensive Business Plan

Lastly, let’s not forget the business plan. This document presents your business idea to potential investors, ranging from banks to acquaintances to public bodies. Its purpose is to convince financial partners of your business’s strengths and profitability. Hence, when taking over a hotel with little to no money, a well-crafted business plan is essential.

A business plan generally consists of two major components:

  • A financial forecast for your hotel, highlighting the expected profitability and initial financing requirements.
  • A written section that provides a detailed overview of your project, the team, your business strategy, and your medium-term objectives.

Given the crucial role of the business plan in securing funding, it must be impeccable and compelling. Additionally, its appearance should be professional and polished. Writing an effective business plan can be challenging, especially for first-timers. Consider using online business plan software to guide you through the process. This specialized software offers detailed instructions, examples, and templates for each section of the plan. It streamlines the financial calculations and creates a professional document that can be easily presented to your bank.

If you’re interested in this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here.

By reviewing our hotel business plan template, you can gain inspiration and structure for your own hotel business plan. As you can see, there are various solutions available for raising funds to take over a hotel with little to no money.

We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the process of taking over a hotel with limited funds. If you have any questions about launching a new business, feel free to get in touch with our team.

Also on The Business Plan Shop:

  • How to conduct market research for a hotel
  • Steps to successfully take over a hotel
  • An easy 8-step guide to opening a hotel

Know someone who dreams of taking over a hotel but lacks the funds? Share this article with them in just one click!

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