Tom Magnuson: The Most Important Lessons Learned From Starting Magnuson Hotels

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Magnuson Worldwide founder Tom Magnuson is responsible for creating the fastest-growing hotel brand of all time, with more new hotels added in the last ten years than eight of the brand’s ten biggest competitors. Here, the founder shares the most important lessons learned through starting a successful hotel chain such as Magnuson, and how these lessons can help you make the most of your own independent hotel.

Great leadership is irreplaceable

Whether at a local level in one of Magnuson’s stellar franchises, or internationally in the higher echelons of Magnuson Worldwide’s management team, great leadership can’t be faked – and its impact is truly irreplaceable. Leadership makes all the difference between a successful business and one which flounders under the weight of its own goals and expansion, or worse still – poor leadership can result in non-existing goal setting and stagnation.

Building your reputation is paramount

A great reputation will take you far, both as an individual in business and as a company seeking to build itself from the ground up. Getting known as reliable and enterprising takes a lot of work, and like so much in business, authenticity wins out every time. Whether you want to grow your existing company, forge meaningful business relationships with those around you, or simply get the most out of your company, work on ways to build your reputational collateral from day one.

Set actionable targets

To avoid drifting along on a wave of hopes and dreams, instead turn these dreams into actionable activities, real goals and achievable targets, year by year. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a valuable brand. Since Magnuson first launched as a home-based business in 2003, it’s been fifteen years of hard work to get the company where it is today. However, you must also stop to appreciate the successes along the way, and targets help you to do this – providing fantastic motivation!

Loyalty is highly valuable

You will work with many different people while you found a winning company, and some of these working relationships may not work out as anticipated. You will also have many guests to your hotel who perhaps do not return. But whilst you should place value on all your guests and all your workforce, there is nothing quite as valuable as loyal colleagues and returning hotel guests. They will not only drive revenue, but teach you more than any business guide ever could; how to refine your brand, and how to get better with each new step.

Never stop learning

Every day is an opportunity for new lessons, and you should welcome them. This means accepting when you’re wrong, and understanding the scope of your own limited knowledge. Remember that as the saying goes, every master was once an apprentice – and so it is with founding a successful hotel brand. If you are humble enough to accept your setbacks and glitches as a learning curve, you’re setting yourself up for far larger successes in the future.


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Published 14 Feb 2018

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