It is never too late to become an entrepreneur. Just ask Antoine Zammarieh. After more than 25 years of work in the hospitality industry, he decided to use his experience and expertise to start his own business.
Moving away from the formal aspect of large hotels, he successfully launched himself into the business of small boutique guest houses. Antoine’s new enterprise in Nigeria, Blue lodge Guest House, is putting the focus back on personalized service.
Lagos International Airport
Designed especially for convenience and comfort, Blue Lodge isn’t your average guest house. Located just five minutes from Murtala Muhammed International airport, it targets a unique market. Antoine’s hotel caters specifically to airplane passengers flying in and out of the Lagos airport.
As a new player in the industry, Antoine needed to hone in on his target market. To land new clients and advertise his business he focused on a keen marketing strategy. Hiring a highly experienced marketer in the industry, he went out to promote his services.
According to Antoine, this is a founding step in starting a successful business, particularly in Africa. He says that it is not enough to wait for clients to come to you – you have to go to them – and show them what you have to offer. This way, you make personal contact with the market and gain direct exposure.
When it comes to hotel management, Antoine highlights the unpredictable nature of this particular venture which keeps Blue Lodge and his staff on their toes. Between airplanes cancelling flights and passengers missing connections, their schedule is constantly changing. For this reason, Antoine prepared his staff with dynamic training so that they are ready for anything and everything that come their way.
As the leader in this enterprise, Antoine anticipates every challenge and is committed to seeing his business soar. His aim is to keep the 21 room lodge 100% occupied and perhaps even extend into catering services in the future. For now though, maintaining a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Blue Lodge is top of the list for Antoine, as he creates the ideal stop-over for tired travellers.