Jennifer Daudi CEO of Invigorate Hospitality talks about how the pandemic played a role in launching her new hotel consulting company
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The thought of starting her own business always interested Jennifer Daudi. Yet, she’s never fully taken the leap into entrepreneurship as her career in sales and marketing was consistently on an upward trajectory.
That is, until the pandemic spread across the United States, closing hotels and ultimately causing Jennifer to lose her job as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at a large hotel management firm.
After the initial shock wore off and the job search frenzy passed, Jennifer concluded that she didn’t need to work for anyone to do her job. She already possessed the skills in hotel sales, training, and development she needed to start her own business. Now all that was left was a little push from her loved ones.
“The thought of starting my own business has always been in the back of my mind. When Covid-19 hit the hospitality industry, I never imagined that I would be in a position to have to reconsider my career,” Jennifer said. “I thought about leaving the industry, but something kept bringing me back. It took a lot of strength, and support from [my] husband, family, peers, and friends to finally say to myself, ‘ok, let’s do this.’”
Jennifer focused her passions to create a sales services company, appropriately named, Invigorate Hospitality. The meaning behind the word “invigorate,” to give strength or energy to. Her company offers consulting, training, pre-opening services, hotel acquisition services, and remote sales.
“I thought about what I knew I was good at. I love sales. I love helping others and I love energizing teams,” Jennifer shared. “The best thing about Invigorateent is that we can customize any services to meet the needs of the client. If there is anything I have learned, it is that every hotel and every market is so different. Sales is not a 'one size fits all,' so it’s fun to meet with clients to figure out what they are really looking for.”
After getting her first consultation lead, the business took off and Jennifer realized this is something she really enjoys doing.
“I think as a successful salesperson, you know how to hit the ground running, with not a lot to go on. This has now helped me in prospecting for business for my own company,” she said.
There are many ways Invigorate can benefit customers in a post-pandemic world. With pre-opening services and remote sales, it allows hotel owners and management companies to save costs while having a proactive sales effort at their properties. Jennifer and her team refuse to let the pandemic get them down or to say there is no one to call on.
“With consulting and training, many companies have changed the structure of their organizations, and we can help,” Jennifer explained. “It is important to be relevant during these times, and to understand, it isn’t as easy as it used to be to get a face-to-face appointment. How do we need to adjust our methods? These are the things Invigorate excels at and can help train sales teams.”
Invigorate also assists with Covid-19 recovery plans to ensure no stone is left unturned and how to bring business back to the hotels.
“The hospitality industry is going through something like we have never seen before, and I want to give strength to hotels and the hospitality industry as a whole,” Jennifer said.
She adds, “making sure that hotels are in constant communication about Covid-19 protocols with top accounts, and potential groups will be the key to success. Micro-weddings, group meals, meeting room setup, and group size are all things we have been getting used to. Now it’s time to showcase how successful we can be, while following CDC and state guidelines, to create events that will continue to “wow” the guest and create repeat customers.”
Jennifer also understands the importance of lifting people up and keeping morale high, especially during a difficult time for the hospitality industry.
“From different groups I am a part of, I see strength, courage, creativity, and also people who are tired from working countless hours with limited staff. I wanted to help,” she said. “While I was in my previous role, I made sure to check in with everyone, often to make sure spirits were high, and to not have the feeling of giving up, no matter how hard it was. I had a team of rockstar’s, and I want to do the same for others. I think this pandemic has given many of us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and the way we do business.”
Continuing to stay positive, remaining confident and staying connected has played a vital role in the overall success of her business.
“I have gotten leads from people I haven’t talked to in a long time, and uncovered opportunities by just staying in touch with my peers,” Jennifer shared.
Jennifer is excited for the journey ahead of owning her own business and for anyone else who may be on the fence about starting their own business, she encourages them to do so.
“Don’t let fear get in the way of doing something you love, and stay confident in yourself, that you have the power to do it.”
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