Written by Joanne Hutchinson
As hospitality professionals we are very fortunate to be exposed to amazing food, places, experiences, and the fascinating people we meet. We all have some funny stories to tell of events and moments that shaped our professional journeys.
Through my own journey I had a growing desire to make an impactful contribution to people and the industry I serve.
Five years ago, my desire gained an outlet with the creation of Proactive. I knew I had to take a leap of faith and create a vehicle that would allow me the opportunity to serve in a larger way. I set up an office in my garage and started employing a team who I trained to manage OTA profiles and run the outsourced reservations function for properties. At that stage, the options available in both these areas was very limited and a need unanswered.
Watching as my idea became a reality was one of the greatest moments in my life despite the challenges that came with being a startup business with very limited capital and resources.
As we grew, we started adding additional services all answering a specific client need.
- Digital exposure
- More Channels
- Relationship building
- Creating a brand story
- Delivering consistent standards
- Quick turnaround times
- Keeping up with trends and changes
- Staff changes and keeping information central for easy knowledge transfer
To create these services, we had to start taking on more skills and employing additional staff. Growing the skills available to our clients.
It soon became apparent that part of this journey would be to bring these needs together into a unified service. Each aspect of which addresses needs that the industry has.
With more services came a company need for more space. We have moved three times as our office became too small and each time upgraded to a little more space until 2017 when we came here to Frazzitta business park. I think I am a professional mover by now. The team jokes with me as I box everything, and they know if they go on leave something new will be in place when they back. Evaluating better ways and improving is my own motto and a main driver in the business. The team that surrounds me drives in the same way. I always say, you are only as good as today, and we need to strive for greatness.
Over the years I have seen people come and go from this team, part of my core team, my family. Yet I still have some original team members who have been with me since the garage and who are still here today. Each time a new member joins they bring another perspective and contribution. This is what makes it ever evolving and challenging long standing team members to think broader.
Ironically, this brings me full circle to the driving motto that came with the formation of Proactive: COMBINING CREATIVE MINDS. This has been a central part of my vision for Proactive, create and give a property a diverse team who is driven and challenged through different aspects.
Creating a workspace for individuals to thrive and grow their skills and in return drive REVENUE to our customers due to positive and passionate attitudes.
Today I can proudly say that we have managed to grow Proactive into A ONE STOP SALES & MARKETING SOLUTION. Driving property sales proactively.
I’m not sure what the next 5 years will hold for Proactive but I know that the driving desire that was central to its creation will continue to drive me to improve our offering to the industry.
But no story told in 2020 would be complete without addressing what I see as the greatest threat to the Hospitality industry since I joined its vibrant family, the impact of COVID 19.
COVID has been a challenge and true test to character, business, and people. Our industry has been affected massively but the mindset of ensuring we remain focused and trying. Working within what we can do and not losing faith and focus of that!
Through all of this it made us just want to push even more and show even more value to our clients.
2015 – OTA MANAGEMENT & RESERVATIONS
2016 – DIGITAL – Web Design, Graphic Design
2017 – Social Media Management
2018 – Sales Representation
2019 – Strategic Marketing
2020 – Proactive Hospitality Africa