These days, only little bed and breakfasts and guest homes don't use some form of hotel bookings software. For them, the trusty pencil and paper is the only way. But with more and more hotel bookings becoming made online, you require an easy way to maintain track of who's booked in otherwise you run the danger of either double booking a space or - possibly even worse - letting it remain empty. On leading of that, your hotel bookings software needs to be simple to use otherwise it will just sit there, gathering digital dust on your difficult drive whilst you go back to that big book.
While it is possible that you could style your own software using a plan such as Excel, that's most likely not exactly where your skill or enthusiasm lies. Which means that you should look for an off the shelf program that is easy to set up and easy to use.
If the software company says that you will require a day's coaching to be in a position to operate their software, that either means that it is far too complicated or that they don't believe that you're intelligent sufficient to use it. Either way, that's a warning signal.
Ideally, the hotel bookings software you shortlist ought to come with a demonstration mode. At the very least, it should have a couple of video walk throughs to show you how to use it but even better if it lets you enter genuine bookings information and use it as though it was already bought. That way, you'll get to know how the bookings plan copes with the quirks of your hotel and how well your reception employees can function with it.
Another bonus with utilizing software is that computers enjoy crunching numbers. The software you choose for your hotel bookings ought to have the option to run reports - even if you don't use them to start with. These ought to let you get in touch with your "regulars" with unique offers and they ought to also inform you the nights when you might require to run promotions because you're not as complete as you'd like to be.