When you run a business, you are always on a lookout for improvements. At some point, the results of a business plan you implemented that turned out to be a perfect decision will start to fade and you will find out you can improve on it ever so more.
For example, in hostel business, it’s a great thing to make your hostel have a bathroom with running hot water and that’s a great start, but at some point, you will find there are all sorts of things missing in your then sparkling new facility.
What many hostel owners seem to forget is that running a hostel is a service providing business venture. Thus, when it comes to service, it’s all about the level of satisfaction your customers receive (in this case, your business is only as profitable as the experience you provide to your guests).
But, on the other hand, the reason you have devoted yourself to your hostel is to make a living out of it. You would want to make as much as possible (it’s not greed, it’s improving your business to improve yourself). We will give you some suggestions how to earn some additional profit by providing your customers with other services other than just accommodation.
NOTA BENE: Don’t overdo it. This is very important. If you start putting a price on everything, the only thing it will cause is disgruntlement among your guests. For example, keep your WiFi free. If you charge for it, it won’t earn you as much as just a few nickels, and giving it to your customers free of charge will do you a world of good when they review your hostel.
Offer guide services
It’s very helpful to the travelers who arrive at your area, especially first-timers. It’s not a lot of work on your part to be able to offer such a service, and many of your guests will gladly accept it.
First of all, they will most likely believe you will provide them with the right choice of the guide (after all, they have chosen to give their money to your hostel) and it’s a given you know more what to expect from a guide of your city than the travelers do.
Secondly, your guests would probably want this to be offered to them as they don’t want to miss out on something valuable in the city, but they don’t want to spend their free time searching for a guide either.
Organize social gatherings
Hostel guests love to socialize. They love to get to know other travelers in the common area of the hostel and hang out. You can organize events that are logistically simple to pull off but will create a great atmosphere among the guests, who will love this sort of thing.
For example, you can organize a barbecue day with light drinks and offer them at an affordable cost. Give it a catchy name with a sense of tradition to it. (Beef&beer Sunday sounds just like the thing I would want to show up at!) Food, drinks and great fun, what’s more there to ask for?
Book their place when they move on
A vast majority of the travelers who stay in hostels are not on a one-destination-only kind of trip. They go from place to place in want of experiencing the life in the shoes of the locals. When it comes to your hostel, where your guest has been and (more importantly) where he is going to has no effect on your income. Well, that has now changed. If you register at hostel2hostel, you will be able to earn money by helping your guests settle in a new hostel. You can give them advice (again, they respect your opinion) on where they should seek accommodation at in the new place and it will seem exceptionally friendly of you to give them such insight. And if being helpful to your customers isn’t enough of a reward (shame on you), the hostel you recommended will pay you a fee determined in advance for arranging the booking in their hostel.
Lower your prices in the off-season
You must have realized by some time now when is the off-season – when there are much fewer travelers coming to your area. By lowering the prices in this period, you will increase the number of guests (who are intentionally traveling then to save a buck).
Yes, you will earn less on a single guest, but you will attract more customers if you give them a room for a lesser cost. If a significant percent of your rooms is empty, by giving a discount you will fill some of them and the guests will have a better time if more people are around (furthermore, any income is better than no income).
This can prove to be profitable especially during the sunny months. Some of the travelers will enjoy spending their day riding around town on a bicycle, as they can visit many places faster than by going on foot and also avoid crowded and heated buses.
You can rent bicycles to your guests for a reasonable fee. You don’t have to acquire top-model professional bicycles, it just needs to look nice and have all of the functionalities in working condition. They are affordable and easy to maintain and they will give you a great chance to earn some extra money.