Starting a Hostel Business

Hostels are budget dormitories built to accommodate a large number of people.  There is no exact blue print on how a hostel should look.
You find them in retreat centers, homes, campgrounds rural communities and residential areas. Other interesting hostel types are houseboat hostels, converted motels, budget bed hostels and farm hostels.
The general rule is that hostel should provide lodging and follow commercial zoning rules. A good hostel should have an accessible road network, safe environment and community based.
Other criteria are cheap rooms and a good location. Entrepreneurs have found success running hostels close to educational institutions such as universities or polytechnics.
There are a few things to put n place before starting a hostel business.
Starting a Hostel Business
Find an Ideal Location
It is important to find an ideal location for your hostel. As said earlier a good location is close to an educational institution. Other good locations are tourist areas, near airports, backpacker’s trails and close to bus stations
Understand Zoning
In most urban cities the state has a zoning formula for residential houses and business premises. Before you establish the hostel meet local authorities to identify the zones.
Once you understand the zoning requirements then you conduct a feasibility study. The feasibility study will help identify a good spot for a hostel.
The Building
You have three options lease a property, build a hostel or convert an existing building. Make sure you conform to residency laws in your area.
Get a lawyer to draft legal documents for tenancy or lodgers. Provide your lodgers short rent agreements renewable yearly.
If you are going to remodel an existing house then you need to secure building permits. Provide adequate security, fire safety equipment and a clean environment.
The Hostel
The hostel needs dorm rooms and beds. The beds could be single or double bunk depending on the residents.
 Provide mattresses and pillows however charge for bed sheet or encourage residents to provide their own bedding's. Minimalist involvement in hostel business is an easy and effective way to run a hostel.
Make sure the beds are rugged and sturdy to accommodate extensive usage. Make sure the beds are large enough and comfortable.
The room should be properly ventilated with good electrical fittings. Install a basic bathroom with a tap, sink, bulb and shower.
Same applies to the toilets make them basic yet functional. You need a large kitchen complete with dinning area to accommodate your guests.
The design of your hostel should include a common area to accommodate the lodgers. Don’t forget a front desk to receive new lodgers.
Security is a big issue in hostel business because of thieves. Secure you guest by providing electronic keys for dorm rooms and rugged security lockers. You could provide a secure luggage storage area accessible only to staff members.
Cost of Running a Hostel
Financing a hostel business is a nightmare due to the huge capital requirement. Apply for building loan from commercial banks in your area.
You also need a good business plan, management team and projections to support profitability. The loan you seek should be long termed with a fixed low interest rate.
The cost of running a hostel business could gradually pileup. You have the cost of renovation, utility bills, staff wages and maintenance. Other cost considerations are mortgage, lease payments and marketing.
Type of Services
The types of services you render differ from one hostel to the next. Added services are optional and at the discretion of the management.
Some additional services are paid laundry services, breakfast, small shop, entertainment bar, guided tour trips, internet connection and bus shuttle.
Hire Staff
You need a receptionist, cleaner, bar man and hostel manager. Other staffs are laundry department, security guard, cook and handyman.
Marketing is essential to the success of the business. Use traditional marketing strategy such as printing flyers, posters, banners and complementary cards.
List your hostel in directories, yellow pages and hostel websites.  Build a website with images of the rooms, surrounding area and unique feature.
Use social media channels to reach potential lodgers. Mechanizing is another way to introduce your hostel to travelers.How to Start a Hotel Business


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