Here are my top tips for fellow hostel owners to save money in the current economic climate and help boost profits!
1. Go Green
The people at Green Lodging News have an array of cost saving tips on their website that can also be applied to hostels. From changing to energy saving light bulbs, time switches, rain water collection and more you can soon find that making those small changes now can add up to big savings in the future!
2. Review your energy bills
As gas and electricity bills only ever seem to go one way……up, it’s time that you shopped around for the best deals. You will often find that through convenience you stay with the same company. But there is money to be saved by taking the time to compare suppliers, and whilst your at it, start getting comparison quotes on anything that is supplied to your property, from electricity to toilet rolls there is money to be saved!
3. Change your software
Most property management systems are very expensive to keep up and running. With all the licences, yearly contracts and annual agreements things can get pretty expensive…….very quickly! But there are alternatives. You can switch to a cheaper alternative even if it is a bit of a hassle for the first few weeks to relocate your bookings.
HostelMate.com is the cheapest system I’ve found for hostels and provides a subscription based service with no contracts aimed at smaller sized hostels. You can sign up for a free account at www.hostelmate.com
Also review your credit card, accounting and computer systems, you could find their are better deals to be found and maybe even some free software versions out there that will do the job!
4. Review your prices
This may seem a bit of a pointless task right? Your already charging the best rates? But are you taking full advantage of your beds prices?
It’s time to look a bit deeper into just how much you can charge your guests. Can you increase them slightly and still be busy? Can you offer discounts on certain dates to attract more guests? Has a hostel in the area got a deal that is taking your customers away on a certain night of the week?
I’m sure most people already know their prices inside out and have maximised them to the full already, but a serious and lenghty review of your prices can make a real difference to the revenue that you take. Be clever and proactive with your pricing!
5. Add extra revenue streams
Are you maximising your properties potential to make you money? It’s not just the beds that can bring you in an income.
Do you have a double or single room that is rarely in use and you can turn into a dorm?
Do you have room for a vending machine in the common room or lobby?
Can you add in extra computers for guests to use and be charged for?
Can you sell homemade cakes, sandwiches or meals to guests?
Look around your property and look for ways to maximise how much extra revenue your hostel creates, apart from people in the beds. Even if it requires a small investment to start with eventually any extra revenue streams can help your turnover and add value to your business. Try to be creative and new in your approach and have the vision to see clever ways of generating that little bit extra out of what you already have.
Unfortunately money does not grow on trees….