How to Run a Hostel in Orlando

My friends at All American Pest Control were talking about all the hostels they treat when they are doing Orlando pest control service and decided to ask the owners how to run a hostels in Orlando. Here is the information we put together.

2014 Edgewater Dr #250, Orlando, FL 32804

The industry of hospitality is a very lucrative and interesting one, especially in tourist hubs such as Florida. It is the perfect fit for people who enjoy face time with people and thrive in customer service.

Opening a hostel is a great way to step into the travel and hospitality industry. You will be the owner of a business that gets a lot of personal interaction with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Plus, opening up a hostel can be an outlet for creativity while earning an income.

The rule of thumb for any business is to provide outstanding service with no compromises on the quality front. When stepping into the hostel industry it is essential to keep in mind a few important factors.

Location

This is the most important thing to keep in mind when starting a hostel. The location is going to determine the success of your business. There are a lot of factors that you must consider when deciding on the site of your hostel.  It makes more of a difference than you may think.

 If you choose the wrong location and your whole business could be on the line. Try to pick out a neighborhood that is safe and does not have a bad reputation. Most people research a place before booking their stay. They consider safety a top priority especially if they are tourists. If any red flags are surrounding the locale of your business, it can drive potential guests away.

Location is also important regarding footfall. Is your business in an easily accessible site? If tourists are going to stay with you they would want all the major attractions in the city to be within a reasonable distance from the hostel. It is a deal-breaker if people have to commute over long distances to get to the major attractions that they plan to visit.

 It is recommended to spend enough time to research and scope out locations before finalizing one because it is the biggest factor in the success of your hostel.

Find a Niche

In this day and age, it is important to know your customers and more importantly know who you are. The competition in the market is fierce and cutthroat to ensure the survival and success of your hostel. It is important to make your business stand out from the competition.

Find a niche for yourself, something that you can relate with or aspire to be. Create a coherent and compact theme around it and apply it to your hostel. The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that your guesthouse is not just another hostel in the market. This is also a great way to compete with already established brands. By being unique you can play to your strength and beat the competition without spending a fortune.

 If your hostel features an exclusive theme and concept, then it will surely pique the interest of customers. If nothing else than purely out of curiosity people will want to book with you. The takeaway here is to be unique and stand out instead of being just one of many hostels.

Identify Your Customers

Ask yourself this question: Which type of customers do you want to attract to your hostel?

The travel and hospitality industry is a vast one. It is smarter to target specific groups of tourists instead of trying to appeal to everyone. If you want to focus on younger tourists, you will have to position your hostel and modify it in a way that will cater to the interests linked with younger people.

 If your hostel is themed around heavy partying, then it may turn off older guests. If your hostel is upscale and expensive then it may not attract backpackers. This an important factor that will help you decide the direction that you want to take your hostel in.

Once you decide on the customers that you want to target it will become easier for you to decide which theme and ambiance you want to go with.

Make it Special

Everyone wants to feel special. Make your guests feel exceptional by making your hostel experience unique. Aside from a theme, you can add little touches that make the customer feel that they are cared for. They don’t need to have expensive over the top things. Even a personalized note for each customer can make a world of difference.

You can come up with a ton of ideas to make your hostel exclusive such as entertaining events, on-site parties, and offering tours to book exchanges, opportunities for mingling, interesting décor, and options for relaxation like swimming pools, hammocks, and a board game selection. These are just some examples you can come up with anything that will fit the theme of your hostel and make it distinctive. Be creative and make the stay of your guests special and exclusive.

Cleanliness

It cannot be stressed enough how important hygiene and cleanliness is in the hospitality industry. It is the first thing guests look for. Is their room clean? Are the sheets clean? Are the toilets clean? It is understandable considering that thousands of people stay in each room over time.

 It is essential to pay attention to this and keep your hostel spotless, squeaky clean. A dirty hostel is a huge turn off for guests and can hurt your business dramatically. You should train the staff at your hostel in the best sanitation practices.

 Your hostel should have regular inspections by pest control companies to make sure that there is no creepy crawlies such as bed bugs etc. This can be a major turn off for your customers and can affect your ratings.

Your hostel policies should encourage hygiene and cleanliness. This will inspire good faith and trust in your guests and they will be more likely to give you a sparkling review and even recommend you to their family and friends.

Let the World Know

Marketing your hostel is more crucial than anything else. You should look for any and all ways to let most people know about your hostel and what you have to offer. There is, however, a distinction when it comes to letting people know and letting the right folks know!

 You need to focus your efforts on your target audience and the people who influence their opinion. You can send out flyers and market your business all you want but unless you are reaching your targeted audience, your efforts may be wasted.

 It is important to target related mediums such as travel forums. Social media can play a huge part in determining the success of your business. You should create and manage accounts for your business on all popular platforms to make sure that you can reach as many people as possible. You can create relevant Pinterest posts; you can use Instagram with travel-related hashtags to reach tourists.

 Another popular way to get the word out is to reach out to travel bloggers and vloggers, invite them to stay, and ask them to blog or make a vlog about it in return. This way, you can utilize their audiences who are into travel and maybe your future customers.

Just start

When all is said and done, you will just have to start it to know what you are doing. You can ponder about it and plan all you want. Yes, it is important to do that it is a major decision after all. But don’t overthink.

 Make a list of the questions that you have about the hostel industry and when you have the answers to all of them then it is time to start. If you have done all the leg work and you have all the legal aspects covered then you should just go for it, don’t put it on next year. Because by that time, things will be different and all your planning will go to waste. You will have to figure things out again and the cycle will continue.

There will never be a perfect time to launch. Next year may as well be a lifetime from now. You will learn the important lessons mentioned above quicker and have a better chance of making your hostel a success.  When you’re looking back on your life, you’ll be more upset for never trying than if you try and it doesn’t work out.