Case Study – How To Market A New Hostel Business

Back packing is a way of travel that has become a favourite of many across the world. In the US alone, there is an average of around 20 million backpackers annually. For any business mind out there, this means only one thing; business opportunity and a backpackers’ hostel would be the one of the best options. A place where you can provide all the tired and travel hungry backpackers a good place to rest and refresh as they take on the rest of their trip. So how can you start a backpackers’ hostel? Well, in this article I will share with you some simple steps to start your very own backpackers hostel.

  1. Choose an appropriate location.

You want your hostel to be located in an area where most backpackers pass through and can access conveniently. Having the cheapest and most lavish hostel but located way off course would spell doom for your business. To identify the best spot, you could go backpacking yourself in the area. By doing so, you will experience what other backpackers are likely to experience. In addition, you get to interact with other backpackers and get information, vital since they will be your customers. To get additional information, you could link up with nearby tourist services and get data on areas where backpackers frequent.

2. Do the math

As you start the business, you need to make sure you have your numbers right. You need to take into account the cost of purchase or renting of the building, cost of renovation of the building, buying bunkbeds, beddings, Kitchen ware, additional washrooms and the running costs of the hostel. These costs will help you arrive at a suitable pricing of your hostels. Most backpackers are usually on a tight budget so you don’t want to become very expensive but at the same time incur losses or low profit margins. It is recommended that a thirty percent occupancy should be able to cover all your running expenses such as water and electricity.

3.  Consult the relevant authorities

After all the initial investment, nothing would be worse than having your business shutdown due to in-compliance with health or safety standards. After you have identified the area you want to locate the hostel, go to the relevant offices and inquire on the regulations. This is also important because different regions have different laws. You should also ensure you acquire a license for you to start operation and choose a suitable renewal scheme. If the building you have acquired does not meet them, make the necessary adjustments in consultation with the landlord if you are renting.

4. Link up with local tour service providers.

As we mentioned earlier, tour service providers can provide you with demographic data. However, you could also use the relationship to offer information to your guests on the sites in the area and the tour service providers available. You could have posters on your reception and also offer contacts to your guests. This would in turn increase you chances of being recommended by the backpackers to other backpackers.

5. Get employees

Running a one-man show can be quite a handful especially when you are handling many guests.  You should, therefore, get employees to handle the different units of the hostel, such as the reception, kitchen, and cleaning. This can also apply when you will not be operating the hostel yourself.

After you have acquired the building and everything else is set, you are ready to start business. However, you need to start operation before the busiest season starts. This will help you identify any flaws or voids and brush them out before there is a large inflow of guests.

You should also get the word out there about your new hostel by advertising on travel websites or other appropriate means and you will be on your way to running a successful backpackers hostel.

6. Finally, and most importantly of all – get seen online! Free traffic is available on Google if you are on page 1. An internet marketing or SEO company can help you achieve this. You can make 5 times back what you spend on SEO in extra sales you would not have normally had so go do it!

How Much Does SEO Cost Per Month? – A Pricing Guide for Small Business

Almost every business, whether small and growing or big and established, must decide and budget on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expenditure. It’s not a matter of the “IF” question; your small, growing business direly needs robust online marketing to survive in today’s web-driven world of business.

The question you should ask yourself is, “how much the SEO will cost you, particularly per month?” Keep reading for the information that can help you make the right decision as well as learn some tips on how SEO agencies operate so that you can successful forge a beneficial partnership with an online marketing company.

Payment Models for SEO

Typically, SEO firms have four primary models of services and payments. And For you to understand the amounts discussed below, you need first to know these payment models, which are:

Monthly retainer: In this model, you, as the business owner pays a specific set amount every month to acquire an agreed-upon range of services. This is the most widely used model as it provides the greatest Return on Investment (ROI). Monthly retainer payment model usually encompasses:

  • On-site content improvements
  • Regular analytic reports
  • keyword search and optimization
  • Link building

Contract services with fixed prices: If not all, then a majority of the SEO agencies choose contract services because most of their customers will always select this form of payment before engaging in the monthly retainer model. The best example of this model is an SEO website audit.

Project-based pricing: In this model, the fees you are charged are almost similar to those in contract services. The only difference is that the latter are custom projects created for clients. However, costs vary with each project.

Hourly consulting: In this model, you consult and get charged per hour for the information and services offered.

Most of the SEO agencies use a combination of these payment models. Similarly, it’s advisable that you go for a company that uses more than one the models.

Typical SEO Costs

Having equipped yourself with the above information regarding payment models, you can now read and understand these range of costs. All the costs are based on the above-discussed models.

Monthly retainer: Monthly retainers cost between $750 and $5,000, depending on the size of your business and the extent of services you get from the agency. The lower end of the spectrum represents the amount payable to SEO companies offering a limited array of services. On the other hand, the upper range represents the large SEO firms offering full-range services. Based on this, most of the small business using the monthly retainer model pay between $750 and $2,500 per month.

Contract services with fixed prices: As said earlier, this model best suits start-up business who are testing the use of SEO. Typically, small businesses using these model will pay the following figures per month;

Project-based pricing: Because of the various projects, SEO agencies tend to offer a wide range of prices. Most projects done by small scale business cost $1,000

Hourly consulting rate: Most SEO consultants whether agencies or individual will usually charge your small business between $100 and $300 per hour.

All the fees are subject to change over time. Besides, there are some SEO firms are willing to negotiate. You can therefore find such firms and do business with them to help your business grow.

How to use Snapchat to Lure Millennial Customers

The millennials, also referred to as Generation Me or Generation Y, comprise of the young people who were born in the 1980s or in the 1990s. This grown-up version of kids is special since they are obsessed with technology and are the biggest developing opportunity for marketers.

Over the past few years, Snapchat has experienced huge growth, attracting about ten billion video views each day. With more than sixty percent of millennials using Snapchat, you need to know how to use the app to lure them. If you are not embracing Snapchat, you are missing out on a perfect opportunity to lure your millennial customers. Here are some useful tips on how to go about it.

1. Use preview teasers

When it comes to teasers, Snapchat is  simply the best platform. You can make quick previews on your business or new product. By being on the internet all the time, these teasers can be used as good selling points to lure millennials so that they take notice of the products you offer and eventually buy them. When used correctly and cleverly, your teaser snaps can entice the millennials to take notice of your business and even interact with it.  Here is a video showing you how to set up and use Snapchat.

2. Showcase new-buyer experience

You can make use of the Stories feature on Snapchat to send out a combination of five-second videos and images to tell stories that concern your business. You can do this by having fun with the customers and encouraging them to send out Snaps that express their excitement on the experience of buying from you.

3. Introduce promotions and giveaways

You can promote your business by introducing promotions and giveaways via Snapchat. Sending a snap of part of the promotion you will be having on a daily basis can help build the hype with your audience. Millennials will always wait for the release of a snap so that they are aware of the details of your promotion and take part in it.

4. Promote your special events

Snapchat is a great way to advertise any special events that you may have such as trade shows, charity events and grand openings. Your audience can also have direct and live access to your event via the app, which allows them to interact with your event.

5. Connect influencers and your brand

Since millennials usually take the word of influencers seriously, using Snapchat to connect these influencers with your product can really bring your brand to new heights and improve your business. It is however important to note that influencers don’t have to be mainstream celebrities, so long as you find the right ones.

Snapchat is among the newest and most popular social media platforms that have made a big impact in marketing, especially when targeting the millennial customers. It is for this reason that knowing how to use Snapchat to promote and leverage your products and services is essential.