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Do you own a hostel or do you own a job? Why systems are essential

Once when I was working with a small hostel the owner showed me their housekeeping procedures. When it was time to mop the floors, he told me they poured a splash of cleaning chemicals  into the bucket. “Okay, but how much is a splash?” I asked. He looked back at me bewildered, and assured me that common sense applied; a splash means a splash. A few days later a volunteer was asked to re-mop the floor because he had used too much product, leaving a soapy, streaky residue all over the bathrooms.

When the people that power a hostel have to use their discretion, nothing can be planned for and anticipated because each day things will be done differently. One week the mop bucket will be too soapy and the next week too diluted. If your hostel depends on having the owner or a superstar manager there to keep the hostel on track, do you really own a hostel or do you own a job running a hostel? Having systems to run your hostel for you are essential. They allow your hostel to provide a consistent, quality guest experience that’s powered by the systems you have in place, not the people that happen to be operating them.

BackpackerBiz Takeaway:

  • Systems are "the way its done" at your hostel. They are documented and easy for even low-skilled, novice staff to understand.
  • Systems ensure your hostel produces a consistent guest experience regardless of the people operating the hostel.
  • Once your hostel has consistent systems for operating, constant incremental improvements will increase profitability.
  • Without systems to run the hostel, the hostel's performance is entirely dependent on the owner or a great manager's presence.
  • Systems, are motivators because they encourage mastery and encourage staff to influence the hostel by improving its systems.
  • A hostel owner's job is not to run the hostel, it is to create the systems that run the hostel so that the hostel may continue on without the owner.

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