Life as a Hostel Consultant

Dennis Pitcock
Written by Dennis Pitcock

It is a good thing the skills you develop to run and especially market a hostel can be used to help other businesses as well, because life as a hostel consultant is pretty challenging. It is almost impossible to build up a savings even more challenging make living from it. If you are considering this path, please consider the following about the potential clients:

• Those hostels that can afford a consultant, usually hire their own agents to get their work done. This applies mostly to the large, mega, and chain hostels.
• Owners and operators of medium and small sized hostels are some of the most resilient small business operators out there. They will find a solution within their budget one way or another no matter how long it takes them.
• Of those who are left, they are usually in a bad place where they cannot afford to hire a consultant. Even if they did, they will have a difficult time paying one, and often won’t sign off on solution recommendations if they cost money either.

Despite all this, consulting for hostels has major upsides. One upside is it is a great way to keep travelling. I have taken gigs just based of the location alone. If someone wants to pay for my travels and put me up in a private room, I could significantly lower my rates to practically cover my living expenses, depending on the tasks at hand of course.

Another upside is that I get to meet many interesting people. Hostel owners, operators, and employees have some of the most eccentric personalities out there. They are super passionate about what they do, fun to work with, and open to new ideas. It can be a pleasure helping them reach a solution and advance their business. Despite its global reach, the hostel community is a small network really, and the word of mouth spreads fast within. One good gig can lead to many down the line.

Finally, I realized, you have to help the cause too. Hostelling has had a bad reputation from a past full of inconsistent experiences where owners ran the facilities in the ground, compromising the safety and security of their guests. Many hostels have matured far from the set of Terrintino film, and I like to do my best to get the rest of the hostels on par. That is why I am offering free advice here on HostelTrends, occasionally the hostelmanagement site, and often corresponding on their facebook page too.

This advice helps me establish myself as a professional in the field. I get my best gigs through this. Gigs that consist mostly of busy hostels looking to expand without the time to do the research themselves. And these gigs also include potential hostels and/or their investors looking for a feasibility analysis or a competitive landscape for their new ventures. Most of the time, these gigs can often be done remotely, so I can carry on with other commitments as well and can easily execute.

No matter how many deadlines are coming up, I am always open to new gigs. If I cannot do them, I can help my potential clients find someone who can. For this reason, I am looking for other hostel professionals looking to join the HostelTrends team. Please reach out if you are looking to join.

About the author

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis jumped into the hostel industry after a summer backpacking Europe in 2008. He went from being a guest to a manager within weeks, and currently does consulting for large and small hostels alike in 3 continents. Prior, he worked in eCommerce, so he has passion for the tech side of the industry and is now deeply entrenched in the hostel and activities industry.


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