Often, the first business most of us expats think of putting in our new country is a guesthouse.
It´s not a bad idea cause you really don´t need any formal education on the subject to do it. It wasn´t my plan either, I just kind of fell into it.
First in Guayaquil, partnering with a friend to start a small guesthouse, then here in Quito.
But most people start like I did in both Guayaquil then Quito: with five o six rooms.
My advice… don´t!
Unless, you really enjoy it of course.
Well, a few months back i finished an expansion from 6 to now 23 rooms.
And what´s the surprising difference between running the two, or between a small and a large guesthouse?
Really! The costs are ALMOST the same and either way it´s still a 24 hour business.
Even the email load is about the same.
Time invested… the same! It´s a 24 hour business either way! You need at least one person there ALL the time unless your cheap and want to handcuff yourself to the place.
Before, with six rooms, I had one person at night, one cleaner, and one part timer receptionist in the daytime with a part time cleaner that works when the full timer has off.
Thats two full timers and two part timers.
Now, with the 23 room place I´ve needed to add one more full time cleaner so i now have two cleaners daily, yet the same part time afternoon receptionist and the same night receptionist.
And cause I serve dinner I´ve had to hire a part-time chef cause with that many people one person can´t cook and attend the clients like they could before.
So what´s the difference between 6 and 23 rooms? One more full time cleaner and one part time chef.
But the difference in revenue is substantial.
It´s simple math, if you can charge $50 a room and fill the place, with just 5 or 6 rooms thats $250-300 a day revenue minus all your expenses equalling a bottom line of NOT MUCH.
But with over 20 rooms you can obviously generate over 4 times as much (with minimal increased expenses) if you can keep it full.
So if you are going to do it, do it big. Below is a pic of the new addition that was completed at my hotel near the Quito airport, total build time, roughly 3 months.
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