Как в 20 лет за 4 года создать бизнес с оборотом $2,000,000 млн
20-летний предприниматель из Севастополя Даниил рассказал Forbes о том, как он за 4 года создал сеть хостелов
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Kommersant | English Translation

How to create a business with a turnover of $2 million in 20 years

On October 17, the winners of the Russian stage of the International Youth Award in the field of entrepreneurship (GSEA), organized by the famous entrepreneur Sergey Vykhodtsev together with the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship of Moscow, were awarded. The head  of the Department Alexey Komissarov presented the first prize to Daniil Mishin, as not only to the most successful one, but also as to the youngest one among the finalists — he is now 20 years old. He started the business in the hospitality industry (and simply, rent living space to vacationers) at 14 years in his native Sevastopol in Ukraine; to begin with, having modified his parents' 2-room apartment into a hostel (he aquainted with the fashionable hostel format abroad). Being 16 years old, he came to "conquer Moscow", so he settled here. He now owns the Bear Hostels chain of three hostels in Moscow and four more hostels in Ukraine.

How did you come up with the idea to engage in hostels related business?

In Ukraine, this idea did not look like something extraordinary, the majority is engaged in such business, a lot of boys stand with signs at stations and deliver people to apartments.

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But a hostel isn't just an apartment. What is it in your understanding?

It is difficult to determine, personally, I believe that this is a youth hotel, which is characterized by multi-bed accommodation, the presence of a minimum number of additional services, bathrooms and showers on the floor. But accommodation is associated with a large number of new acquaintances, including international ones. We are often bought not because of cheapness or location, but because the atmosphere is right, it is important.

When did you decide to go to Moscow?

At the age of 16, when I graduated from school and decided to enter a Moscow university. Instead, he started the business. It was in 2008, - you had a crisis, we had, on the contrary, a successful startup. Real estate was very cheap.

Do you have rented premises?

Yes, and then it was possible to push landlords very well on the price. During the crisis, we developed very quickly. I didn't fully understand it at the time, but there was a hell of real estate, and it costed very little.

Do you have rented premises?

Yes, and then it was possible to push landlords very well on the price. During the crisis, we developed very quickly. I didn't fully understand it at the time, but there was a hell of real estate, and it costed very little.

And how much did you pay to rent the first hostel?

It was an apartment of 120-130 m, we rented it for 70 000 rubles per month, in the center, on Mayakovka. Later, when the market started to grow, it became more difficult.

There were no hostels in Moscow at that time?

There were six of them. But with the incoming flow of foreigners at that time - about 2.5 million people - it's nothing.

Didn't anyone think of doing it before you did?

Well, you know, in many respects we lag behind the Western countries, ideas come here gradually. I came, saw the opportunity and decided: why not?

Who are your main clients in Ukraine? Russians?

You know, no. I opened in Ukraine, and soon it became visa-free for the European Union, the United States and others. And then there was a discount airline, which began to do transportation from Central and Western Europe to Ukraine. You can actually fly for £20 from London.

Did you come to Moscow with some initial capital?

I had a million rubles. That was enough at the time.

To repair a hundred-meter apartment? Not enough, I'd say.

Well, of course, we were saving money, had to be creative. We bought the first multi-tiered beds, for example, in the organization that was engaged in deliveries to prisons under the state contract. Moreover, those beds were pre- owned, so that had to themselves calligraphy prevents paint over.

How can you guarantee that the owner won't kick you out?

It is a common risk to projects in the field of HoReCa. Well, what to do, secure ourselves by means of long-term lease agreements, which are subject to registration in the Federal Register. This is already a document that cannot be ignored.

Well, it is still necessary to persuade the landlord, because he/she will have to pay taxes.

And we never bought rel estate in illegal way, we do not need it. We work on the basis of simplified system of taxation with the object "income minus expenses". It is advantageous for us to pay rent in a legal way and to show our expenses.

Who are the owners of Bear Hostels?

Me, my brother, and two bankers I know.

How many places do you have now in hostels in Moscow?

230 places. That's not a lot. We did not expand much for one reason - we wanted to understand this business properly. I know a lot of projects that on a roll began to be replicated and then went bankrupt. We need to prepare the right franchise documentation, register all the processes, etc. In general, the product was ready for replication only in September this year.

How did you understand that?

By not involving ourselves, this is to start with. I finally have a quality manager in Moscow, an expat. Secondly, the load - I see that it has increased dramatically, it speaks of a breakthrough in product quality and a breakthrough in marketing.

How are you getting on, by the way? Among the foreigners in general?

No, 65% of our clients are Russians and CIS citizens.

Do you manage to hold the format? Haven't your hostels turned into hostels for guest workers?

We managed not to turn into a flophouse, which is what we feared most from the beginning. Now I see that we have a qualitatively different product. Previously, there were periodically different problems, I was constantly called by phone, now this does not occur.

What are the problems?

If the process is not established, the staff does not know what to do in emergency situations: when a guest is rude, or someone got drunk, or there is a fight, or someone does not want to pay. Thanks God, but now more than a year I don't have calls with such questions. We have our own private security company now. Two minutes and they're at the facility.

Do you need some kind of licensing to operate the hostel?

No, the procedure is notifying.

What's your profit?

We plan to reach $2 million in 2012.

Where is more profitable business, in Russia or in Ukraine?

In Russia, of course. Moscow has a large passenger traffic. In summer, we have a variety of countries and personalities, and in winter, mostly young people come to cultural and sports events, to visit friends or parents.

How much does your hostel bed cost?

630 rubles per day in Moscow.

What was the most difficult thing to establish in this business?

To overcome theft carried out by our the employees. There was a big problem: some of them stole about 20% of the proceeds to their pocket. We learned how to work with it, abandoned our own cash registers and put QIWI terminals tied to our automation system. No client hands over money to the employee, we can see it on video cameras.

Do you offer any food in your hostels?

Yes, of course. We rent out to partners the area for hot food terminals. We earn from this, and for the client it is a new service that is in great demand: during a day, everything is eaten completely. We sell everything on the territory: hygiene products, panties, socks and anything, and all through the machines. We even had to develop some of the devices by ourselves (to sell shampoos and toothbrushes, for example).

These additional services give a big increase in revenue, don't they?

Not bad revenue, about 30%. We take commissions from everything: taxi order, movie ticket, air ticket, etc.

How do you advertise yourself?

Now, our website is the main source of customers. We remade it, invested 300 000 rubles. That is peanuts to you, I guess...

Why, not at all. We write not only about the oligarchs.

When people ask me why you do it, I tell them: "I want to be in the Forbes top ten".

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