Euro Hostels needed to withstand the competition of Airbnb and HomeAway. Managing Director William McClelland was struggling to keep on top of all of the different figures from each hostel site in spreadsheets and found formula mistakes regularly. He needed seamless integrations with his existing tech solutions and for a clear presentation of his data. It was also important to be able to present the data to the board of directors and help them understand the progress being made easily. William needed software that would develop at a similar rate to the business.
Solution - cash flow forecasting with Futrli
Using cash flow forecasting, William was able to predict the future cash position of his company. The cash flow forecast in Futrli allowed him to predict when busy and quiet spells were coming up. That meant he could be proactive to fill the available rooms. His figures were being pulled into Futrli in real-time from Xero to provide an accurate cash flow forecast. This meant all formula errors were eradicated. Being able to trust the data in front of him, and project future earnings and bookings by site means William has been able to run Euro Hostels better than ever and take informed business decisions. Forecasting cash flow meant these could be based on robust financial data on the company's future financial position.
Results - financial forecasting gives a better idea of the company's future cash position
The board of directors are impressed with the level of sophistication provided by Futrli in financial reporting. No more spreadsheets mean it’s far easier to visualize the successes of each hostel site. The insights the company was seeing meant the hostels were performing well. Time is being saved weekly by the automatic updates Futrli does, and removing the manual uploading seen in spreadsheets means the data is to be trusted. William can log in and check up with the data from any device, from anywhere.
Interview in full
How is Futrli helping Euro Hostels stay ahead in your industry through features like their forecasting process?
In the industry and sector, we operate in we have to be constantly evolving to keep up with the pace of the industry. I think whilst we are not exclusively targeting millennials, they are our dominant market. We’re proud to be a hostel, and we know as millennials grow – as people travel more – they have a more worldly understanding. Someone in their 40s won’t necessarily have the same understanding of what a hostel is as somebody in their 20s. And that suits us down the ground! That’s why we try to create a relaxed environment. We want it to be a social environment too – that’s imperative and that’s what people are looking for.
Futrli saves time when it comes to our financial forecasting, so we have much more opportunity to nurture our brand. Like us, Futrli is forward-thinking and both of us have a clear design, intended to allow clients or customers to feel safe and in control.
There’s a sector of the market that says, ‘right I’ve got 50 quid in my pocket, do I want to spend that on one night in a Premier Inn in Glasgow to experience it, or would I rather stay in a hostel in a shared dorm and get five nights and really experience Glasgow? So it’s about what people want to pay – Futrli being affordable keeps us aligned really well too. If your budget is such and you want to stay longer with us, and you can afford the time to stay longer, then why wouldn’t you? And that’s how Futrli has helped. We’ve aimed to keep this sector of the market happy, and having our Forecasts in real-time allows us to constantly plan how we can improve our services.
What did you use before Futrli?
Prior to moving to Xero and Futrli, I was using Excel spreadsheets. They weren’t reliable and would crash, add daft little formulas here or there… When I was presenting to the Board, my cash flows were wrong, and all sorts of nonsense came out in the figures. It was an absolute nightmare! Excel is a brilliant bit of software and it’s great for what it does but when you get to a certain size, obviously it can’t cope. And that’s where Futrli and Xero have been absolutely brilliant.
Futrli works fully on most forms of hardware, which is a real bonus. I can stand behind the figures I’m presenting and not worry that a formula has gone wrong somewhere, deep within the Excel sheet. That’s what Futrli’s brought to our working lives, so it’s definitely more efficient, and I can really trust it.
A while back, I signed up with Xero because I wanted to move away from Sage. So I went to Xero and Spotlight. When I used Spotlight, it just didn’t do what it said on the tin. I was able to go and see one of the main guys and I put my cards on the table. I asked him what their development plans were and what they came back with simply didn’t meet with what I was hoping for. I persevered with them for a little bit longer but their service wasn’t doing what they said it was supposed to do. Their lack of development and the way they said they were going to develop weren’t going to work for me.
I tried Sage too but it’s just so much more flexible to forecast with Futrli. I didn’t like their historical reporting either, it made things unpredictable and didn’t drill into the detail enough. So that’s when I started looking around elsewhere, and that’s when I found Futrli, which integrates with what I want and need effortlessly.
Tell us your 3 favorite things about Futrli?
- Ease of use
- Clean, simple presentation
I will add as well, the other 3 directors that are on the Board just want reliable data, and they rely on me to present reliable figures. That’s exactly what Futrli allows me to do. It’s great software: completely reliable and providing you know what you’re putting in is what you’re going to get out then you’re going to be very happy.
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs thinking of using Futrli?
Software is affordable now, so invest in it. Sage got complacent, which is why Futrli and Xero have got a run on them. It’s robust, reliable software that keeps things simple and with fair pricing, everybody’s really happy!