As part of our bidroom stories section, we introduce you to some of the team here at bidroom and give you an insight into their background and how that connects them to the mission here at bidroom.com
Today’s introduction is to our Director of Operations Marcin Wesolowski. Having worked in the hospitality industry running hotels in Krakow, Marcin understands the needs of the hotelier and the struggles that you all face on a daily basis. He also brings with him a wealth of first-hand experience in travelling and the trials and tribulations that can entail. Here we ask him some questions about his past, present and future to give a unique insight into the way he thinks and what he brings to the table for the continued growth and development of the company and how that might benefit you as a member of bidroom.com
What bought you to bidroom in the first place?
After years in hospitality, I really wanted to go beyond the world of Krakow. I think I had achieved everything that I wanted to achieve. The world of OTAs, so the other side of our world, seemed very interesting. All major booking platforms have offices in Krakow or Warsaw, but there was this one on the other side of Main Square that got my interest. What bought me here the most? Michael Ros, CEO, whom I met at the very beginning. I like working with visionaries and I really like helping them grow businesses. I wanted to be a part of Bidroom growth path.
What are the biggest challenges as an Operations Manager?
I like thinking about the current Bidroom role as a coordinator of an airport. We all know what is our role in the organization. We are specialists in our fields. However, there has to be someone who overviews everything and makes sure that all we are all working as a good mechanism, can make quick decisions and adjust to new conditions whenever it is required. Biggest challenges? I think to make sure that communication between all departments is well maintained and projects are delivered in timely manner.
What are the challenges and joys of working for a start-up?
I think the fact that every day might be, and usually is different, can be a challenge for some people. But it is this fact exactly why I like it. Similarly to the hotels’ world – every day is different and brings new things. It also brings great people with this startup mindset.
What is your overall view of the company?
I like thinking of Bidroom as a game changer that finally brings a new solution to the hospitality industry. I see a company of various nationalities and cultures that are all together in a mission to bring fairness to the industry and remind our hotel platforms that in the past we used to use many methods to get bookings. Working with one and agreeing to and supporting the monopoly does not seem like a great idea.
What about the future of bidroom? What do you want to see happen?
I am an optimist that thinks positively about the future. I see Bidroom growing its community of members. I also see hoteliers from all around the world joining a commission-free platform. In simple words – I see growth and for this growth, I want to prepare the company.
Is it hard working in an English speaking environment?
Absolutely not. I actually think it’s much easier than in Polish. After years of working in English, when it comes to thinking about business processes etc, I actually think in English. This language makes us all equal and uses direct forms while addressing each other, which is not the case when it comes to very formal, Polish language and working environments.
How and when did you first start running hotels?
The journey was full of self-learning actually. When I joined my previous company we were all different at the time. I was still a junior employee and the company was still much before the rapid growth period. It all changed for both parties when I picked up a call from a guy who said – “listen, we’ve got a property in prime location” – and that had been indeed a great spot – The Main Square, Krakow. In order to run that hotel, I first had to create one and that was a fascinating story. Being able to see the building transforming into a great hotel and then hiring all the people that then became part of it, it was just an incredible journey. So I can say I started in 2010.
What made you start that career path?
It happened by accident actually. In late 2008 I came back to Poland after a year of working as a teacher in China. I was supposed to be back in the Peoples’ Republic after other studies that I started, however, I never returned. I did as a tourist, but I decided to continue my career in Krakow. Why hospitality? At that very time, many years ago, I was looking for a job that would give me some sort of flexibility in order for me to be able to do further studies. Being a receptionist sounded like a good option at the time. From a receptionist to a manager and then general manager, I went through many stages of development and I quickly fell in love with hospitality industry.
What did you learn from your time as a hotel manager?
Many things actually. It’s difficult to even think about a short list of things that I have learnt, however, the most important ones will be;
- Everything can be done and there are no things, which are impossible to be done.
- You have to be patient when you are able to and make quick decisions when you have to.
- When you put your guest (not money) in first place, it will always lead to you actually making money.
- Respect is very important: respect of guests and respect to your team, who are the face of the company and who makes the stay of your guests so enjoyable.
- Finally, that a good, trusted team of rewarded and motivated people create a great place and people feel it.
Finally, you are also a successful travel blogger, tell us, when did you first realise you could write blog posts that people would enjoy?
Yes, actually, apart from being a hotelier, man of business and many other various activities, I do actually run my own website, which is a popular travel blog in Poland. When did I realise that? I think the breaking point was a day when I published one very short text about Krakow, which suddenly went viral. That was January 2016 although I had been running that page for approx 3 years until that moment. My page traffic was growing steadily until that day, but that time it literally exploded. A lot of new people joined the community and motivated me to write more and do it more often.
How did you know it would be a success?
I didn’t. And actually, I wouldn’t expect it would have been a success if I hadn’t found my niche: beautifully written, Polish language which is harder to achieve than you might think. I create language you might expect in good magazines or books. I have been working hard to polish my Polish to master level and then add some beautiful photography with help of my wife. That joined together, created a successful travel blog.
How long have you been doing it now and what keeps you motivated?
I did my summaries recently. 10 years in the hospitality industry and 5 years of intensive blogging. What keeps me motivated? I don’t enjoy being bored and I don’t need much sleep. Apart from my work, which I really like, I do have free time available and I would love to share what I learnt with a lot of other people. I just want to leave something behind. And that is what keeps me going.
What are the benefits of being a travel blogger?
Well, before you get to the benefits, there is first a lot of investment to be made. Imagine, you are not writing about a lipstick or a new piece of clothing. You seriously have to spare some funds to be able to be a travel blogger.
When it comes to benefits, in our Polish blogosphere I can probably count on two hands those who make serious money from travel blogging. I never aimed to be one of them. I like my professional life too much to give it up.
So I will tell you what are, from my perspective, the benefits of being a travel blogger:
- You simply travel around the world and keep learning new things.
- You meet amazing people all the way through.
- You are constantly growing as a person. It’s like working on self-development but in nice places.
And yes, there is in many cases this moment when companies start coming to you and offering you: free tours, press trips, co-operations you establish, basically additional income. But trust me, that does not happen overnight.
Do you have any tips for budding bloggers?
Find your niche. Work on your language and overall skills. Build your style and a community around your page. Respect your readers, publish regularly. And most importantly – be patient, be modest, think of it as a passion and make sure this is actually your passion.