Camping has become America?s most popular seasonal pastime with nearly 40 million people participating in 2010 alone. That?s approximately 515 million camping trips that year. As a tourist attraction, camping is a multi million dollar business and something that a campground owner can capitalize on if they know the tips and tricks of the trade. Starting your own campground business takes a lot of planning, proper resource management, sufficient financial investments, and a solid understanding of the overall business.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to open your own campground business with little money and way less hassle:
Step 1: Choose a Theme
Every camp site needs a theme or a type of camp site that sets you apart from others. There?s a lot to consider before you make a decision as to the kind of camping site you want to open. But what more important is whether you?ll be able to generate a decent revenue stream. According to research, RV campground participants stayed the longest, with 13 percent of them camping for over 7 nights or even more. Campers attending campgrounds with cabins stayed for the shortest period of time, with 82 percent staying one to two nights on the campgrounds. Some other themes include:
- Fishing campgrounds
- Rafting, canoeing and kayaking campground
- Tents only campgrounds
- Seniors only campground
- Year-round campgrounds
- Extended stay campground
- Sailing campground
- and Anything that?s targeting a specific group of people or activity
Step 2: Pick a Great Location
When it comes to any form of business, location is everything. The location of your campground will determine how much you need to invest, what sort of infrastructure will you need, and how much groundwork you need to perform in order to get the business up and going. You need a solid foundation. You need a location that is comfortable, naturally attuned with its surroundings, not too far but not too close to the general public. This might be the most time consuming process for your campground but it is also the most important.
Step 3: Get your Finances in Order
No business can thrive without sufficient financial funding. Whether your campgrounds offers cabins for rent, or RV related services you will have to spend a considerable amount of money to keep the business up and running. The allocation of your funds must be put into the comfort of your customers, payment for your employees, the growth of the business, maintenance and infrastructure for the site. Your personal income as owner must come last. There?s a lot of sacrifices that may have to be made in order to get the business in a growing financial status. But the if the financial planning is done right, look forward to long term success.
Step 4: Get The Right Marketing Team For Your New Campgrounds Business
Once your financing is in order, it?s time to allocate some funds to help market your campsite to potential customers. By this time you should know what type of campgrounds you have and its geographic location, which gives you an idea of what type of group to target and where. Marketing is one of those things you may not want to do yourself if you?re not sure how it’s done correctly. Your message must be tailored to those who enjoys going camping and want to continue doing it in abundance. The goal is to garner interest to your site and keep them coming back year after year. Put an emphasis on the location of your campgrounds and the service it offers. If your campsite includes cabins in a specific location say something in the lines of camping cabins in Maine or cabin rentals in Colorado. Keep it brief and informative.
Managing and owning a campground is great business but tough business. It?s become one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the U.S., whether the theme calls for tents at a campground, an RV or even just the backyard. In 2013, the revenue of campgrounds and RV parks was estimated at around five billion U.S. dollars. Take these step by step instructions and apply it to your business plans. You are sure to create a fun atmosphere that will bring many visitors and revenue in due time.