Starting a business in camping
So you want to start a campground business?
In order for a successful business in camping we need to prepare make reasearch follow rules and regulations and advertise bette.
Camping is a popular way of holidaying, with family, friends with your spouse or even by yourself, many campground businesses have made outstanding profit to camping, and you can too!
Starting a campsite is a dream come true for many people. If you love the outdoors and you enjoy meeting new people all the time, and also making new friends it can be a very enjoyable experience too!
Before we start a campground business there are things we need to know. You probably know some already,but I like to just review it for you and for people who don't know where to even start yet.
You will need to remember you will be the one in charge of your business, like a hotel or a B&B or café you will be the one people will look for when the showers stop working or something is wrong with the toilets, the possibility of dealing with awkward and sometimes fussy visitors and there are costs, planning, advertisement and cost for repairs bying things etc..You might need to hire people for activities you might have on your campsite if any and a handy-man unless you are good at repairing things yourself.
Although starting a campsite can be quite costly depending on your choices, If you are dedicated to making your business successful it will be a profitable business in the end!
When starting your campground business you will need to decide what kind of campsite you want, you may have a campsite for tents only, or for both tents and caravans, a campsite targetting groups and organisations like scouts, outwardbound groups etc. A campground for wildlife enthusiasts.
Diversifying your campsite is a good idea if you like to expand your business and attract more holiday makers, it could be anything you have interest in and you are certain it will attract visitors, try doing something like riding horses or donkeys, cycling, opening up a burger van or tea room, there are many other ideas, write them down, and see later if they would work, diversifying your campsite adding other activities can help make more profit to the business.
You will need to make a research on the things people need, take a look at websites of other campgrounds not just local ones in your area (if any) but ones far away, preferably in your country, look at the cost, the facilities and how they advertise, and how you can do better, do ask around as well for more tips and advice apart neighbour if they have a campsite.
If your neighbours have a campsite as well, they might feel threatened by competition, from personal experience we usually send campers to our neighbours campsite if we are full, they like it when you do that! and they will do the same by recomending you to campers if they are also full.
here's an example of rates from a campsite:
RATES FOR "YEAR" (PER NIGHT)
£ 6 for Adults
£2.50 for Children under 10
Children under 2 are free
£1 for Dogs
The use of the hot showers are included in the price."
-Keeping a record of costs from all websites you been researching, this will help you decide how much you plan to charge for camping on your site.
Research then calculate the cost of maintenance buying a portaloo and shower/washroom, or renovating a building for campers to use, this bulding could be a kitchen area for campers, for example groups, a washroom and shower and a toilet. You will need to make a research on how much these cost in your area then calculate costs.
Bear in mind, you will need to ask yourself when setting out costs "would you pay that amount?" "Do you think the majority of people would be looking for the cheapest or most expensive option?"
Other things you might consider when deciding costs are:
Location-Where you are depends a lot on the cost of camping, the weather could be a factor, and wheather your area is a very high touristy area or a low one.
Competition- With other campsites in your area, you will need to apply cost that would attract people to your campsite, and also assure them that it's worth the money to camp at your site.
Keep in mind that depending on where your campground is located, you may not be able to accept visitors on a full time basis due to weather considerations. However, even if your campground is located in area that is usually temperate, you’ll still have high and low seasons when more or less people will come. Easter holidays and summer holidays for example will always be high season since kids are off from school whereas during most of the year, you can expect much lighter use of your campsite.
Now you have an idea, you will now need to ask an organisation to come to your campground and check wheather your campground is legal. For many reasons you cannot just decide "I'm going to make a campsite tomorrow" You could get into trouble so insure you follow the rules and regulations in your area!
If you are in a national park area, depending on your country or region you may need planning permission if you are considering leaving caravanners to keep their caravans on your land all year round and if you are renting land you will need to ask permission from the landlord first.
There are times when national parks and other organisations such as councils could stop you if there is already more than one campground in your area, this is due to environmental and wildlife issues as well as competition so this is something you will also need to look at, these things would be discussed with your local investigator who will decide wheather you are allowed
When you are set and given the go ahead to start your campsite you are ready to go!
So let's start building a campsite!
You can now decide wheather your campsite accepts campfire, this depends on your land and the permission given to do so.
Entrance should be at least 10-12ft wide so caravans large vans or mini buses can get in, if you are only providing a campsite for tents, some may want to take their car in, or you may provide parking space for them.
You will need to decide where you are going to put the toilet(s) and shower(s) An option would be to buy mobile portaloos and showers or renovate building on site as a shower washroom and toilet facility, insure you have a septic tank for the sewage to go, and that is accessible for a lorry to come in to empty it. Never put a sewage pipe into a river, not only it's harmful for the environment, if the environment agency or company that deals with the environment in your area finds out you will be fined! A lot!
In order for tourists to know about your campsite you need to advertise. Buy a plank of wood,if you have planks of wood at home use them! Paint them, white is the best background colour, and the writing in black in my opinion. Show it clearly at the entrance to your campsite.
Make one similar to the one on the picture (Rees Camping)
Contact local tourism centres to let them know about your campsite so you can advertise through them.
Advertise through magazines like 'Trail' and 'Country Walking' and in the Ramblers Association annual members' guide (If you are from the UK)
Other forms of advertising include the internet, you can create a website advertising your campsite, make it look proffesional, add pictures and a map or location and contact details: your full address, telephone number and e-mail address. Look at other websites and see how they do it and make your version. There are lots of good online comapines designed to create your web page for example 1&1 and Google sites:- sites.google.com and also wix.com
Now you have set up your campsite be ready for those phone calls and e-mails so get your book ready!
So if you have been thinking and thinking about creating one some day, do what your mind has been begging you to do and start planning out your new campsite!