According to a survey by Kampgrounds of America, 20% of people who camp stated that a campsite’s being family friendly was important to them. The particular appeal of a campsite is something you will need to consider if you are thinking about buying a campground franchise. If you love camping and want to share your appreciation of nature with other campers, buying a campground franchise might be for you. Since tourism is a multi-million dollar industry, you could see a big return on your investment, but only if you are ready to go this route. Here are some tips for preparing to own and operate a campground.
Step 1: Find Out How a Campground Business Operates
A campground business must be well run in order to be successful. After all, tourists will depend on your campground to give them a memorable experience, so knowing all of the ins and outs of the business is essential.
The best way to learn how a camping business operates is to be employed by one. If you work for experienced, successful camping business owners, you will find out about the best services to offer campers, and the right follow-up methods for visitors as well as vendors. You will see firsthand how the owners deal with staff, marketing, budgeting, and profits. You will learn which packages appeal most to campers. You can then make a plan for your own campground business.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
Any type of business can fail for lack of a realistic plan. If you make a business plan prior to buying a campground franchise, you will set yourself up for success. You will map out how to operate your business and offer financiers a good reason to invest. You should accurately evaluate your skills, your target demographic, and your competitors. You will need a strong marketing plan, an analysis of the campground industry, and a plan for hiring and training staff. Finally, you should have a realistic budget for startup and operating costs associated with running a campground franchise.
Step 3: Determine How Much You Can Earn
The average North American campground will see 70 to 80 percent of its revenue during a period of 12 weeks. In the northern United States, that period occurs during the summer months. Campgrounds in the north attract more short-term visitors, who stay for under a week. Campgrounds can charge a higher rate per person and per night, and these campers purchase more from onsite stores.
In the southern United States, the profitable 12-week period comes in January, February, and March; and southern campgrounds appeal more to campers who stay for 30 days or longer. These campers pay by the month for a lower per-night cost and usually purchase less from onsite stores.
Your income will increase because of higher occupancy rates and raises in price. You will need to look at all of these factors to determine what you stand to earn per season.
Step 4: Figure Out Your Finances
If you’re buying a campground franchise, you will have to pay for and oversee the campground’s customer service, marketing, accounting, and sales. You will need to take a close look at your finances. Look at the price of the franchise you’re interested in, and make a realistic assessment of whether you can afford to buy it. If you are thinking of financing, consider whether you have the credit to borrow funds. You will also need to think about how much money you will need to live on until the franchise shows a profit. An accountant can go over your financial picture and help you assess whether buying a campground franchise is a good idea.
Step 5: Draw up a Budget
In addition to the cost of buying a campground franchise, you will need to make a budget that covers equipment, communications, supplies, utilities, taxes, market research, advertising, and marketing.
Owning a campground franchise can be a very profitable enterprise if you take the time to plan before you buy. You will need to learn about the day-to-day operations of a campground, create a solid business plan, realistically assess your potential earnings, and determine whether you can afford to buy a franchise. If you’re interested in franchise opportunities, contact our team today.