How to start a Campground Operation Business
The travel and vacation industry is a multi-billion dollar per year industry and campgrounds are one of the single largest family vacation destinations in the travel industry. North Americans spend billions of dollars at campgrounds and on camping-related products each and every year.
There are over 8,000 privately owned and operated campgrounds that are run as small family-owned businesses throughout the United States. That comprises of over 50% of the campgrounds in the U.S. So the campground industry is not dominated by large franchises, but still run as a small business.
Before starting a campground small business, you need to determine what kind of campground you are best suited to own and manage. There are seasonal camp sites, year-round campgrounds, tent-only campgrounds, trailer and motor home-only campgrounds, and campgrounds that cater to specific industries such as sports fishing enthusiasts or nudists.
No matter what kind of campground you start, be aware that the true profit centers are in providing ancilary services and events, such as swimming facilities, on-site stores, laundry centers, sports equipment rentals and organized activities such as hayrides or organized hiking trail tours.
If you love nature and enjoy camping yourself - starting your own campground business can be your ticket to financial independence in a setting you love and enjoy.
Starting a Campground Operation business can be fun, exciting and very rewarding. If you are considering starting your own Campground Operation business, be sure to read the following advice so that you can shorten your learning curve, minimize your risk, and start generating income quickly.
Read on to learn how to start your own Campground Operation business in 10 easy steps.
1. Write A Business Plan.
Writing a business plan for your small business is key in getting your new Campground Operation Service venture off to the its best start. Lenders won't even consider your request for a loan without a written business plan in hand. Also, the process of preparing a business plan forces you as an entrepreneur to consider every aspect of the company's operations. Don't skimp on this crucial step.
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2. Choose A Company Name.
When choosing a company name, pick a name that easily fits into a web address or domain name. Your web address should be easy to type, simple but catchy. Every business has an internet presence nowadays. You must be sure that your Campground Operation business is on the internet as well. Once you pick a company name for your Campground Operation business, make sure to register the domain name quickly, before someone else does. You may also want to get not only the .com version of the name, but the .biz and .info versions as well, so that competitors don't encroach on your business by grabbing your domain with a different extension. You may regret not having these additional domains when your company grows and becomes successful.
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3. Incorporate Your Business.
One of the primary advantages to incorporating your Campground Operation business is the fact that you can then enjoy limited liability. As a sole proprietorship, of a Campground Operation business owner, you assume all the liability of the company. Your personal assets, such as your house and car can be seized to pay the debts of your business.
When you incorporate your Campground Operation business, you become a shareholder in the corporation. As a shareholder in the corporation, you can't be held responsible for the debts of the corporation. Your liability as an individual shareholder of the Campground Operation business is limited to the amount you have invested in the company. In today's litigious society, it is best to protect yourself, and separate your personal assets from the Campground Operation's company assets.
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4. File For A Tax Identification Number.
There are several types of tax id numbers:
*A Federal EIN Number - The Federal Tax Identification Number is used to identify a business entity and is required for employers and corporations as well as partnerships.
*A State Sales Tax Id - Sales tax id number or sales tax exemption certificate is a legal document issued by the state. This certificate of authority gives your business the authority to collect the required sales and use taxes, and to issue appropriate sales tax exemption documents, including resale certificates used for purchasing inventory
*A State EIN Number - A state specific Tax Identification Number. Check your state regulations to see if it is required.
5. Examine Your Competition.
Examine your competition in the Campground Operation industry - your clients will. Compare your business ideas against your competitors. Determine what are your strengths and weaknesses are. Compare them and determine how to strengthen your weaknesses and how to emphasize your strengths. Your clients will compare your Campground Operation services with others before choosing - so make sure you offer your clients a service they can't refuse.
6. Calculate Your Fees.
Since you will be working on your own you will need to determine your wages. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for self-employment taxes, insurances, supplies and education. Make sure when calculating your fee to include all of your expenses and what you need to make a profit. Make sure your rates are competitive or you can justify why you are charging more than your competitors. Remember, your potential clients aren't always looking for the cheapest Campground Operation business. They want dependability, relaibility and genuine quality service from a skilled and professional Campground Operation.
7. Get A Logo.
A logo is also a very important element for your Campground Operation business. A logo clearly sets the tone and presents a graphic representation of your business and its value - providing your Campground Operation business with an extra level of professional presence. You need to provide your clients with a sense of legitamacy, as they will be entrusting you with their Campground Operation business needs.
A great logo should be eye catching and visually appealing, without being too garish or flashy. Hiring a professional to design your Campground Operation company logo is a wise choice, because a logo is often the first impression a potential client will get of your Campground Operation services. So it is best to have a professional design it, who can create a timeless and balanced look that can stand as your business identity for years to come.
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8. Create A Website.
Hire a website developer or use one of the many do-it-yourself online companies that offer you an assortment of website templates, where you can enter your own content. Be sure to choose a template that relates to the Campground Operation industry.
Keep your website simple and to the point. Start with a home page, which describes your business and the services you offer. Then include a page that provides your professional biography and credentials as well as a photo. A web form that allows potential clients to enter their information for quote by phone is a nice feature. Don't forget a page that provides your contact information. Include a payment form where clients can pay for your services using a credit card or electronic check, if advance payment or a deposit for your services is required.
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9. Find Clients.
You will need to advertise, market and promote your Campground Operation business in order to attract clients. Make sure to prepare a budget for maintaining your a website, getting business cards, ordering fliers, and sending out a press releases. Offering a special incentive to your first clients could help speed up your client acquisition process.
10. Keep Learning.
Stay current within your field of Campground Operation. Sign up for free newsletters and subscribe to magazines and newspapers designed for those in the Campground Operation industry. This will help you stay in touch with the newest trends in the Campground Operation business world. The more knowledgeable you are about Campground Operation, the more likely to you are to succeed.
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