If you have dreams of setting up a glamping business then the first thing you should do is listen to those who have already done it. They will have heaps of wisdom for you that could save you valuable time and money when it comes to writing your glamping business plan and starting out with your leisure and tourism business idea. Heidi Nicholls, co-owner of Silver Ash Campers has shared her top tips below ready to give you a head start in your own journey into luxury camping.
- As with any other business you need to be PASSIONATE about what you’re doing and selling.
- Be careful with cash, because you’re going to love what you’re working on so there will be a huge temptation to buy a lot of things because you WANT them, rather than because you NEED them for the benefit of the business.
- ALWAYS over-estimate spending and under-estimate sales. We found this one out the hard way.
- This is a marathon not a sprint (especially when dealing with social media) so make sure you’re in it for the long game.
- Social media ‘follows’ and ‘likes’ can go down as well as up. This is okay! Life ebbs and flows, and so does Facebook!
- Make sure your partner is supportive. Even though we’ve worked together already, this business has made us completely re-think how we work as a team. So make sure you give it plenty of time. A lot of things will pan out differently than you first imagined. This is usually okay once you’ve processed the new perspective.
- Sweat the small stuff as glamping is about high-end finishes, giving that little bit of extra luxury and taking care of details. I cannot begin to estimate the man-hours I have spent looking at curtain rails online and in person. I’m never getting those hours back, but it was worth it.
- Remember the bottom line. It is very easy to become distracted by things such as Facebook likes, retweets or website hits. At the end of the day it’s about enquiries and sales. The rest is window-dressing.
- Start small unless you have a big budget. I think of our glamping business in phases. This is the soft launch, then will come building, then a full launch with more money and more vans. Realise that everything takes longer and costs more than you think. Be super organised and – Dragons Den style – know your business plan and numbers inside out! If you don’t know your numbers you won’t know if things are going wrong.
- It’s up to you to define success. If you enjoy the business and derive satisfaction from it then it can make absolutely zero money and still be a success. You can make millions, work all the hours God sends and be miserable as sin.
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Credits: Heidi Nicholl, Silver Ash Campers, USA