If you’ve always dreamt of starting your own camping business but don’t know where to start then read on. Motivated by our own journey we’re running a series to help others discover their ideal camping or tourism business. Within the series we’re going to look at ways of discovering:
- Great business ideas;
- Business brands and branding elements;
- Fundamental elements of the idea (i.e. what do you need to make it happen);
- How to become a social media guru with great strategies for success;
- How to get a well designed, styled and written website, including branding and professional photography;
- What to do if land is involved and what permissions you will need;
- How to make sense of procurement and service agreements;
- What you need to do to get good marketing skills;
- Basic office systems you will need, including: storage, maintenance, signage, email, stationery, bookkeeping and accounts, public liability coverage, reservations and administration;
- How you can develop a launch plan or re-launch plan to make the most of good PR and set your business plan rolling.
This week we’re going to look at how to use free tools and simple processes to come up with the best camping business ideas for you, so if you’re thinking of taking the plunge and quitting your day job this article may help you decide how to start and what to do.
Focussing on what inspires you and what you’re passionate about will make sure you’ll be interested in what you decide to do enough to build the business over the long-term. This is why choosing the best business idea for you is really essential. You may already have your idea, or have many, but the following steps are really useful to go through to make sure you’ve really made the best choice.
So to give you an example of how it’s done, we’ll show you the simple method we used to come up with the idea of Inspired Camping.
Firstly we made a list of our passions, fears and any problems we had on a daily basis. It goes a little something like this:
Then we investigated the markets and any trends coming out of these and researched how competitive they were. We did this using a number of tools available for free for anyone to use. It wasn’t long before we began to develop a picture of what we wanted to do and discover if there was a market for it, and that research allowed us to develop our innovative business ideas. The tools we used for this process were:
Google trends is a fantastic tool that allows you to research and compare trends appearing through search queries being used by people using the Internet. They include top regions and cities where people are from and related keywords. This helps with identifying trends, keywords, who the audience for your business might be and therefore how you can find and communicate with them.
This is another fantastic and free tool from Google that allows you to compare different search terms users are typing in when using the Internet. Research using this tool is essential if you are thinking of setting up an online business. For example, we found useful insights into search terms about backpacking versus glamping using this tool. It’s a great one to use if you’re looking for good business ideas.
If you already have a following or access to a community of people you can use this free survey tool that allows you to easily build your own survey, distribute it and then analyse the returning data. This is hugely valuable if you have an idea but are not entirely confident of its value to the potential customers. With this you can ask them directly. Just remember to keep your questions short, simple and ask nicely!
Yes surprisingly enough Amazon can be a great tool for researching what customers are saying about a particular service or product. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for then simply look at the customer reviews to build a picture about what’s being done well and what isn’t. It may also give you an understanding of what people want but can not get. Plugging this gap in the market is key to success.
Finally, the best and most valuable tool we continue to use today, is Market Samurai. This is not a free tool but when you consider the time it saves and the benefits it brings it is definitely one of the most valuable tools available to businesses that understand they need a strong online presence to succeed. Basically this tool allows you to investigate the market of your potential business, study the competition, choose the best keywords, monitor your business website ranking, assist with your website content and help your publicise and make money from what you do. They even give helpful tutorials to make sure if you don’t know what you’re doing then you can learn. It’s one of the best investments we’ve made and it continues to shape our journey on a daily basis and saves us time as we do it.
If you would like to know more about some of our tricks of the trade, and read about the real reason this site was set up by its founder, you can read more of the Inspired Camping Story.
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Picture Credits: Wilderness Festival