It is common fact that starting a business is no easy job. Starting a successful RV park business is a different ballgame. I mean, it’s 2022, and more RV parks are springing up almost every day.
An RV Park is an establishment that accommodates recreational vehicles like coaches, caravans, and the like. It allows the owners of these vehicles to stay in allotted spaces called campsites. This is for a temporary period - overnight or longer.
An RV park provides services like internet connection, telephone service, swimming pool, as well as other services. All of this aims at providing a relaxed time for RV owners.
An RV park is distinct from an RV resort because the former is more secluded and offers fewer services. For this reason, RV parks are more affordable than RV resorts.
Ever wondered how the RV parks in your area manage to thrive so well?
Many steps must be taken if you want to start a successful RV park business. We’ll look into these steps in this article.
Interesting Statistics About The RV Park Industry
The RV Park industry has been a source of great investment for years now. Not only has it been a great source of income for many people, but it has also employed thousands of workers in the United States.
The industry has proven to be a cutting edge amongst other industries boasting of an outstanding sum of $6 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 2.3 per cent between 2011 and 2016 .
While the RV Park business has proven to be a great investment for years, the pandemic has increased its appeal. Due to the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, a great number of people in the United States have opted for RV travel. This is as opposed to the regular plane and train travels.
The frequent use of RVs has inevitably caused a bloom in the RV Park industry. Many campers are more than willing to go on RV vacations. This has led to great demand for RV Parks, for campers to relax and let loose.
According to a survey by the US Travel Association, many people consider RV Parks much safer than hotels, restaurants, and bars. This is because RV Park establishments are separated into different units, making social distancing easier.
Staying at a campground offers you an opportunity to relax with your family while managing to take safety precautions. This is a lot more than many recreational centers can manage to provide.
Although RV Parks are more low-cost than many other facilities, like clubs, hotels, etc., they too have suffered negative economic impacts. This has been confirmed in a report by IBISWorld which shows that RV Parks have not been immune from the impact of the broader economic downturn .
Is Owning An RV Park A Good Investment
There are a multitude of RV parks available and offering great services to owners of RV vehicles. This brings up questions like, ‘What inspires people to start up RV Park businesses?’ and ‘Is owning an RV Park a good investment?’
According to most sources, RV parks are a high-yielding investment and you can expect anywhere from a 10% to 20% return on your initial RV park investment . This makes owning an RV park well worth the investment.
As a long-term investment, owning an RV park can be quite profitable as the value of well-kept RV parks can reach well above $1,000,000. This can serve as a multi-generational investment, or be sold in the future for a substantial amount.
How Much Do RV Parks Make
On average, RV Parks can make from $50,000-$90,000 a year . This value fluctuates and depends largely on several factors like location, services available, and popularity.
An RV Park situated in a visible area is likely to make more profits than one in a hidden area. Although it may cost a fortune to rent a visible campground, it is a great investment, as it will attract customers living in that area.
The average income of the residents will also determine how much RV Park makes. What is their purchasing power? Would they be able to afford the services you’re offering?
The services offered, is another factor that determines how much an RV Park makes. A standard RV Park offers services like free Wi-Fi, vending machines, laundry services, meal services, leisure equipment like canoes, and generally impressive customer service.
Step-By-Step Guide To Start A Successful RV Park
Now that we’ve discussed just how lucrative a successful RV Park business can be, there’s no doubt that you’re even more interested. Being interested isn’t enough; Do you have an idea on how to start your own RV Park?
‘What are the steps I need to take to start a successful hostel business?’ ‘What do I need to do to establish an RV Park with a wide appeal?’ A bad business guide is one of the fastest ways to lose motivation in a business.
So, why don’t we guide you on steps to take in starting a successful RV park?
Create An RV Park Business Plan
A business plan is a preliminary step in your journey toward starting a successful RV Park. Every business needs one, and an RV Park is not exempted.
A business plan sets out your goals for that business, as well as strategies to achieve these goals. Starting a business without a business plan is like heading into a new world with no concrete expectations or plans; It’s a disaster.
An RV Park needs a business plan on how to stimulate growth. It must include the ways you can source funds- through investors, requesting loans, etc.
It should also contain the kind of RV Park you want to operate; Do you want to operate a campground or an RV Resort? This question must be answered in your business plan.
An analysis of the type of customers you aim to serve must be included. Break down your customers into age, income level, location, etc.
That way, it’s easier to tailor your services to meet customers’ needs. For example, a young customer would prefer a different marketing strategy from a retiree.
Having a great business plan makes you better at handling situations. You become better at handling situations and working towards improving the camping experience.
Read more: How To Create The Best RV Park Business Plan
Choose Your RV Park Business Structure
Choosing your ideal RV Park business structure is another crucial process. It’s always wise to buy land where there are already RV layouts.
All you need do is take general care of the environment. You can rent out the land to people who already own RVs. This brings in a lot of profit for the owners.
While it does not come with all the stress a typical landlord faces, you have a general responsibility to maintain the place. This maintenance ranges from clogged toilets to leaky roofs and everything in between .
Another business structure you can adopt is the luxury type. This is not as budget-friendly for customers as the other type.
How is this so? There are several services offered in this type- bars, restaurants, more stuff, etc. This is for customers that are willing to pay more than the regular campers.
Choose The Most Suitable Legal Entity
Choosing the most appropriate legal entity for your RV Park is important. The different legal entities have their pros as well as their cons. So, it’s important to consider a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or general partnership. Then, you can decide which is more tailored to the RV Park you want to set up.
A sole proprietorship is always preferable for businesses that have low risks and low profits. If you’re looking into a small RV Park business, you can always consider a sole proprietorship.
However, most RV Parks in the US go for general partnerships or Limited Liability Company (LLC). There are so many reasons why they go with these, especially the LLC.
One of the main reasons why it is wiser to choose an LLC is the protection of the owner’s personal assets from the business’ assets. The owner can not be held personally liable whenever the business experiences a loss.
The distinct entity that is an LLC, grants personal liability protection to business owners. So, an RV Park owner is guaranteed protection of personal assets whenever the business faces a financial disadvantage.
An LLC is always more favourable if you’re looking to expand your RV Park over time. The more it expands, the higher the costs and risks. This begs for a more formal business structure.
Also, LLCs are generally more appealing to customers and banks. Banks are more willing to give out loans to formal business structures, than sole proprietorships.
The same thing applies to customers who are more willing to give out their money and trust to formal businesses like LLCs. The nature of its legal entity gives it a general appeal.
Determine Your RV Park Start-Up Costs
One of the questions every potential RV Park owner must ask themselves is, ‘How do I determine my RV Park Start-Up Cost?’ This is one of the places to start, before establishing your business.
You need to start your business on a solid financial footing. How does one go about this? Make a list of expenses you’re likely to face as your business gets closer to starting.
Expenses like the cost of supplies, business registration, types of equipment, purchase of land or renting of space,
The purchase of land or renting a space for your business is an essential aspect that demands substantial funding. Getting a good place, as will be discussed later, might cost a fortune.
The cost of the land will depend on factors like the visibility of the area to campers, the general cost of land in that area, etc. You have to decide how much you want to set aside for this.
The cost of purchasing types of equipment can not be ignored. Vending machines, swimming pool supplies, laundry types of equipment, and gaming types of equipment, are just a few you must consider the cost of.
The cost of registering your RV Pak business must be considered as well. This is a financially tasking business which you’re bound o encounter.
Create A Business Name
Creating a business name is one thing; Choosing a solid one, is another thing. If you're looking to have your business for a long time, it’s best to pick a name that will hold its appeal for a long time.
Consider the trend in the industry, to help guide you in picking an appealing business name. As a business, you must pick a name that goes with the trend.
It is always advisable to carry out a thorough internet search, to see if someone is already using the name you want to use. That way, you know what to avoid, and what to consider.
‘Is the name catchy?’ ‘Will the name be easy to pronounce?’ Before settling for a particular name, make sure you answer these questions.
Try to keep it as short as possible. Also, ask people around you for feedback on any name ideas you get. That way, you get a fresh view of how suitable that name is.
Have trouble picking a business name? You can use the Turbologo Business Name Generator to create an adequate RV Park business name. All you need do is enter the keywords, your company industry, and suitable name recommendations will come up.
Still not sure of a good business name? Well, there are several catchy names you can choose from .
Register Your Business And Open Financial Accounts
Registering your business is another great step to starting a successful RV Park business. There are several steps you’d need to take to do so.
If you’re operating a small RV Park and you’ve decided to settle for a sole proprietorship, you might not need to register your business. This is because sole proprietors usually carry out their business using their legal name.
Registering your business is a smart move, as it gives you benefits like Tax benefits, personal liability protection, and a host of legal benefits.
You must register your business with federal agencies. For example, if you’re looking to trademark your RV Park brand, you can do so with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
If you’re operating an LLC or a Partnership, you’re required to register your business in the state where you’re conducting your RV Park business. You must ensure that is the state your employees work, where your park has a physical presence, where you get a large portion of your park’s revenue, and the like.
You should also get a registered agent who would help your business receive legal documents. He must be in the state where you’re registering your business. He will take charge of the legal workload of your business.
You will need to apply for a foreign application. This is mandatory if you have RV Parks in other states.
You would also need to file state documents and fees. The fees vary in different states and business structures. The documents must contain information regarding business name, ownership, structure, directors, location, registered agent details, etc.
You’re thinking of opening a financial account, but you don’t know how to go about it. Here are a few steps you ought to follow.
You must have certain documents at hand. These documents should contain your address, contact info, passport or driver’s license, deposit payment, etc.
You’re expected to make a trip to the bank, because, unfortunately, the entire process can not be conducted online. The reason for this bank visit is mainly for the verification of your identity.
Choose A Suitable Location For Your Business
Every business thrives better in a good location. Looking to get a suitable location for your RV Park business? Well, here are some things you’d need to consider.
First, you have to consider the proximity of the location to a good river. A river increases the recreational activities available. Campers can kayak, water-ski, snuba dive, swim, and engage in other fun outdoor activities.
Establishing an RV Park in a place like Alaska which boasts of some of the cleanest rivers in the United States would guarantee your campers fun water games.
Second, consider the laws regulating the establishment of RV Parks in that city. While some cities have stricter land regulations, others are more accommodating with their laws. Make comprehensive research on government requirements concerning licensing, zoning, etc.
Also, consider the demand for RV Parks in that area. If the demand is low, you might want to consider somewhere else. However, if the demand is high, that could be a good place to establish your RV Park.
Is there an abundance of RV Parks in that area? How equipped are they to meet the needs of local campers? In Texas where there are a good number of RV Parks, comprehensive research on how great their services are will help you decide whether or not to pitch your tent anywhere in that state.
While there may be several RV Parks there, they may not possess sufficient facilities to cater to campers’ needs. This is where you come in. Acquiring the right amenities will set you apart from the other parks in that area.
How visible is the location? Will campers be able to easily identify it? Campers will always be able to locate an open park layout.
Also, go for a location with a high percentage of good weather . That way, it’s conducive for campers to perform outdoor recreational activities.
Purchase RV Park Amenities For Your Business
An RV Park must have exceptional amenities to make it stand out. Asking yourself, ‘What kind of amenities does my park need, to entice campers?’ may prove very helpful.
Colorado, California, Arkansas, etc. boast top-notch RV Parks. This is because of the amenities they acquire and make available to campers.
A clean swimming pool is one of such amenities. Campers want the vacation feel. A swimming pool is an avenue to relax, especially in the summer.
A reliable laundry facility is also needed. Campers would not need to worry about running out of clothes, because they can always get them laundered.
Having on-site laundry services guarantees campers of clean clothes, sheets, towels, etc. It saves them the extra time and money that accompany travelling to a laundromat.
You should also have free Wi-Fi services. Campers should be able to communicate with their friends and loved ones, despite the distance.
Having a game room is a great way to help campers bond and let loose. Not everyone wants to be outside all the time.
A game room with ping pong tables, pool tables, and the like, helps campers socialize. This way, you improve the RV camping experience.
Market Your RV Park Business
Marketing your RV Park business is a never-ending process. As a potential business owner, you need to continuously market your business. How can you go about this?
You would need to develop strategies to boost brand awareness and create a corporate entity. The importance of the internet here, can not be overemphasized. It is always advised that you rely on the internet to advertise your business.
A great start is to improve your online presence. Does your business have a professional website? Include appealing images and content that are appealing to a large audience.
Your website should contain promos, services, and juicy offers. It should also be able to accommodate customer reviews. I mean, how else would other RV owners be guaranteed just how great your services are?
Your business needs an active social media presence. Social media platforms are a great way for businesses to build their brands. Constantly uploading helpful info about your business on your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages will get you the traction your business needs.
Identify the platforms your customers are in. If your target audience comprises young millennials, social media and Facebook platforms might be a great way to reach out to them.
You must create a corporate identity. A corporate identity is your business image. What makes up a corporate identity is the internal and external perceptions of your business.
First, you need to identify your customers. That way, you can decide how to tailor your brand to suit them. What may be appealing to a young camper, may not be so appealing to an older one.
Second, show your staff how to interact with the customers. Helping your staff understand that they must strive to satisfy the campers through overall great customer service, is a good way to do this.
Track how the public perceives your RV Park’s identity. Are people satisfied with your brand? Do they have complaints about your business? This way, you’d know what adjustments to make to your brand.
Utilize A Booking Platform
Seeing as this is the era of technology, most businesses recognize the need for online reservations. Almost everyone is making use of the internet, thanks to its ability to make work easier and faster.
One way things can be made easier and faster for a business is by making use of an online booking platform. This benefits the campers, the employees, and the Park owners. How is this so?
For the campers, a booking platform makes reservations faster. It puts the manual process aside, as well as the confusion and unnecessary stress that accompanies it. They can even make reservations after regular work hours.
A booking platform takes some work off the backs of the front-desk employees. This helps employees a lot because the workload is reduced and they can focus their efforts on other tasks.
For the RV Park owners, a booking platform attracts more campers. People are generally drawn to establishments with less strenuous booking processes, especially in these modern times. It makes moving in more seamless and appealing.
RVs are very popular vehicles in the United States. From retirees who plan to spend their retirement days on the road, to young millennials looking to take some load off, Rvs are constantly in use.
These RV owners are bound to look for a temporary place to relax. Budget-friendly with outdoor recreational facilities, RV Parks have filled this space and will continue to do for years to come.
RV Parks have proven to be very great investments over the years. They’re low-cost, highly sought-after establishments with a tremendous growth rate.
They’ve set their tents and will continue to stretch for decades. Some of these places are Texas, Colorado, Las Vegas, and Jamaica, to mention a few.
There are so many ways you could go wrong in starting your RV Park business; There are also many steps you could take to start a successful one. Commitment and patience are two things you must have in mind through this journey. As well as utilizing a cloud-based booking software like Booking Ninjas' RV Park Management Software.
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