Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Glamping Business
Table of Contents
Here it is, the ultimate guide to starting your Glamping business. All the information you need, from conception to completion.
We realised that from the outside looking in, starting your own Glamping business can be something many can’t wrap their head around. This is why we created this tell-all guide to outline the journey ahead of you. To show you the key things you will need to tackle in order to create a successful business and to put your mind at ease by showing you how reachable your dream of starting a glamping business is.
If you want, we’ve gone as far as creating a free downloadable version of this guide, which you can download and read at your leisure. If you are short on time as you are getting ready to start your glamping business, this downloadable will be perfect for you.
Before You Begin
Do You Want to Start This Venture?
Think about this for a second, are you prepared to start this venture? Have you considered what will be required of you and your team (if you have one) to make this a success? Are you prepared to put in the time required to make your dream come true? Make sure that you are serious and committed to the start-up of your business before you commit to any spending. Once you are ready to start, here are some more things to consider before you start your glamping business
The Land Requirements
Making sure that you are aware of what land is required before you start is needed before you begin your journey. Do you already have the land to start your business? Owned by family members or otherwise. Or are you unsure of the best types of land for glamping sites?
Either way, you may need planning permission to start your glamping business. Having land ownership is a very good position to be in and can save overall costs in the long run. If not no worries, you can mortgage or rent land space which will ultimately be a cheaper option upfront than purchasing land outright.
Do You Have the Money?
Your glamping site will obviously cost money to start the business up. Before you even begin to consider the return you can make on starting a glamping business you need to understand that there will most likely be a large investment cost. Because of this, you will need to make sure that you have the funds to start your business, whether this will be through cash acquisition or through loans.
What is a Feasibility Study?
A feasibility study is an analysis that looks at all factors that will be involved in your prospective glamping business. The study looks at these factors against your vision for your business in order to determine whether your project will be profitable and ultimately successful. Here you will find out more information about the project itself, such as how much demand there will be for your business; the study can bring to life a lot of benefits when you start your glamping business as it can show you what areas you might need to focus on when your venture begins.
Here at Glampitect, we can offer to do your feasibility study for you. We understand that this may be a time consuming process, so why not let the experts do it for you? Saving you time and creating a better analysis, achieving the full potential of your glamping business.
A feasibility study is not something that should be overlooked when starting a glamping business, the study can potentially save you thousands of pounds and even can prevent you from making any catastrophic mistakes. In short, a feasibility study will help you be prepared for the road ahead.
From Conception To Completion
From Conception To Completion
This next stage of starting your glamping business is another essential step. When you are completing a planning permission application you will more than likely need to have some diagrams drawn. You can of course draw these yourself but it may be time efficient to hire someone to cover this aspect of the planning permission application for you. A specialist in this department will be able to produce the level of detail, such as specific measurements/dimensions that will be appealing to the council you are applying to. At Glampitect this is something we can assist you in, in fact, we can cover the whole planning permission process for you!
During the process, there are two stages you should stick by in order to create the best application for your site.
Pre-planning permission is a relatively low level stage of the process but crucial. This stage is where you try to get a clear understanding of your local councils planning permission policies. Essentially, this is where you send off a proposal of your glamping business to the council who will give you advice on your documents so they can be amended before the full application is submitted.
Full Planning Permission
What is the difference between pre-planning and full planning permission? Full planning has everything pre-plan has. But it is far more expansive in terms of technical drawings and information that you give. Includes drainage system designs, parking dimensions. It also contains far more detailed information than a pre-plan.
Whole Site Drawings – This is the full drawing of your glamping site. It should map out the site in its entirety, this plan can span over two or more drawings depending on the size of your glamping business and what dimensions the council require the plan to be in. You will need to include: Your pod locations – Parking locations – Communal areas – Greenery areas such as trees.
The level of detail is vital for a full planning permission as the council you are applying to will not accept your application if they believe there is something missing.
Drainage Drawings – an essential part of a glamping site are toilet and shower blocks. As these are vital it is important that you include in your proposal how the drainage for these blocks will function. The council will be interested in this aspect due to the environmental impact they may have. This aspect can be tricky to compose, as a result it may be good to contact an expert in this field for advice.
You will also be required to include more detailed extra information then you would in a pre plan. This includes market research, ecology reports, landscaping plans. Basically anything that will describe the development adequately enough to allow your planning to be properly assessed and improved.
It’s very important to keep it as detailed as possible. You want your planning permission to be approved, therefore you need to make sure everything in regards to development has been thought of. You do not want to present a rushed, planning application and find out you have forgotten important details to your plan. Therefore it is important you make sure you have everything that is required for a full planning permission.
What to Expect When Planning?
When you are creating a planning permission application, expect for the whole process to take time. More importantly, you will find that just creating your application may take the most amount of time. They are time-consuming but do not let that dishearten you, it is important that you take your time in order to make sure it is a well thought out plan.
When you submit your application also expect a charge to be incurred, this is necessary in order to pay for the planning officers time to assess your proposal.
Your proposal will also be made publicly available on your council’s planning portal. It will also be advertised locally to make existing businesses and residents aware of the planning permission. This is to allow residents to make comments on this proposal and possibly object to the proposal. Once this has been made public you should expect the public to make negative comments and quite possibly object to your proposal.
This is just a standard part of getting planning permission for anything, it is more than normal to receive negative comments on your planning proposal. These comments are only problematic when there is a large group of people making these comments. Also if there has been a legitimate claim that your proposal may have a negative effect on the community and environment as a whole you may encounter a high volume of objections.
Our planning permission services have a pass rate that is second to none, for a fantastic price! We offer this at a great price because we know how intense it can be, especially for someone who has no experience on getting planning permission, we can take that pressure off you and can almost guarantee that with us, your planning permission will get accepted.
Reading On The Move?
Reading On The Move?
Your Glamping Pods
The most important thing you will need when you start your glamping business? Glamping Pods of course! Your glamping pods will be the main attraction of your business so it is important that you cover this aspect in great detail. While you can market your glamping pods and take bookings before they have even been manufactured it is important to make sure that when your business goes live they are ready for your customers who will be delighted to stay in your fantastic pods.
Financing Your Glamping Pods
If you have the ability to purchase your glamping pods outright, you are in an extremely lucky position. However we have found with most glamping prospects, purchasing pods outright is something that is not a feasible option. So, for those starting a glamping business, there is some good news. There are options available for you to finance your glamping pods. Financing glamping pods is an option that happens regularly in the industry and there are many different ways to go about it. However there are two ways that are the most common, Hire Purchasing or a Finance Lease.
This type of finance is based on the agreement that you have the intention of purchasing your glamping pods from the outset. You pay a monthly fee over an agreed period of time and you pay the VAT for the item on the first payment made. This type of financing is perfect for those who want to become the rightful owner of their glamping pods down the line.
This is probably the most common type of financing in regards to glamping pods. This is similar to a hire purchase, however there is no prior agreement to become the owner of the glamping pods. Because of this the glamping pods are technically an operating expense and you may be able to have tax deductions on this item. Also, the VAT on the glamping pod is paid monthly in line with the agreed payments.
While both of these types of financing have an agreed rental period you can opt in for an early contract settlement. During which you usually pay an early settlement fee plus extra fees. This process is usually more costly if you are in a Finance Lease agreement than a Hire Purchase, therefore careful considerations need to be made before you agree to any type of finance. We can offer advice on whether you need to finance your glamping pods, as well as recommend great manufacturers that can give you high quality pods that will make your business boom.
Setting up Your Business
You’ve got your planning permission, your feasibility studies are done and your pods are financed. You are almost ready to open your glamping site to the world, what’s next? Establishing your business! When starting up a glamping business it is important to have a look at what is out there for inspiration. Of course we offer fantastic advice on how to start your glamping business, with guides available taking your step by step through the process. There are also other ways you can gain inspiration, such as looking at websites and Youtube content, you can also look at our social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Once you have gotten your inspiration, you will need to decide on the business structure that is best for your business. Unfortunately we are not accountants so we will not offer you too much advice in this regard. However we have found that Limited Companies or Sole Trader companies are the most frequently used in our industry. It is best for you to look into the different types of structures and which will be best for you.
A business plan is essential for all businesses. While you may be sighing from the thought of spending more time writing than actually getting your business started fear not. The business plan can be as big or as short as you desire. We understand that all people work differently. Writing out a 50 page business plan can work for some businesses and it wont work for others. It is perfectly fine to have your business plan in your head but just remember that you need to have a sense of direction with where your business is heading, or at least where you want it to go.
Take Your Glamping Guide With You
Take Your Glamping Guide With You
Marketing and Branding Your Business
While we may not have all the best advice in the type of business structure you should have we make up for it with advice about marketing and branding. Here at Glampitect, we hold ourselves highly on our skills to market glamping businesses and to help create brands. We offer a free marketing guide for those who need that extra direction on where to take their business as well as working with clients to produce content on their online sites and much more. Alternatively, if you are looking to build long-term marketing strategies to grow your business, hiring a reliable growth agency such as Xune could be the best bet for your business.
Branding is key to becoming successful. It is needless to say that branding is very important when starting your glamping business. We think of this step as one of the most vital but overlooked of ones glamping journey.
Branding your business is the process of creating your business’ image in such a way that it stands out from your competitors. There are a few techniques you can use to make sure that your glamping business’s brand stays in the mind of your potential customers.
Choose your Brand Colours – What colours represent your Glamping Site? When potential customers visit your website what do you want them to see? Having a regimented set of colours can establish your brand to your customer base, calming blue colours, or warm reds, Having specific colours on every piece of content with your name on is a great way to have yourself be identifiable to your customers or potential customers.
Your Logo – Every brand MUST have a Logo. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire, your logo will be a feature that makes you more identifiable than your colour schemes.
Consistency is key – from the colours of your brand, the logos you use and the type of language you write your content. By doing this your customers will recognise your brand which creates comfortability, this is the ultimate goal as this will instill trust within your customers and your business which will boost bookings and sales for your glamping business.
Website – Establish your website by putting time and effort into making it the best it can be. You should treat your website as your storefront, the first time most customers will hear about your business will be from visiting your website, therefore it is vital that it looks good and is engaging. Having a basic website that looks like it was made 10 years ago will put customers off from clicking through your site. If you don’t put effort into your ‘storefront’ then the customers will not put effort into it either.
Social Media – Using social media to post content and to market your business will create more sales. This is a fact that you may not want to face, but social media will make you money. Having a presence on social media channels will benefit your business greatly, don’t worry about trying to touch all bases in this regard, use the channels that work best for you and your customers.
SEO – Standing for Search Engine Optimization, this is the technique that is used to help you feature on the front pages of google. If potential customers can see you straight away from one google search, then you are doing the right thing! Our marketing checklist can give you more information into SEO and how you can use it to your advantage.
Using Online For Bookings
Now your business is being marketed, your brand is established and you have got a high volume of interest, if you haven’t already it is now time to start taking on bookings. There are numerous ways you can organise your bookings, manually having someone answer the phone for bookings is a great way to get personal with your customer base and stay organised at the start of your business. However, in order to truly grow as a business and generate more bookings, you must advertise your glamping site on different websites and with this, we recommend using a Channel Manager.
What is A Channel Manager?
A Channel Manager is a program that joins all the sites you advertise on, such as booking.com and Airbnb. The Channel Manager essential to streamline your bookings and make sure that all the information about your site is available and up to date on all channels. This 24hr automated tool allows you to take bookings all day, everyday and has a wide range of benefits, once you start to use this tool organising your bookings will be much easier. You’ll never look back!
Open For Business!
Now you are taking bookings, you are ready to start letting guests stay at your glamping site. This is an exciting moment so enjoy it! Your dreams have come to fruition. If you have followed the steps (especially with marketing and branding) then you should have a high number of bookings. This may seem overwhelming at first, but being busy means being successful!
Here are some key things to remember when you finally open for business:
- Reviews are your friend – The good ones you can brag about on your social media pages, the not so good ones mean you can strive to improve!
- Go above and beyond, put in the extra effort with your customers, exceeding their expectations will only play into your hands.
- Be active on your socials! This has already been said in this post but it is arguably one of the most important aspects of running your glamping business once it is up and running. The more you engage with your community, the more successful you will be.
- Have fun, enjoy the profits! All your hard work has brought you to this moment, time to relax a little and enjoy your amazing achievements!
There you have it, your guide to starting your glamping business. If you, like us, are proactive and you want to get started on your business right away, it may be worth downloading our guide. That way you can have all the information you need on the go, perfect for those who are getting stuck in!
Before you get started however, if you think that you might need help in any of these steps then we are here to help. At Glampitect we cover all aspects of the glamping site process, our services can extend as much as you require, we can help you just on one aspect of your glamping journey; or we can be there from start to finish.