Starting a glamping company? Read this first.

Many people build their own house. I am not one of those people. But I could put in long hours watching diy videos and put good money after bad learning how to lay a foundation, build the frame, put in utilities and so on. Eventually I would be successful. It would take a lot of time and involve a lot of failure before success.

With the proper expertise, building your own house is a wonderful experience. Without the time and resources, it is a disaster.

Similarly, a well executed glamping business is deceptively simple. I once had a guest, while surveying the infrastructure of a glamping experience say, “I guess you have a lot of outdoor lights”. His assessment is frighteningly common.

Guests regularly ask about starting their own glamping business. They plan to “just put up a couple tents” and count their money. I ask if they are ready to learn the hard lessons, make all the mistakes and persevere until they succeed. And if so, do they have the resources -financial and other- to make the business a success.

Here are some factors to consider before taking the plunge.

Do's and don'ts of starting a glamping business

Do:

Know your numbers!

  • What occupancy and ADR will you achieve in year one, two, three, etc.

  • What will FF&E costs be?

  • What will labor costs be?

  • What will your season be, and how will your occupancy be effected?

  • Will those numbers sustain your business?

Think of every aspect of the experience you are creating

Understand you are running a hotel

Don't:

Think running a glamping company is glamorous. Clean a few toilets and you will realize it is anything but

Pursue a location before knowing what permits are required

Open without a solid business plan and marketing plan

Assume it is easy (no business is)

David Levine