Make Your Campground Work for You in the Winter
This was an unprecedented year for campground management, and changes to how Americans enjoy their vacations are still being understood. One-fourth of American campers took their first camping trip this year, and 29% of travelers plan to replace cancelled vacations with camping trips, according to KOA. Though business may still be strong, as the weather begins to turn, more managers are thinking of strategies for campground management in the off season.
The post-Thanksgiving lull is the perfect time to evaluate your business and plan initiatives to bring you through the winter and prepare for a strong opening come spring. KOA estimates that 18% of new campers will be retained into 2021, and camping is still viewed as one of the safest vacation venues available. These five tips will help you manage your campground in the off season.
1. Evaluate your digital presence
When your campground is packed, there seems to be no reason to update your website. Over the winter, though, many families and prospective campers will be browsing campground websites and dreaming of warm weather. An attractive website and active social media accounts could entice early bookings.
Review your website and ask yourself:
- Does my site look modern and appealing?
- Is there a strong CTA (call to action) on my homepage?
- Is it easy to find contact information for my campground?
- Do the pictures on my site appeal to the demographic I’m trying to reach?
If your site is particularly old or you’re not confident in your ability to market your site, consider hiring a digital marketing service. Gather quotes from different companies, and be sure to ask for examples of sites they’ve marketed to get a feel for their work. A small investment in December can pay big dividends in May.
2. Boost your reviews
During the busy summer season, you probably didn’t have time to reply to every review on Google, Yelp, or social media. Now’s the time to thank the guests who left good feedback and personally respond to complaints.
You can also enhance your online presence by asking guests from 2020 to leave a review. Be sure to abide by the terms of service of your review sites—usually this means don’t offer a bonus or money for reviews, don’t ask solely for favorable reviews, and don’t spam (mass email) your guests. A short, personalized email asking for your guest to leave an honest review on their preferred platform is a great time investment.
3. Handle repair jobs and maintenance
There are always a few projects that fall by the wayside when you’re working hard. Now’s the time to handle all those little jobs that you couldn’t give attention to over the summer. Make a list of all the projects that need to be done, and prioritize the ones that are most critical. You’ll want to focus on jobs that enhance or maintain campground safety, as well as repairs or upgrades to amenities that are a popular draw for guests.
You might not be able to finish everything on your list by the time spring arrives, but the more you can get off your plate now, the easier time you’ll have next year.
4. Upgrade your campground management software
This is one of those tasks that seems impossible to accomplish during the busy season. Your reservation software handles so many critical tasks and important data that you might be reluctant to adjust it. However, a modern, full-service software suite such as Guest Tracker can help your business run at peak efficiency next year.
Guest Tracker boasts a number of useful features, including activity scheduling, POS integration, payment solutions, and reservation management. GT Cloud allows you to access your management software from anywhere, even if you’re not at your campground over the winter. Watch a video detailing our product features for more information.
5. Take time for yourself
Let’s face it. This has been a difficult year for everyone. Small business owners and the tourism industry have been hit particularly hard, and the winter provides an opportunity for rest. While it’s tempting to treat these strategies as a full-time job, be sure and give yourself some time to relax and unwind.
Campground management in the off season can be guided by one simple principle—what will make your life easier when spring arrives? One way to improve your business is with Guest Tracker campground management software. Guest Tracker offers variable pricing depending on the size and features you need, so you only pay for exactly what you want. Contact us today for a custom quote.