Starting Your Dream Business in a Vacation Destination

Guest Blog Post WRITTEN BY Henry Moore of FitWellTraveler.com

A person holding a journal with a business plan.If you’re considering taking the plunge and making your dream business a reality, what better location than your favorite vacation spot? One of the biggest perks of running your own business is getting to choose how you spend your time, and setting up shop in a vacation area allows you to choose where you spend it too. Starting a small business isn’t without challenges, but these tips and ideas will help you get started and succeed in a unique tourist market.

What’s Your Big Idea?

The great thing about running a business in a vacation destination is that you’re getting into an already thriving economy. A natural fit for businesses in these areas is to cater to this established sector — the tourism industry. Within this industry, there is plenty of room for traditional and unique business opportunities.

  • Hospitality — People need a place to stay when they’re on vacation, and you can be the one who provides it. Running a bed and breakfast is one of the more expensive businesses to start, but it can be rewarding. Other ideas include property management, cleaning services, and lawn care companies, all of which cater to vacation rentals.
  • Wine and dine — Vacationers want to enjoy local food and drinks while having a good time, which makes restaurants and cafes ideal businesses. Consider creating an establishment that has more than just one service to offer, such as a wine bar and shop or a cafe and bookstore. Having more than one service or product will keep customers in throughout the day and appeal to a wider array of clients. Branching out also gives you opportunities for year-round sales, rather than being limited to the busy season.
  • The local experience — From outdoor adventures to shopping and sightseeing, tourists want their vacation to be all about the experience. Consider opening a rental company for boats or bikes, or market yourself as an expert guide for hikes or walking tours. If you’re an artist, a vacation destination is the perfect place to open a gallery. Visitors will love taking home a memento from their trip that was made by a local artisan.

Making Your Dream a Reality

The best ideas need careful planning and research to turn them into reality. Forbes recommends starting with a strategic plan. This is where you iron out the details, such as coming up with a business name, developing a marketing strategy, and arranging your financing. Coming up with your business name can be challenging because it needs to be catchy and unique while communicating what your business is all about. Using an online business name generator tool is a great solution that uses algorithms to transform specific keywords into hundreds of possible choices within seconds.

Once you have the perfect name, developing your marketing strategy is the next step to starting off strong. You want to have a feel for who your target customers are, and in a vacation destination, that means understanding the tourists who visit. Are they adventurers, families, history buffs, or something else? Knowing your customer base is the foundation for marketing your business to them successfully.

You should also consider how you will manage the ebbs and flows of seasonal tourism. The website Inc. recommends planning for down times by developing a blog, which will keep your customers engaged with your brand even during the off-season. You can also be creative about finding other sources of revenue during those times. Offer a product or service that appeals to those who live in the area year-round or that brings people in during the off-season. Lastly, consider social media outlets like Facebook or Instagram as ways to engage with your customers. To gain followers on Instagram, try reposting content posted by other users, joining engagement groups, and asking customers to post images of them inside your business. In short: The more you interact with your clients/customers, the more followers you’ll get.

There is huge potential in vacation destinations, but you have to be smart about planning around possible challenges. A small business will become your heart and soul, so be sure to choose a niche that speaks to you, and the reward will be worth the effort. Starting your own small business is the American dream, and doing it in a place you love takes it to a new level.

FitWellTraveler.com logoHenry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. henry@fitwelltraveler.com

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