Boredom or Building?
In these difficult times we all find ourselves in, it’s easy to waste that precious commodity of TIME and became demotivated, tired and BORED of inactivity. OR we can use the time to BUILD what we have for when the lockdown is over.
Recently, I had the pleasure of spending time with many of our Kui Parks Owners & Managers. In our get togethers we discussed what many are doing to make the most of the TIME they now have available. Well, the list is endless, and I wanted to share with you what many are doing to prepare their businesses for the return of their customers. This is certainly the best time to do all those jobs you have just not got to doing yet.
The biggest challenge of course is lack of funds to do everything you want, however, there is much that can be achieved with some creativity and effort.
This blog will give you a list (by no means exhaustive) of things that many parks are doing. Why not use this as a guide for yourself to see if there is something you may want to tackle in this amazing luxury of TIME we all have in these days?
In this critical period for all parks, managing your time is so important. There is a temptation to take the foot off the peddle, so think about keeping active and sticking to a routine. Its good to take time off, but ensure the basics are still getting your attention. Always keep your park ready for your guests. Imagine the next day is the day they will all be coming in again. Do what you can with what you have. This is the time to look at your park the way you think a customer is looking at it. From entry through to use of all the facilities. If you were a traveller, what would be your response to what you see in your park? Above all stay positive and motivated.
It has been said, “If you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN to FAIL!” So why not sit down and write a Business Plan. This initiative will get you to look critically at your business, environment and opportunities and help you structure a way forward with more intent and greater success. Business Plans ask 3 simple questions: Where are you now? Where do you want to go? How will you get there? There are many tools and templates available on line to help you through this process. It can be as detailed as you want. My suggestion is KIS it. Keep it Simple!
Maintenance & Spring Cleaning
This down time is a great opportunity to do some much needed maintenance and spring cleaning in your park and in your facilities. Some thoughts….
CABINS: Strip bare, maintain, replace panels or fittings, check all electrical equipment, painting / touch ups, full clean of curtains and bedding, oiling decks, paint handrails & posts, steps, deep clean, clean windows, remove cobwebs etc.
SITES: Trim shrubs, trees, mulch beds, paint electrical posts, refresh taps and sullage drains, patch concrete slabs, Plant grass, number the sites, clean the bins, weeding, fix leaking taps and more.
OFFICE / RECEPTION: Tidy up, reorganise, declutter, remove old tourism materials & posters, paint, clean, undertake maintenance, rearrange, clean the windows
PARK ENTRANCE: First impressions…. Create that WOW factor when people arrive, paint entrance fences, refresh flower beds and trim bushes and trees, update or clean signage
CAMP KITCHEN & LAUNDRY: Full spring clean, paint, refresh with new equipment, clean up notice board, clean tables, chairs, BBQ’s and washing machines
AMENITIES: Paint doors, full spring clean, replace insect net, clean ceiling, remove cobwebs, freshen amenities, fix leaking taps and more
Gardens / Grounds
General maintenance may be required from gardening to road maintenance, pathways etc. It's all about the presentation. Many areas can be looked at from painting speed bumps, poles etc, filling potholes, mowing and general garden maintenance, mulching, planting shrubs and trees, fixing or laying new paving, painting fences or outbuildings.
This is also a great time to build your network. Other Kui Parks can be a great resource of customers for you. Make contact with those within 500km of your location, share your flyers (if you do not have any - have them made up), arrange to share guests by referring them depending on their travel plans. Engage with other parks when you need assistance. If you specialise in an activity such as Bushwalking, find out who else does that, and find out how they promote their activities and refer guests who are on the lookout for those activities.
Caravan Club Musters
Is your park set up to receive caravan clubs? What are you doing to help your business leverage this great resource? The nice thing about caravan clubs is that they gather for a weekend, but tend to stay extra days before and affter the weekend. Create a list of caravan and other clubs. Invite clubs to come and check your park our for musters, develop a package of services and support for caravan clubs as they become loyal to those parks where they have good experiences. Find out what other parks are doing to support clubs. Expand Club options by approaching, vintage car clubs, motorcycle clubs, Probus, Rotary and more.
Processes and Plans, Map & Conditions
Is your business up to speed with its OHS Plan, Evacuation Plan, Compliance requirements etc.? Take time to review your plans and consider what needs to be done to get your business back on track. Do you have a Map for your Park? Is it in need of updating? What rules / T&C’s do you have for your park. Are these up to date - are they in need of refinement or updating. Are they customer friendly or dictatorial directive?
An area not enjoyed by many, but critical to business success. In this downtime, taking time to manage your finances better is worth the investment. Areas that many are addressing include the following: Setting budgets, updating bookkeeping systems, investigating a reduction in mortgage fees, revisiting utility suppliers and negotiating better deals, Investigating the value of water purifying plants, solar panels etc, investigate grants for local tourism, curb expenses and limit extending debt, negotiate lower rates with council. Checking in with your financial advisor or accountant to ensure you are taking advantage of all the incentives offered by government at this time. Checking with your accountant how you can best manage these uncertain times with financial decisions that need to be made.
No excuses now! Where we now have a lot more free time, training is a worthwhile investment. Up-skilling can be in many different areas. Consider understanding the power of Social Media, Facebook and Instagram, Up-skilling yourself in your Bookkeeping system or Customer Management System, or if you are looking to provide coffees and meals, maybe a course in Food handling or a Barista course is worth a look at as well. Whatever will help you be better in running your business. Its worth the effort.
This list is by no means a complete look at what can be done. I hope this has been helpful!
My special thanks to all the parks that have made a contribution to this list. I certainly hope you will find something here that will encourage you to take that extra step to complete something you have not done before.
I will be looking at marketing and promotional initiatives, next time on ParkTalk!
Above all stay positive and take care.
With best wishes