Let’s talk about one of my pet peeves for business owners, whether they be campgrounds or any retailer. I want to talk about signage. Let’s make sure that you have professional looking signage and professional appearances from top to bottom. When I enter your park, I want to see a sign that says what your name is. I would also like to see a phone number there in case of emergencies or making sure that people can get in touch with you if your office is closed. Also, make sure that your phone number lists the area code. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen phone numbers listed on billboards that people have paid thousands of dollars for. I don’t live there. I don’t know your area code. The area code should be included in the phone number in every case now, so don’t forget that little tidbit.
Secondly, when we’re talking about signage, make sure that all of your signs are professionally printed. If it’s worth putting up a sign, it’s worth buying a professionally printed sign. I’ve walked into retailers and seen signs on the door that says that are handwritten. In a lot of cases, there are misspellings, sloppy writing; they don’t look professional. So make sure at an absolute minimum, if you need an emergency sign, print one with your printer, make it look professional as it can be. And if a sign should be up and running for more than a day or two, have one professionally printed and use your logo on it so that it looks like it belongs in your park. It’s not just an afterthought.
Watch your signage and the tone of language that is on the sign. I can tell a lot about a park owner and their management style by looking at any handwritten signs.
For example, there was talk about a restroom situation about people smoking near a restroom. If you’re going to put up a sign about no smoking near a restroom, have it professionally done. Don’t make a sign that says, “don’t smoke here.” It just looks tacky, and it doesn’t look professional. It does not exude the price that you want to charge for the rates in your park. So make sure that your signage within your park is professionally done so that you can charge a professional rate of your guests. If you were a cheap park that’s looking just to make $10 per night to keep the park alive, that’s the place where I expect to see those handwritten signs. I automatically downgrade a business when I see handwritten signs — especially if there are misspellings or poor grammar. I can’t tell you how horrible it looks to the general public when we see those kinds of signs. Make sure that you have professional signage all throughout your park to support a great guest experience.
Donna Bordeaux, CPA with CampgroundAccounting.com
What happens when you send two CPAs out into the relaxing outdoors to camp? You get CampgroundAccounting.com. Donna and Chad have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They camp and travel across the country every chance they get, so it’s just a natural fit that they focus their CPA skills on helping campground owners throughout the USA grow their businesses and minimize the impact of taxes. They understand the key performance indicators and specialized issued that face RV park owners every day.