Asking for money upfront before a service is rendered, can be tough. In the campground/RV park business, it has almost been taboo to ask for full payment upfront while the hotel and airline industry have been doing this for years. Here are 3 reasons why you should think about taking payment upfront at your campground.
1. Increase cash flow for your business
This may seem like an obvious reason, but by taking full payment upfront you will receive the cash sooner. If you are not taking any payments upfront currently and are like most parks across the US and Canada then your highest grossing months are probably June-August. Taking payment upfront will better even out your revenue due to the reservations made ahead of time. This increase in cash flow can really help in the lean months when preparing for the new season. Also, you’ll earn some interest with the extra money in the bank. No, this doesn’t mean you have to be there to answer the phones 365 days a year. If you would like to know how online reservations could help your park give your friends over at Sunrise a shout.
2. Less cancellations
Having some skin in the game is important. If your campers know they will be losing a chunk of the money they spent on their vacation, they will be much more inclined to make the trip, regardless of the weather or other factors. Having a strict cancellation policy that will make your campers feel the pinch if they have to cancel is important.
3. Increased store sales
We have all had what I like to call, vacation wallet. Vacation wallet is when your wallet is a little looser on spending because you are feeling good and really enjoying your vacation. This rule stands for camping at your park. If your campers are coming in for the July 4th weekend (which you should be charging more for, see this post for more on pricing) and pay in March for that weekend, the money that they have spent to visit your park is but a memory. Therefore, their vacation wallet will become even looser at your park store. Better stock up on those fidget spinners 🙂
Do you have any thoughts on whether this would work for you and your campground? We would love to hear from you!