9 Business Tips For Tourist Town Success
Some people think that the world is divided into small businesses, downtown, and online, but this isn’t quite true. There’s a whole other world out there, places that can often be sleepy but occasionally burst into life. They are the tourist towns, the ones that people from across the country – and globe – flock to when they want to escape their normal life. And when they arrive, they have their wallets with them. The travel and tourism industry is responsible for some $1.5 trillion in revenue each year; big money, by any standards, and now all of that money ends up in New York, California, or Florida. If you live in a town that receives plenty of tourists, take our tips below – and you might just be on the road to business success.
Know Thy Area
There’s no such thing as just one “tourist area.” There are dozens of different types! Some rely on their history, some on their connection to a particular person or group of people, while others yet are all about their natural beauty and quaint, charming way of life. Before you begin your journey into the world of business, make sure you have an understanding of what draws people to the area. In doing so, you’ll be able to tailor your business and make sure it fits with the overall theme. A Las Vegas-style casino, for instance, would not be appropriate in an area that is noted for its outdoorsy lifestyle. Let’s keep things relevant.
Pick Your Business
Of course, no matter what type of tourist town it is, you’ll still have a range of business types to choose from. You could have a souvenir shop, boutique store, restaurant, cafe, or some kind of entertainment business, such as an escape room. What business you choose will depend on your background, interests, and the demand. If there are always fifteen cafes lining main street, then it’s unlikely to need a sixteenth unless yours is somehow able to do things dramatically different from the others.
Find The Right Location
Location is important when it comes to any business, but it takes on an air of greater importance when you’re located in a tourist town. This is because people generally don’t know where they’re going, or what they’re looking for, when they’re in unfamiliar territory. Unless you’re offering something that no-one else in the town offers, then it’s likely that you’ll need to rely on foot traffic to get business. So think carefully about where your store will be; it might be worth waiting for the perfect place, rather than settle for less.
Do Things Your Way
There’ll be a general theme when it comes to establishments in the town. They may be understated, glamorous, old-fashioned, or anything else. While it’s important to give a nod to this custom, don’t feel duty bound to follow the style to a T. You should work hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd, and that means doing things your own way.
Finding the Staff
While you’ll be the energy and driving force behind the business, you’re going to need other people besides you if you’re going to succeed. And that means bringing in employees. However, it’s not always easy finding staff with the skills and experience you need, especially if you’re located in a small town that’s not near to a large city. As such, look at using a recruitment agency like SearchWide to find the talent to take your business to the next level. By working with an agency that specializes in the travel and tourism industry, you’ll be able to fill your company with the right employees.
Of course, you won’t just need professional staff. If you’re running a restaurant or shop that needs more than one worker, you may also need to work with seasonal staff. This can be easier said than done, especially, again, if you’re located out of the way. Make sure you’re looking for staff early, and you may wish to offer discounted housing if it’s the type of seasonal work that requires people to live near to where they’re working.
Tourists don’t travel all throughout the year. They usually take their trips during the summer months, unless it’s for an activity that only occurs in winter, such as skiing. If you’re expecting to be quiet (or perhaps even closed) during the fall and winter months, then you should be using this time to gear up to the forthcoming season. Spend your time working on your marketing strategies, updating your inventory/menus, and thinking of promotions that you can run during the working season. But of course, you should also use this time to rest, too. The working months can be long and tiring, and you’ll need all of your energy if you’re going to make it through to business close intact.
Catering For All
You should have an understanding of the demographics of people who tend to visit your tourist town and price your products accordingly. But in some cases, you’ll find that there isn’t one demographic that dominates; while a place can generally be thought of as a wealthy area, it may still draw people from poorer backgrounds, too. If you’re in the souvenir game, then try to make your products available for all. If you’re running a restaurant, then the type of customer you’re trying to target will be more set in stone.
Paint the Picture
Finally, always keep in mind why people are visiting the town: they’re on vacation. As such, there’ll be a certain magical, whimsical quality to how they perceive the area, and your business will have to fit into this image. Your business should embody the resort in which it is located, offering a cheery, relaxing, “other worldly” experience. You can get away with your staff being slightly curt in the big city; in a quaint resort town, this will jar with the overall image.
Open a business in a tourist town, and you’ll always be on vacation…well, almost always.