January 12, 2022 8 min read
A mobile glamping event business travels to an outdoor location to temporarily set-up glamourous rental canvas tents (typically bell tents) and then furnishes them with beds and décor so that guests can camp comfortably for a couple of nights. These services are typically needed where sufficient lodging doesn’t already exist, but there is enough land to erect these large camping tents. Historically such accommodations are sought after for festivals, outdoor weddings and retreats taking place in remote locations that are surrounded by nature. In recent years, people have started to enjoy a pop-up glamping experience in their own backyard, for birthday parties, anniversaries or for added space for house guests.
This business could a great personal fit if you love people, the outdoors, road trips, hospitality and getting in shape. Aside from those traits, you will also want to consider the following:
Guests will expect a gorgeous rental tent and comfortable furnishings, but you will also need to consider storage, transportation, and housekeeping items.
Management of the day-to-day administrative tasks can likely be handled by a single individual (customer service, social media, contracts, finances, gear maintenance, etc.). Sharing this work with a partner is certainly a bonus. Events themselves could also be serviced by the same 1-2 individuals that are running the business. You should anticipate sourcing temporary help near the venue when you service events needing 4+ furnished glamping tents.
Your tents will get dirty and damaged (yep – this is a reality). Having easy access to a 25 ft. x 25 ft. yard area is best for a setting up and maintaining a standard 16’ (5M) bell - along with access to a garden hose. Your glamping rental inventory can be stored in a dry/cool garage, shed, storage unit, or warehouse space. For every 5 complete glamping tent sets (with furnishings) you should anticipate needing 125 square feet of compact storage space, but would want to double the needed space to have room to move around.
Even though glamping services are becoming more popular, many people around the U.S. still are unaware of their magic and availability. Your job will be to educate your service area of both your existence and your offerings. The best way to do this is through photos, videos & descriptions shared via social media, your website, and a google business listing. Next you will want to network with your target audience. If your focus is on backyard birthday parties for kids, then you’ll want to reach market amongst various family and school groups. If your focusing on weddings, then network with wedding planners and venues. Your website should be created with great localized SEO in mind and supplemented with a $100 monthly, highly targeted google Adword and/or social media campaign. These are all areas to evaluate when writing your glamping event business plan.
You may also want to consider offering “themed” glamping packages. Decorative themes could range anything like “pink, to Potter, to pirates or ponies. You could also consider add-on offerings like a movie projector, lawn games, balloons or s’mores. Such offerings could entice your cliental – but note that each also increases your inventory. Instead of providing these, you could always let the client know they could customize the tents on their own.
The financial rewards of this seasonal business can be surprisingly strong during 4 months of the year. To generate a quick and sustainable profit you’ll need to responsibly purchase assets and be diligent with overhead expenses.
How much money can you make with an event glamping business? Average glamping package service rates for each tent range around $550. Renting just one glamping tent package each weekend could bring in $10,000 a season. You can extrapolate the potential revenue by adding more tents. Not a bad side hustle, huh!? You can pay yourself a healthy monthly salary or reinvest in more inventory.
Compared to most businesses, the start-up costs for an glamping tent hire company are fairly modest (especially if you start small). One complete glamping tent set-up will cost about $2,500 (a tent, bed, linens, lighting, rugs, etc.). These long-term assets can be fully paid for after securing only 5 clients! You will however want to consider a down payment on a vehicle, insurance, storage space, miscellaneous tools, warehouse gear, event gear, a website, and professional photography.
We would recommend starting out with 3 glamping sets if you anticipate scaling slowly during year 1. This will allow you to learn the ropes, optimize your furnishings, and service gatherings of between with 6-12 adults.
You’ll want to protect your family and your assets once you get underway.
The best business structure to shield your family from business dealings to form an LLC.Additionally, you’ll want to secure limited liability insurance coverage. Both of these will help protect your personal assets from any accidents that may arise during operation.
A well written contract will also help to fiscally protect your business. Make sure that the contract exonerates you from guest injuries, extreme weather, powerlines, fires etc. Also include key points related to force majeure, equipment damages, client expectations, and payment terms.
Insuring your assets is highly recommended. Aside from insuring your vehicle, you’ll also want to insure your gear while in storage (property coverage) and in transport (“inland marine coverage”).
We’d also recommend registering your business name with United States Patent & Trademark Office to protect the intellectual property rights.
We’ve been in the trenches for many years and can help you to get started with a backyard glamping business or scale to a larger glamping company. Please reach out if we can help in selecting the right gear, guidance on marketing, hospitality or client challenges. We’d love to help you achieve your Life InTents by getting people to experience greater joy, comfort and connection in the great outdoors. Heck, even ask if we have any industry discounts – it can’t hurt ;-).
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