Running a tourism or accommodation business is definitely not a nine-to-five Monday to Friday industry. To find out if you're ready to take the next step, answer the list of questions below. Your answers should be a resounding 'yes'.
- Have you thoroughly researched potential tourism markets and the level of competition in the area you plan to set up your business?
- Are you willing to work long hours?
- Have you had discussions with your local council and are you sure a planning permit will be approved for your proposed development?
- Have you investigated the local, state and federal licences and registrations that could be relevant to your business?
- Have you investigated insurance costs?
- Do you have the financial resources to cover start up and living costs until your business becomes profitable?
- Could you survive two to three years before making a profit?
- Have you written a business plan, complete with a marketing plan and projected budget?
If you answered 'no' to any of the questions above, it's recommended that you undertake further research before commencing your business.
Other things to take into consideration include:
- Make sure you and your family are ready – the tourism industry has a demanding set of skills that will probably change your lifestyle.
- Do your homework and know your local, state and federal requirements.
- Ensure that you're appropriately insured as a tourism business.
- Good tourism and accommodation businesses are always changing and growing – undertake all relevant research.
- Be adequately resourced. It will take longer than you think to get things off the ground and to reach break-even, let alone make a profit.
- Do you like dealing with people of all different types and personalities, and could you do it every day?
- Approach the business concept strategically – develop a business plan.
Accreditation is a set of industry standards established by the tourism industry to model better business practice and customer service. In other words, accreditation provides business operators with a guide or outline of industry requirements to help them plan, develop, improve and document their business practices and procedures.
Professional advice sought at this stage can save money and heartache down the track. Accountants, solicitors, business advisers, management consultants and experienced tourism staff can be sourced to provide objective and realistic advice.
Planning for growth
Once you're established, you need to plan for growth. The Visit Victoria's Tourism Excellence modules are an invaluable source of information.