The weather was perfect and I had my kids for the weekend. My ex-wife's parents have just bought an RV and had taken it to a beach-front campground. We were invited for a day of beach fun!
Because I'm so totally wrapped up in business, I couldn't help but notice the signs of an owner who has just stopped caring about his business.
When a business owner is tired, the first things that start to decline are what I call 'customer experience items.' These are easy to overlook, but combined together they start to put a damper on the fun your customers may come to expect. Here's what I noticed about the campground:
- There were no garbage cans on the beach. This encouraged some beach-goers to litter. I didn't like it.
- The beach had beautiful sand but there were many pieces of sharp sandstone mixed in. Two guys working a full day could probably remove 90% of them.
- The playground equipment was old, needed paint and hadn't been maintained in years. I forbade my daughter from using the swings because I feared tetanus if she touched the rusty metal pipes.
- There was no food service at all. No hot dogs, cans of pop or anything.
- The WiFi was poor. This didn't affect me but it was funny to see many of the campers out waving iPad's in the air, obviously trying to catch a signal.
- The whole business was cash-only. I witnessed one customer who left because they wouldn't accept her debit card to pay for a campsite.
I just think its sad. The right owner with enthusiasm could grow the number of repeat clients and increase revenues with add-ons like food sales or a bar.
I guess if he doesn't do well this year, he'll just blame the economy or the tourists who don't like to visit him too long.
BTW. I used my new Sport-Brella sun shade. I highly recommend it. Easy to set up and didn't move a bit in the wind.