Caravan hire business

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:01
ThreadID: 67280 Views:8566 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Hi All,
I am looking at starting a caravan and camper hire business in Perth and wish to seek advice.
I am thinking of Jayco Eagle on road campers and hard floor campers.
Could you all pass your opinion as your knowledge is appreciated.
Also if anyone knows average hire times per year (How many weeks per year on average each unit is hired for) through experience could you please let me know.
Insurance and hire costs etc have already been considered and looked into.

Thanks guys, look forward to your input.

Hooroo
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 19:58

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 19:58
Hooroo, just a few words generally.
Are you sure that with the economy being the way it is, that a hire business is the way to go ?
One would think that people will hire rather than buy ?
Most hires tend to be short term (weekends etc) but they take as much work for you as long term hires.
Don't scrimp on insurance. One problem hire and you're kerstuffled. (luckily it doesn't happen too often).
The hire game isn't all it's cracked up to be. e.g. Are you prepared for a season that starts and finishes with the weather? And when others are madly hiring, that's exactly when you'll want to get away also.
I'll be interested in hearing how you go on.
AnswerID: 356751

Follow Up By: Hooroo WA - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:11

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:11
Hi Footloose,

Thanks for the advice mate, I'll let you know how we go.

Cheers and safe travels
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FollowupID: 624867

Reply By: Best Off Road - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 20:49

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 20:49
I wish you well and hope all succeeds.

Rules 1,2 and 3. Have sufficient dough behind you to ride out losses for the first year or two. It is a real possibility.

Having started two businesses from scratch I can assure you that it takes time to establish. First time nearly sent us broke but we got on top and did well eventually. Second time around we budgeted for it, knowing what to expect.

The caravan hire business is not unlike our first business, a motel. You are dependent upon the business coming to you. You have a limited capacity ie the number of vans you have to hire; in busy times you will never have enough and during quiet times you will curse the capital outlay you have gathering dust.

I could go on for ages. I'm not sure what your business background is, nor your understanding of how businesses operate. Try to find yourself a good Accountant, NOT a Tax Agent, but an Accountant who handles business clients. The underlying costs are immense.

Good luck, be wary, and budget properly. It is not for the faint hearted but it can be very rewarding and financially beneficial. The satisfaction of working for yourself has a value that is hard to describe, you bust your arse but at times it doesn't even feel like work.

Also consider related business opportunities that your investment can use to compliment your income. Our primary business is Cargo Drawers, but we have plant and equipment that can manufacture totally unrelated products that we have diversified into. In your prospective venture you will need land to hold your "stock". Consider other avenues to maximise the use. Perhaps renting out box trailers for casual hire. Perhaps Caravan storage. This can lead to sub hiring of vans that are stored on your property.

Don't get tunnel vision. When we had our Motel, it had an attached Restaurant which did little more than cater for guests. It was a losing proposution in its own right. We assessed the market in the town, noted a lack of a Steak Restaurant and promoted it as such. It became a significant business in its own right.

Marketing is another issue. You have to bring the business to you. No Golden Rule here. Research, trial and error and find what works. It does cost money, a lot will be wasted, but without it you may fail. "Word of Mouth" is great, but takes a very long time.

All the Best,

Jim.



AnswerID: 356757

Follow Up By: Hooroo WA - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:09

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:09
Jim,

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply and passing on some very wel thought out hints that you had to learn the hard way.
We are taking a very conservative approach and are in no rush at all.
It still amazes my wife and I that people are still willing to take thier time to pass information to help others.
We'll let you know how it all unfolds.

Thanks again.
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FollowupID: 624866

Follow Up By: Wayne's 60 - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:26

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 23:26
G'day Jim,

Some very sage advice indeed.

We hope all is well with you and yours.

Cheers,

Wayne & Sally.

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FollowupID: 624872

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 07:49

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 07:49
Yep, been down that road, Jim's dead on the money.
If you can survive the first year or two, your on your way.

Mind you, with the economy the way it is, and the way its forecast to head, more Aussies are and will be holidaying within the country.
You may be on a winner here Hooroo. Good luck mate.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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FollowupID: 624880

Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 11:16

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 11:16
Another thought that came to me.

Many businesses are Caravan Hire AND Sales. Not sure if you need a licence like Motor Traders. But it does give you the option to add more to the fleet in busy times, and reduce the fleet in the quiet times.

People are generally prepared to pay a higher price for a second hand van from a dealer than a private sale, so this may be an opprtunity to make a little more wedge.

Cheers

Jim.

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FollowupID: 624909

Reply By: giffo - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:26

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:26
I have started a business from scratch and found a couple things in regard to advertising.I tried advertising in news letters,on beer coasters,and even in a rival to the Yellow Pages. I found by far the Yellow Pages was the best,I used to ask any new customer how they found out about me and thats how I worked out what was working.This was on the Gold Coast 15 years ago, so it may be different now with the web.I just purchased another CT about a month ago, and the bloke that sold it said he was going to hire one for the couple of time a year he took the kids away. All the best in your venture.

Cheers
Giffo
AnswerID: 356799

Reply By: Member - Matt & Julie (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:34

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 09:34
Hooroo

My ex brother in law started a caravan hire co. in Victoria a couple
of years ago if you would like to send me an email address I will
forward his contact nos. to you he will be able to help you with
any thing that you want to know.

Cheers

Julie
Cheers

Matt & Julie


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AnswerID: 356810

Reply By: Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 10:32

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 10:32
Can I offer you some advice, this coming from a my best mate who runs a camping hire business in Darwin.

He had requests to hire camper trailers, so he looked into it, the end result was most wanted to hire it for a couple of days, or to take across the Kimberley.

He researched even more and found that a recovery from the Kimberley if broken down was about $7000 return to Darwin, you would have to put a minimum hire rate as well, reason being is it would take the best part of 2 days to clean a CT if taken on a dirt road, and all this just for a 3 day hire.

There was a camper trailer hire in Darwin, he had really good gear, but no one heard from him the second year.

The end result for Mal even with his very well established business, was to put it in the to hard basket ( his words).

My advice is do your research well, take a look at Jims advice, if you consider you have what it takes, then good luck with your venture.

Cheers Steve
AnswerID: 356827

Reply By: Hooroo WA - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 22:59

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 22:59
Sorry for the dely but I have been caught up with that thing called work.

I would like to thank everybody for your advice and the time out you have taken.

I will take on board all your advice and let you all know how we go.

Hooroo!
AnswerID: 359037

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