You don’t need much start-up capital to get into the hospitality industry. With a bit of research and creativity, you can start a hospitality business wherever you happen to be. Here are the five best hospitality business ideas for the coming year. Consider combining two or more to maximize your earnings! Starting a hospitality business can demand huge investment. However, there are multiple ideas which might require very little investment to get you started. Have a look at some of the hospitality business ideas here.
Rent Your Extra Space
If you have a guest room or just a finished basement with a bathroom, you can monetize that space by renting it out short-term, perhaps using an online service such as VRBO or AirBnB. Be sure that your local ordinances allow short-term rentals and that your space complies with local code.
Who would be interested in staying where you live? Think about your location. Do you live near a college campus? Advertising to college students’ parents is a no-brainer. Do you live near an attraction such as a museum, fair, racetrack, or amusement park? You have a ready-made clientele, and all you have to do is figure out how to reach them.
Partnering with your local attractions will help advertise your space. You can purchase an advertisement on their website, or in the case of college students’ parents, advertise on the student center bulletin boards – usually free!
Advertise Your Vehicle as a Shuttle Service
If you live near an airport or a cruise ship port and own a car, you can advertise as a shuttle service to local hotels from that airport or port. Be sure to check with your city and state licensing requirements and purchase the appropriate insurance before driving anyone for money.
Uber and Lyft offer ready-made platforms for advertising and managing your shuttle service, but they take a cut. You might try operating independently. Contact the smaller hotels and B&Bs and let them know you are available to drive their clientele.
The larger your vehicle, the more people and luggage you can transport, but keep your costs in mind. Purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle may cut costs significantly.
Create a Local Tour
Again, take a look around you.
Do you live near a historic site? A town with history? A community of gardens?
Are there rumors of ghosts haunting any local sites?
Are there famous (or infamous!) people buried in a local graveyard?
With some research and creativity, you can create your local tour, whether seasonal (take a Walking Christmas Light Tour!) or year-round(Tour the Famous Place George Washington Visited in Xtown!).
Once you’ve come up with an idea for your tour (or tours!) and researched and created it, you must advertise. Partnering with local coffee shops or restaurants can help get the word out and provide meeting places for your tour.
Be sure to advertise on your town’s online bulletin board if there is one, and contact your local board of touristry to find out how your tour can be included in local attractions. Advertise on your town’s social media sites.
Walking tours are popular with both locals and with tourists. Be sure to tell your patrons in advance whether the tour is available rain or shine, what to wear (comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing), and what to bring, if anything (money to purchase a snack at that coffee shop or to have dinner at that restaurant.) Provide umbrellas or bottled water advertising your tour – nothing gets the word out more than a group of people walking through town with matching brightly-colored umbrellas, with your tour name and logo on them!
Monetize Your Hobby
What do you like to do for fun? Make birdhouses? Crochet? Garden? Forage for mushrooms? Keep chickens or horses? Play an instrument? Act in community theater? Just about any hobby can be monetized, at least on a part-time basis.
Here is a list of hobbies and what you might do with your skill or craft to earn money:
- Acting – apply at theme parks for a job as a costumed performer, or give a tour in costume
- Crochet, knitting, or other craft – offer your original pieces online or in a local antiques or craft shop
- Carpentry, stained glass, mosaic artists – Make Christmas ornaments or other souvenirs of local interest to sell to tourists
- Chickens – of course, you can offer eggs in excess of what your family consumes for sale to individuals or restaurants
- Gardening, foraging – again, offering vegetables in excess of what your family consumes for sale is an option. You might also sell your harvest to a local farm-to-table restaurant.
- Horses – offering seasonal horse rides in scenic places would be popular. Consider partnering with local wineries or farms for the most attractive locations.
Start a Local Blog
If your city or town does not yet have a local blog, or you believe you can put your unique spin on the attractions, events, and people of your city, start one. Pick a cute URL such as www. LoveWesttown. com or www. VisitEasttown. com. Then get writing! Who knows more about your location than you? If someone does, go talk with them!
Your blog posts should include all of the following:
- Coming events such as concerts, meetings, plays, tours (perhaps YOUR tour?)
- Seasonal attractions and events
- Local historical events and places
- Notable local people
- High school sports and other competition results
- Restaurant reviews
- Charity events and charity partners
By varying the topics this way, you will appeal to both locals and tourists. Reach out to your community to find out what is going on and write about it. These connections will serve you well because your goal is to attract enough subscribers to make advertising on your blog profitable for local businesses.
You probably have already realized that you can combine two or more of these hospitality business ideas and synergistically grow your business in the coming year. Good luck!
About the Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant living and working in the great city of Philadelphia. She frequently works with David Offen, Esq., a noted bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia.