Hotels are the workhorses of the tourism industry. A tolerance of long hours, working weekends and out-of-season personal holidays; a strong worth ethic; and an eagerness to please are essential to the makeup of a successful hotelier. Meet these demanding criteria and you can enjoy a business where every day is different and the rewards lie in making people happy.
The best bed and breakfasts are run by sociable owners with a ‘nothing is a problem’ attitude. B&Bs are hard work, but incredibly rewarding. Now accounting for a fifth of the UK’s total serviced accommodation sector, B&Bs can offer a cosiness and warm, personalised service that hotels simply cannot match.
Owning a farm is a challenge for even the most seasoned of farmers, but offers unrivalled job satisfaction. Whether it’s crops or animals, you’re sure to be up early and working late in all conditions the sky decides to deliver to you. The job can vary dramatically with the seasons and having a strong back is a pre-requisite for a good farmer.
Campgrounds are an ideal lifestyle business – if you want a lifestyle involving the great outdoors, early mornings and a workload that ebbs and flows with the seasons. The National Caravan Council says most campgrounds “are SMEs or micro-enterprises, usually independently owned and managed as a family concern.” The industry contributes more than £6 billion to the UK economy annually.
A café is best owned by a perfectionist. Distilling the ingredients, staff and ambience into a mix that is ‘just so’ is the defining goal of independent café culture. Most café owners should expect to be up before the commuters, ready to serve through the rush, though many cafes are closed before the end of a commuters working day.
Owning a bar is the dream of many, though an owner does more sit behind a desk or dispensing drinks from behind a pump. You’ll have to change barrels, coordinate door, bar and cleaning staff and deal with inebriated customers – all over the evenings and weekends. For many people, these challenges are all part of the fun – along with the environment characterised by fun.
An online business is a great way to have a store that operates 24 hours a day, with you choosing your own hours. Many can be operated by a single person, and with some distributors offering drop shipping, you’re able to focus on the running and marketing of the website, rather than managing stock levels.
Growing demand for craft beers and a widening array of other alcoholic beverages has made stocking decisions a more interesting challenge for an off license. Specialisation and knowledgeable customer service can give a competitive advantage in this era of bewildering choice. Hours are shorter for off license owners than for some retailers – but working evenings is, obviously, a must.