KOA to Elevate Franchisees’ Businesses
Seven team members gathered in Billings, Mont., last week, training for the wealth of information and support they’ll provide to Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) franchisees as business development consultants, according to a KOA news release.
The new team is part of a revised field services program that includes two types of field teams: quality review teams, who review franchises according to KOA safety, cleanliness and quality standards; and the business development consultants, who meet with franchisees on their campgrounds to address any and all campground issues the owners are facing.
All of the consultants have industry experience as well as their own specialty skills. Russ French, for example, has worked in the vacation industry since 1987. He’s been a general manager of several large KOA Kampgrounds, a resort manager and the controller for another resort management organization. “Not every campground owner has experience in planning, budgeting, spreadsheets and analysis. We can help fill in knowledge gaps,” said French.
“This one-of-a-kind program is another way we help owners increase their bottom line,” said Louise Everett, vice president of franchise services. “The business development consultants will sit down individually with campground owners and assess the needs of their business to help them plan and identify resources to achieve best business practices and great customer service.”
One new team within the program focuses solely on new KOA Kampground owners. KOA has been adding about 25 new campgrounds to the system each year for the past two years and plans to maintain this conversion rate. Bill and Page Massey have been part of the previous field services program, and are now specialized to assist the unique needs of these new owners.
“We’re here to help them identify all the resources they need during their first year. If we do our job well, these owners won’t even need the rest of the consultants once they’re through their rookie year,” said Bill Massey with tongue in cheek. “We want them to get on their feet, feel comfortable and make money!”
Consultant Larry Brownfield said, “Our job is to make the connections between the franchisees and the experts at KOA, and help owners use the services available in their local communities.”
“There is a huge knowledge base among the 450-plus campground owners in the KOA system, too,” continued Brownfield. “Peer-to-peer communication is invaluable.”
The goals of the program are to, literally, make ‘happy campers’ of the campground owners. “We’re looking forward to having many success stories, where the kampgrounds make positive changes that improve their operations, cultivate relationships, and elevate their whole experience,” said Page Massey.
Other team members are Rich Knapp, Howard Hawkins and Jerry Clark.