Every little bit counts
Multiple Streams of Income is Key
So, we have been using our Land-to-be-Homestead to raise the funds we need to build our dream. It's a simple dream really, we want to live within a small community of self-reliant families. There's more to it than that, but for this post, that's all we really need to say on the subject (the above link sends you to a more detailed explanation of what it's all about).
The first stream of income comes from a friend who needed an place to store some art material, and work gear. Our first order of business was to have enough cash coming in to pay for the taxes, and it takes care of that! He pays less for storage on my property than he would in Brooklyn, so it's a win-win situation.
Our second stream comes from renting plots of land for those who want to build a small hunter's cabin. We have two people who have claimed their areas. This income is being saved for building infrastructure (we completely off the grid, in terms of utilities).
We have a third stream of income, it's a seasonal one but we make out pretty well so far. We rent campsites through a website that is basically the Airbnb of camping. It's called HipCamp, this here is our referral link, if it's something you've been thinking about doing, please use that link.
Campsites can be as primitive or fancy as you want!
As a host on Hipcamp we can set up an online store as well. We're trying to build the store by testing out different products and services. Firewood, honey, maple syrup, and eggs sell really well. Long stem lighters and small 1lbs propane refills not so much.
Right now, we're working on automating the entire side of that business... so first, we put our efforts into building a self-serve kiosk for our firewood.
I wanted to build something similar to what I'd seen in the Adirondack campgrounds because I found these kiosks to be convenient for campers, and simply brilliant for business.
We've had too many instances where people demanded firewood when we weren't there. We would hide the bundles that were paid for under a tarp, or a piece of plywood at their campsites. One, it wasn't pretty, and second, when someone wanted more they had to leave the property. That aldo meant money would be flow elsewhere...
That's all fixed, and the firewood is going like cupcakes. We have venmo, paypal, and bitcoin payment options posted on the kiosk. All we need now is finding someone to refill the slots when we can't!
The second area of automation we're working on is the self check-in bit.
We have all the directions for driving to our property, parking and walking to each site, pretty much down. The website gives the ability to send a message automatically to our campers 48 hours before they arrive. We just have to give them detailed directions for parking and getting to the individual campsites.
Little by little we're making it easier for everyone by creating signs. Once a camper is parked in their respective parking spot, there are signs to direct them to the campsite they booked!!!
Here's a few snapshots of what these signs look like. They stand out a bit more when you're actually there:
As passive as can be for now!
In the end, being on vacation, away from our business was a little stressful, but only because I really enjoy greeting the people who come camp with us. We're almost at a point where it can be running on its own, except for maintenance, and cleaning up of course. The maple syrup, the honey and the eggs were another hurdle to figure out, so far we've found friends who delivered those products for us, but I'd rather not depend on that.
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