Podcast Episodes

Don and Pat Hawes describe their RV-based business, Camping Keepers, in Episode 095

Today, I am going to interview a couple who runs a business from their RV helping other small business owners with their accounting needs and by serving as a virtual assistant.

Former Boston residents Don and Pat Hawes have been RVing for about 25 years and traveling full time for five years in their Class C motorhome. They started Workamping before they even knew what it was by helping the owners of a campground they regularly visited with cooking or other tasks on busy weekends.

After realizing that it was becoming more difficult for them to do physical work as they got older, the Hawes started Camping Keepers as a way to earn money by applying their own skill and talent toward helping other people who didn’t have that same level of comfort with accounting that they had.

Camping Keepers specializes in providing bookkeeping services to RV-based businesses. The Hawes have always kept the books for the other businesses they own and consider themselves to be masters at Quickbooks.

Their services are geared for small business owners who typically don’t have to contend with big payrolls. But, they will help business owners with invoicing and keeping track of who owes them money or to whom they must pay something. Camping Keepers prepares a set of financial reports so the business owner can better gauge the health of their company. Having good books also helps immensely at tax time.

The Hawes also added virtual assistant services to their offerings a few years ago. Now they will help business owners with routine or specialized tasks, like responding to email on the owners’ behalf. They can respond to customer inquiries or help by sending out marketing emails to help grow a company’s clients.

It’s like having a helper so that a busy business owner can pass off some routine tasks to a virtual assistant to save time in order to be able to work on essential tasks. For example, if a person provides RV repair services for a living, he or she might not have a lot of time to respond to calls and emails that come in throughout the day. Rather than doing it at night, business owners can hire a virtual assistant to do it for them.

By establishing several unique businesses, like RV inspections, RV repair, accounting services, working as a virtual assistant for other small business owners and helping people get started in the RV lifestyle, Don and Pat Hawes have created multiple income streams to help finance their own travel dreams.

I appreciate them sharing their story with us today because it shows there is another aspect to Workamping that doesn’t involve changing jobs every few months.

Having a business of their own gives the couple a great deal of flexibility to travel when and where they want to go. With Camping Keepers, the Hawes can help other small business owners better manage their own companies, and providing their services lets the Hawes share their expertise with others.

It’s a win-win for the Hawes and their clients. Their clients have more time to focus on the things they specialize in doing – like fixing RVs – and the Hawes can provide a level of expertise to accomplish important tasks like accounting.

They can also help business owners get important things done, like sending out marketing emails, that owners know need to be done, but can’t seem to find the time to do the tasks.

Don and Pat also serve as instructors at the new Small Business RVer School that was developed by the Workamper organization in cooperation with the Ziglar Company and well-known business attorney and CPA Mark Kohler. The Hawes help teach business owners how to keep track of their books so they have a good idea of what’s coming in and what’s going out each month.

Helping to build strong businesses provides an essential service and enables other RVers to finance their own travel dreams. For more information about Don and Pat Hawes or Camping Keepers, visit www.campingkeepers.com.

Financing RV travel is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for RVers exploring the Workamping lifestyle. Fortunately, Workamper News can help connect people to full- and part-time jobs ranging from a few weeks to an entire year. Training courses like The Dreamer’s Journey can help newcomers get started the right way while membership at Workamper News can open doors to thousands of new seasonal jobs around the country.

Or, if you’re more entrepreneurial, the new Small Business RVer School can help you start and maintain a successful business. By viewing 26 lessons at your own pace, you can learn strategies for launching and growing a mobile business that you can work anywhere you’d like to travel. You can find out more information by visiting www.smallbizrver.com.

This episode is sponsored by the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.

You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.

That’s all we have for today’s show. Next week, I’ll talk to a fellow who just completed his first Workamping job. He’ll tell us what he learned and how it prepared him for his next assignment. You’ll find that on the next episode of The Workamper Show.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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