Have you though about starting an outdoor/adventure business?
We thought we’d share our top-tips (hopefully you wont make some of the mistakes that we made).Land & Wave: The Beginning
At the start of 2010 Land & Wave was two people, an idea and a hard saved £1200. The company is 7 years old.
During 2017 Land & Wave will employ 15 full time staff all year round and 30 seasonal staff between March and November.
Land & Wave has never had any investment, venture capital, start up loans or found any secret piles of cash; we’ve had to earn every penny that we’ve invested back into the company.Top Tip Number One
When your starting out work really hard, get up early in the morning, work lots of hours, work every day.
Don’t make excuses, don’t believe your own bullshit; to be successful your going to have to work hard, every single day of the week, for the first few years.
Holidays and time off are luxuries – you might not be able to afford those luxuries for a while.
Your energy, drive and work ethic is your competitive edge against bigger more established companies who’s staff don’t want to work more than 40 hours a week.Top Tip Number Two
Answer the phone.
Respond to emails.
Interact on social media.
If you don’t have time to respond to your customers then find someone that can do it for you. If you can’t afford to pay someone to do it then persuade your wife, boy friend, brother, uncle, mum or best friend to do it until you can afford someone to do it for you.
The Outdoor Industry has developed a culture that’s sometimes accepting of sloppy administration and slow communication.
Customers are not accepting of sloppy administration and slow communication.
Top Tip Number Three
Work with your best friends. Work with people that you trust absolutely. Work with people that you know inside out. Work with people that you love.
If you work with your best friends you will argue and you’ll be really angry with them some of the time but you’ll get through it.
If you don’t work with your friends you’ll argue, get angry and you probably wont get through it.
Trust, loyalty and friendship are everything. Work with people that make you feel like you can take on the world (but will also tell you when you’re being a dick).
Top Tip Number Four
Always be grateful for advice but think carefully before you act upon it.
The most common advice we received before starting Land & Wave was; “don’t start a business with your friends”. We didn’t take that advice – it worked for us.
You will get LOTS of advice if you start a business, most of it will be unasked for, some of it will be contradictory, some of it will be brilliant, some of it will be awful.
Learn from what people have done before; try and improve on everything you can but don’t always try and reinvent the wheel.
Top Tip Number Five
Ignore negativity (this is a big one).
A new business is going to attract some occasional negative attention, especially if there are already established businesses doing similar things nearby.
Work out who’s opinions matter to you. Work out who you care about and who you can look after.
You may decide that the status quo, the feelings of your competitors and ‘stepping on peoples toes’ matter less to you than building your business, looking after your staff and having a brilliant time.
Respond to everything you can with positivity, enthusiasm and good humour; it may take a while but eventually people will realise that you’re not going away and that working together could benefit everyone.
Whatever you do, try and enjoy it most of the time.
If your experience is similar to ours then there will be moments of panic and heartache but you’ll find building something brilliant with your friends to be amongst the most satisfying, joyful things you’ll ever do.
Land & Wave helps people have adventures in Dorset, the UK and Europe.
We’ve helped start up a number of businesses with advice and investment; it’s something we really like doing. If you’ve got a brilliant idea that you’d like some help to get started then drop us am email or give us call. [email protected] | 01929 423 031