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Starting a Guide Service

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Postby glacierpaul » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:11 pm

There should be a Small Business Administration office in your town, we have one here in Colorado. I took the "Start your own business course", was extremely valuable. The last poster provided much of that info, but they will go into details of why and how and even provide loans or services thru them. I own 2 businesses myself, and am looking into this same kind of business here, only a little more diversified.
Props to wanting to be self-employed, and good luck!
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Postby nartreb » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:33 pm

As others have noted, there are some obvious obstacles: regulation (do you need guiding permits? Permits to lead commercial groups on the routes you want to do?) insurance (can you find coverage that is affordable?) and basic business skills (incorporation, accounting, taxes, etc. You generally DONT need a lawyer for this stuff, but don't be afraid to pay for a professional, e.g. accountant, when needed, it can be well worth it. Start by finding an experienced business person (through your SBA maybe) you can talk to briefly for free, they'll tell you when you need more help.)
I want to emphasize one piece of basic business advice: none of it matters if you don't have customers.
in the beginning we will advertise single-pitch rock climbs

Marketing is a lot more than advertising. Your business plan starts with a clear understanding of who your customers are and why they will call you, rather than go to, say, the nearest rock gym. Maybe you can offer something the gym doesn't want to do, and the gym would be willing to provide you with referrals, maybe in exchange for a kickback? Ditto for outdoors stores like REI that sell or rent equipment... just tossing a couple of ideas out there. You won't know if these are good ideas until you talk to your customers and to these potential sales channels.
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Business Plan

Postby Adayak » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:25 pm

Start with a business plan. Don't be lazy. You have to write one out, even if you aren't going to a bank for financing. Without a plan you will get lost in starting a business. It took me almost 2 months to complete my business plan, but now I'm using it as a guide to stay on track. While writing your plan you will be forced to do the research for things like insurance, regulation, etc. and you will map out all your expenses, revenues and marketing details.

Check sba.gov for business plan templates. Don't buy one from a website.
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Re: Business Plan

Postby Augie Medina » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:13 pm

Adayak wrote:Start with a business plan. Don't be lazy. You have to write one out, even if you aren't going to a bank for financing. Without a plan you will get lost in starting a business. It took me almost 2 months to complete my business plan, but now I'm using it as a guide to stay on track. While writing your plan you will be forced to do the research for things like insurance, regulation, etc. and you will map out all your expenses, revenues and marketing details.

Check sba.gov for business plan templates. Don't buy one from a website.


A business plan is the key if you're serious about making your venture go. Learn what the elements are and spend the considerable time it will take you to formulate one. Without one, it's like hiking into totally unknown territory without a map & compass.
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Postby Adayak » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:33 pm

A quick google search for "guide service insurance", "professional liability insurance" and "outdoor business insurance" turned up quite a few results. I'd just pick up the phone and call some of these insurance companies. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask them, even if you think the questions aren't related to their services.
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