How to Start an Outdoor Guide Business

by : Fahmi Slail

An outdoor guide is a special kind of individual who not only likes what they do for a living, but also an individual who most likely keep doing what they doing even though it does not make them a lot of money.

This article is the first of a 3 part series of articles which will open a window into the "business" of the outdoor guide.

Lesson # 1 Do you have a website that highlights all of you strengths and emphasizes your specialty, be it elk hunting or Tuna or Salmon fishing? Are you a fly fishing expert ? all these issues should be detailed

Lesson # 2 Have a portfolio of previous trips that you conducted, show your hunting kills and your monster fish that you reeled in the spring. If you don't have any photos, then you can have a generic photo of a similar activity and mention that this is the type of action you clients can expect.

Lesson# 3 Be visible online: Is your website findable on the search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN ? If it is not, then you are sacrificing a lot of potentially good business as most hunters like to travel to different states to hunt and out of town businessmen/ women like to go fishing when they come your way.

Lesson# 4 Do you have any hooks ? what that means is that your website should have a way to keep your site visitors not only educated about your product and service, but also a way to either sign up for some type of newsletter, membership or a giveaway. That way you will be able to retain this site visitor and,with the right tools, be able to close a sale.

Lesson# 5 Can your clients reach you by phone? - Although having a website that is graphically pleasing and functional is good, nothing can take the place of a friendly voice on the phone when the client calls and tries to get details about the proposed trip. Not being able to answer your phone right away will cost you lots of business that you will never know about.

Lesson#6 Do you have insurance ? - although being a licensed guide requires you to have insurance, you should look into advertising that fact because the public might not know that you are insured.

Lesson#7 Offer options for disabled individuals - Whenever possible you should not ignore the market of disabled individuals with physical handicaps. Those individuals will not only be your most loyal customers if you provide them with the conveniences that they require, but will give your business a goodwill reputation that you will not be able buy anywhere. Besides, it just feels good to do good and make money doing it.

Lesson# 8 Make sure to optimize your website for the search engine - Search engine do not automatically send you customers. They index your site based on you submitted and properly aligned keywords and other web page tags. So make sure to hire a company that will be able to optimize the design of your web pages so the search engine will not penalize you for have the wrong keyword at the wrong place.

Look out for Chapter 2 of this 3 part series where we talk about the twenty way an outdoor guide can have his cake and eat it too.