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If you’re looking to start your own business, it’s likely that you yourself have Googled “how to start your own business” many times. The Internet is riddled with listicles offering 5, 10, 12, and even 50 tips and/or steps on how to break into the entrepreneurship scene. When I read through some of them myself, I noticed that the majority have “do your research” or “develop an idea” as the first step. Often, this is the second or third step for most people. The first may be “coming up with an idea”, which doesn’t seem to be covered in these articles, despite their other extremely valuable insights. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re in luck — we’re going to cover it.


The reason that these articles assume you’ve taken that initial step is because there isn’t a formula so to speak — it has to come from you. It depends on what you’re interested in doing and what your community needs. But, as promised, we will help you get there by trying to spark your creativity. Suppose you want to start a tourism business. There is one assumption here: you are interested in running tours, either by yourself or by hiring a team of guides to help you out. Once that’s established, there are two questions you should ask yourself and others in your community to get started.

1. What is unique about my community and/or area? What would I like to share with others?

This is the key question that should come first. What is going to set your tour or activity business apart from the rest? For example, say you want to start a company doing walking tours in Rome. There are hundreds of companies that do tours of the Colosseum or St. Peter’s Basilica, so you’ll have a hard time standing out if your walking tours’ focus is on visiting these famous monuments. Think about how you can go the extra mile. Finding your own niche is key in an area with a developed tourism sector. In this case, one option is to incorporate a component of something that you love to do yourself and that could be of interest to others. Do you visit as many museums as possible in your spare time? Maybe you have a list of cute cafés or dive restaurants that you want to check out. Tours created with this in mind enjoy two huge benefits. One: you will be offering something unique that not many others are likely to do. Two: your tours will be something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing yourself, and that will shine through to your clients.

Another option may be to take a few walking tours in Rome yourself. What do you find is missing? What do you hear other people asking about? Chat with other tour-goers and ask them what sort of amenities, stops, or otherwise they would enjoy having the options of. Study your competitors’ websites for ideas on how you can augment the experience by analyzing what is missing. You could do a nighttime tour with your guides in time period costumes and take them for a specialty nightcap afterwards. Or, on a full-day walking tour, you could provide a local lunch experience, away from the tourist trap restaurants. These little details can be the deciding factor for many tourists when the options for tour companies seem endless.

If the tourism sector in your area isn’t quite as developed, then you have even more opportunity. What makes your area special, and how could you design a tour for people to enjoy? Your city may have a lot of fascinating street art or sculptures; design a walking tour so that you pass by your favorites. Your city could be famous for a certain type of cuisine that could easily turn into a food tour, like our client Eat Mexico(opens in a new tab). The possibilities are endless, depending on what type of activity interests you. Remember, what you want to share with others is important — your guests are more likely to have a great time on a tour with you if you are excited about the focus of the tour.

2. Who would I like to take on a tour?

This second question is a close second to the first, but is often overlooked in the process of establishing a business. Believe it or not, your target audience will help you refine and develop your business idea rather than distract you from your goal. Regardless of your area or the type of tour you offer, the tour you would design for a group of 20- and 30-year-old friends from the United States wouldn’t be the same as the tour you’d dream up for a 50- and 60-year-old German couple, since they differ economically and socially. For more insight, take a look at our blog post on generational marketing.

Of course, the other important half of this question is to consider why you are looking to target this particular group. How do you connect with them? How could you improve their lives or experience in your area? You may be designing a tour company for adventurous older women because you want to be extremely involved in your tours and you find that you connect with that demographic best, like Rebeca from Patch Adventures(opens in a new tab).

When you have a solid response to this question, then it’s time for the real planning to start. Luckily, we’ve written more extensively on this particular subject in a blog post with tips for starting your own adventure business. We hope that, after reading this blog post, you feel like you’re ready to tackle those listicles that you’ve had bookmarked for months now. Go get ‘em, tiger!

Once you’ve gotten your business started, maybe you want to bite the bullet and get a fantastic website from the get-go. No worries… get in touch with us today, and we’ll take care of you.

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