If you are an outdoor lover, then you know how great nature can be for the body and soul. However, you may not realize that it can also benefit your wallet — at least with a little planning. Here are seven tips to help you turn your passion for the great outdoors into a profitable business.
1. Appeal to the Right Audience
This is one area where you might want to consider preaching to the choir. Although you are bound to get a few converts to the outdoorsy life, there is a good chance that most of your customers will be people who already spend a good deal of time outdoors. Target marketing and development efforts at this group for a solid start.
Remember that no rules or trends are set in stone, and everything is subject to changing market forces. Over time, you may be able to build a broader customer base that includes people just getting started with nature-inspired activities. In that case, expand offerings to include more entry-level items or programs.
2. Build a Strong Online Following
Getting yourself online may seem counterintuitive for an outdoor-focused business, but the reality is that many nature lovers conduct a lot of their personal business online. It offers some ecological benefits in that natural resources and travel are reduced, which many see as major advantages to conducting business in person.
Take time to cultivate an online following among this group. You might want to start a blog feature on your website. Picking one or two social media accounts you can reliably keep up with is another good idea.
3. Research the Best Tools for the Job
Because your career path is focused on a niche market, you will need to find business solutions that are designed to accommodate your unique needs. For example, investing in business tools like a specialized outdoor store POS can make selling online and in-person easier.
However, you don’t want to stop there. Aim to develop relationships with suppliers and partners who have a focus on nature and the outdoors. This will show your audience that you really are passionate about the topic and its accompanying issues.
4. Provide Valuable Advice
Connecting with customers will be easier and more meaningful if you provide solid and valuable advice. In other words, don’t just repeat tired information that is available all over the internet. Instead, bring your own personal experiences and knowledge to interactions. This will let people see you know what you are talking about and give you the authority to become a leader in the industry.
5. Develop a Solid Business Plan
Just because you are passionate about something does not mean that you are ready to turn it into a full-time career. You need to plan out your approach in order to support a successful launch. Developing a solid business plan is an important first step in that direction. Include sections like a company description, financial plan, marketed research, and growth strategies. Revisit the plan as you move forward and make adjustments as you deem necessary.
6. Treat Your Business Like a Job
This goes hand in hand with some other tips, but it is no less important. You can love your work, but don’t fall victim to forgetting that it is work — as in the job that pays your bills. This is not something that you can take weeks off from to pursue your next adventure, at least not without a lot of planning ahead of time. Treating your business like the job it is will help you stay focused on growing it where possible.
7. Practice What You Preach
Finally, use your passion to your advantage. You love the outdoors, and being open and honest about that will shine through with the people you want to reach. Don’t spend so much time growing a business that it takes the joy out of being outdoors. Get outside when you can and practice your favorite activities. In other words, lead by example.
By staying focused, cultivating the right market, and using appropriate business tools, you can turn your passion for the outdoors into a successful business venture.