Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Tourism Business Start Up

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  • #996917
    Jimster
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    HI there,

    My buddy and I are planning to start a tour guide business somewhere this year end or early next year.

    We both been going through ABLIS website and asking around about the start up. Our aim is to start small and to validate the business idea. To see whether we are able to cope with the business when we have full time jobs.From our point of view, it looks simple, get customer, pick them up from a pick up point, drive around, drop them off to the same spot, profit. But we know it is not as simple as that. We are planning to do it as part time, probably during the weekends.

    Up till the stage, we are still discussing whether to create a Pty Ltd company or partnership. We both have no experience in tourism industry as I have hospitality experience while my buddy has sales experience.

    So i’m starting this thread to ask for honest and brutal opinion.

    Is this business a good start up? any issues to be worried? Anyone gone through this have any insight to share? Should we go ahead with this idea?

    Thanks a lot

    #1209503
    pmullen
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    Are you able to expand on the business further? Once you pick them up from the airport, then what … ?

    #1209504
    PowerofWords
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    Hi. Not that I’m in this industry, but I noticed that each state has a Tourism Industry Council.

    If you go through each tour guide listing, you will find the brand and the size of your competition. It seems that your competition works 6-7 days a week, so it might be an uphill battle for you just on the weekends. Branding, Shirts, Website bookings system, Email messaging, customer phone calls, are just some of the aspects you’ll have to juggle. Not to put you off but just to be aware.

    Fun over Fifty article: https://www.qtic.com.au/news/fun-over-fifty-declared-one-australias-best-transport-operators

    #1209505
    Jimster
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    pmullen, post: 249997, member: 82670 wrote:
    Are you able to expand on the business further? Once you pick them up from the airport, then what … ?

    Yes, we thought of the business expansion and there are a lot of rooms for it to expand. We are not doing airport transfer but that will be one of our expansion as well

    #1209506
    Jimster
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    PowerofWords, post: 250012, member: 979 wrote:
    Hi. Not that I’m in this industry, but I noticed that each state has a Tourism Industry Council.

    If you go through each tour guide listing, you will find the brand and the size of your competition. It seems that your competition works 6-7 days a week, so it might be an uphill battle for you just on the weekends. Branding, Shirts, Website bookings system, Email messaging, customer phone calls, are just some of the aspects you’ll have to juggle. Not to put you off but just to be aware.

    Fun over Fifty article: https://www.qtic.com.au/news/fun-over-fifty-declared-one-australias-best-transport-operators

    Thanks PowerofWords for the opinion. I think we both need to think about those matters

    #1209507
    pmullen
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    Jimster, post: 250056, member: 40004 wrote:
    Yes, we thought of the business expansion and there are a lot of rooms for it to expand. We are not doing airport transfer but that will be one of our expansion as well

    Sorry, that’s not what I meant. I was wondering if you could expand on the business idea further?

    You mentioned picking people up and showing them around. What do you plan on showing them? What kind of style or theme will the tour be? What demographic will you be targeting? How often will you run? What will set you apart from your competitors?

    I’m not in the travel industry, but for people to give advice on whether it’s a good idea or not, they’ll need more information on the business idea.

    #1209508
    bb1
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    PowerofWords, post: 250012, member: 979 wrote:
    If you go through each tour guide listing, you will find the brand and the size of your competition. It seems that your competition works 6-7 days a week, so it might be an uphill battle for you just on the weekends. Branding, Shirts, Website bookings system, Email messaging, customer phone calls, are just some of the aspects you’ll have to juggle. Not to put you off but just to be aware.

    I take it from a different perspective, I don’t wont to go with the big providers who do it 7 days a week, and have lost perspective on who the client is, but are rather just chasing numbers, to fill their bus or tour group. You just become a number, they only take you to the main locations, where every other tour group goes. I did Fraser Island a few months ago, and it was follow the leader, where that bus went the next one followed, it was a race to get onto the road next so that one didn’t hold up the other, they all stopped at the same spot so what was a beautiful lake which would have been nice, was now like a crowded downtown with no room to sit or contemplate the world or the view.

    Yes, make it small, and make it so that you go opposite to all the other operators, you can give your clients the same things if you want, or you can make it personal to each group, don’t follow the herd, you can even ask the client would they rather go to see X instead of Y.

    That’s the big problem with business today, we just follow the herd. Be different!!

    #1209509
    Jimster
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    pmullen, post: 250059, member: 82670 wrote:
    Sorry, that’s not what I meant. I was wondering if you could expand on the business idea further?

    You mentioned picking people up and showing them around. What do you plan on showing them? What kind of style or theme will the tour be? What demographic will you be targeting? How often will you run? What will set you apart from your competitors?

    I’m not in the travel industry, but for people to give advice on whether it’s a good idea or not, they’ll need more information on the business idea.

    We are thinking of doing winery tour in yarra valley from the start. Then will slowly expand to other places. Of course the package that we provide will be different as we are focusing smaller group (max 9 people). We are going for more people oriented type of tour rather than itinerary oriented type of tour.

    #1209510
    Jimster
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    bb1, post: 250060, member: 53375 wrote:
    I take it from a different perspective, I don’t wont to go with the big providers who do it 7 days a week, and have lost perspective on who the client is, but are rather just chasing numbers, to fill their bus or tour group. You just become a number, they only take you to the main locations, where every other tour group goes. I did Fraser Island a few months ago, and it was follow the leader, where that bus went the next one followed, it was a race to get onto the road next so that one didn’t hold up the other, they all stopped at the same spot so what was a beautiful lake which would have been nice, was now like a crowded downtown with no room to sit or contemplate the world or the view.

    Yes, make it small, and make it so that you go opposite to all the other operators, you can give your clients the same things if you want, or you can make it personal to each group, don’t follow the herd, you can even ask the client would they rather go to see X instead of Y.

    That’s the big problem with business today, we just follow the herd. Be different!!

    I love what you said and that is exactly what we are going after. We are planning on not more than 9 people tour and our package will be more to people oriented instead of itinerary oriented. We both have an idea of what type of tour we are going to be. Just a headache bout what should we do to start up the company and the limitation that we are going to have if we were to do it maybe once or twice week. And it is worth it to go ahead with concept? or should we quit our job and focus on the business?

    #1209511
    bb1
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    Jimster, post: 250082, member: 40004 wrote:
    I love what you said and that is exactly what we are going after. We are planning on not more than 9 people tour and our package will be more to people oriented instead of itinerary oriented. We both have an idea of what type of tour we are going to be. Just a headache bout what should we do to start up the company and the limitation that we are going to have if we were to do it maybe once or twice week. And it is worth it to go ahead with concept? or should we quit our job and focus on the business?

    Now that I see what tours you are offering all the more power to you, the area you are focusing on needs far more development on that side of the ledger, having many years ago looked at a venture in that area, which would have included winery tours, but not having the support required (got rid of that road block, but the opportunity had flown as well). At that time the local wineries were very open to any suggestions.

    I can see you even teaming up with a local specialised accommodation provider (that was my focus) and offer weekend packages. I have seen it done really well in the hunter Valley.

    Sure [USER=979]@PowerofWords[/USER] comments re Branding, Shirts, Website bookings system, Email messaging, customer phone calls are all relevant, but not things that cant be overcome, the main one I can see from the list is the handling of customer phone calls during the day while you work, but possibly you have someone who can handle this aspect. Branding and shirts unless you plan n spending Mega dollars on a logo, this can be a small aspect, remember some of the biggest brands spent a pittance on these and look at how successful they are.

    The bigger question will be transport, this is one item that you will need access to and could potentially be sitting around for the other 5 days a week not being used. But even there are solutions to this, I know a fair few mini buses in our area (so I am guessing the yarra valley will be the same), that are only used Mon to Fri, so can you come to an arrangement with one of those providers to hire the vehicle on the weekends, bonus for them, and you have wheels. Longer term once you know the business is on a roll, you can look at a longer term arrangement.

    #1209512
    bribel
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    Hi. An option to test and refine/ validate your model whilst working still could be to join something like https://www.toursbylocals.com.

    It could be a good starting point. I have been planning to do something similar in the mid north coast NSW.

    Good luck.

    #1209513
    Jimster
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    bb1, post: 250084, member: 53375 wrote:
    Now that I see what tours you are offering all the more power to you, the area you are focusing on needs far more development on that side of the ledger, having many years ago looked at a venture in that area, which would have included winery tours, but not having the support required (got rid of that road block, but the opportunity had flown as well). At that time the local wineries were very open to any suggestions.

    I can see you even teaming up with a local specialised accommodation provider (that was my focus) and offer weekend packages. I have seen it done really well in the hunter Valley.

    Sure [USER=979]@PowerofWords[/USER] comments re Branding, Shirts, Website bookings system, Email messaging, customer phone calls are all relevant, but not things that cant be overcome, the main one I can see from the list is the handling of customer phone calls during the day while you work, but possibly you have someone who can handle this aspect. Branding and shirts unless you plan n spending Mega dollars on a logo, this can be a small aspect, remember some of the biggest brands spent a pittance on these and look at how successful they are.

    The bigger question will be transport, this is one item that you will need access to and could potentially be sitting around for the other 5 days a week not being used. But even there are solutions to this, I know a fair few mini buses in our area (so I am guessing the yarra valley will be the same), that are only used Mon to Fri, so can you come to an arrangement with one of those providers to hire the vehicle on the weekends, bonus for them, and you have wheels. Longer term once you know the business is on a roll, you can look at a longer term arrangement.

    Hi BB1,

    Thanks for the feedback. We will surely include accommodation into our package to make it interesting. Regarding the transport, we might start with car rental as most of the car rental company have the service for company.

    #1209514
    Jimster
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    bribel, post: 250267, member: 89796 wrote:
    Hi. An option to test and refine/ validate your model whilst working still could be to join something like https://www.toursbylocals.com.

    It could be a good starting point. I have been planning to do something similar in the mid north coast NSW.

    Good luck.

    Hi Bribel,

    Thank you so much for the suggestion. Just shared it with my partner and we both will look into it. It looks interesting and its a very good concept.

    Good luck with your start up. I’m sure it will goes well as tourism is a big market in Australia

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