Starting a new business is an amazing adventure! Learning how to start your own standup paddleboard business can be quite daunting. We started SSI SUP with $100 and a phone number. What happened since we opened we never could have dreamed. Our business was supposed to be a small Eco Tourism company, where we took folks out paddleboarding and rented paddleboards as well. After only 3 months of working on the water, we rolled the dice and opened up our shop. What happened next really surprised us, our business took off. We hit the 100 boards sold mark in our first year open and that is on a island with only about 15,000 residents. We also have at least 5 other companies who sell boards as well.
We have learned so much since we first opened. There is so much more to it than just buying boards off of a board company website. We new that we did not know a whole lot about retail and several other aspects of our business. On the flip side we also knew what we were good at. As owners we were lucky to have diverse working history and very different skill sets. My experience was a lot with people. Fundamentally thats what this business is, it is all people skills. You can have the best products, in the most amazing spaces, but if you cannot make people feel welcome then its all over before you even begin. My partners skills fell under several categories. She is amazing on the phones talking to customers and booking trips. She also had primarily worked as a web designer and developer. Her ability to build a website for us was huge, I cannot stress that enough. Having the ability to get a website up “in house” really made our company real.
When we first had our idea we were living across the country in California very far away from the Georgia coast. Before we packed the cars and headed back east we built our website and had it at the TOP of GOOGLE for all relevant local search results. The search engine piece of the internet puzzle is a very confusing one with a ton of misinformation out there. SEO will make or break any Eco Tourism Company and especially any paddle board rental or tour company. You can have the most expensive and amazing website, but if no one can ever find it, whats the point? Leading up to our website launch and being the nerd that I am I learned everything I could about SEO. Somehow someway SEO made sense to my sun bleached brain and we were able to jump to the top of search results before we were even back east. We actually had people booking trips in Georgia while we were still in California. Since that point we have learned thousands of other lessons covering everything from board brand relationships to resellers permits. If I had honestly asked myself how many things I did not know would pop up I would have thought maybe 10. The real number now that we learned those lessons would be in the 100s.
If you want to Start Your Own Stand UP Paddle Board Business or Eco Tourism company but feel overwhelmed let us help you. Our consulting services are with you from start to finish. From us building your website to helping you plan your paddle routes and everything in between.
These are just some of the things we will help you with. The point is that we do not have an end date as your consultants. We love what we do and we love helping others accomplish their dreams! (as long as your not on the Georgia Coast)…
Give us a call anytime to discuss your plans. 912 230 4323
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