Operating as a fishing or hunting guide is a business. The main goal is to attract enough customers to provide a profit while at the same time enjoying what you love. That means you should relish the experience of meeting with new people, assisting them bag a trophy and manage the whole process from start to finish.
Unfortunately, outdoor guides face the same struggles as other businesses. Ask any owner in the retail or services industry about their number one concern and many of them will tell you the same thing; getting new customers. Getting people to spend money with you is the lifeblood of the company and without it nothing happens.
Floundering Around Like a Bass in a Boat
So, what do many of these outfitters do? They attend the local hunting and fishing expos, put up a booth and tell everyone within earshot “hey, we have the best prices and the best game. Come spend money with us.” Then they go back to their operations and wonder what happened to all the people they met at the expo.
Or, they put together a decent website, list their site with relevant directories and wait for the phone to ring. They wait and wait and scratch their head when nothing happens. They end up floundering around like a bass in the bottom of the boat, looking for relief.
Relief is closer than You Think
Consider the work that is involved to create a good deer habitat. Most outfitters will scout their property right after the end of the season to find scrapes, sheds and look for signs of bedding areas. When the right areas are identified the real work begins. Off-season feeding can mean putting out food or minerals to help the deer survive the winter. Putting up stands and shooting houses, monitoring the natural vegetation to make sure it is on track for next season and planting food plots takes up considerable time. Outfitters will occasionally try out a new crop or fertilizer and watch for results. Good products become part of the operation while duds get thrown to the wayside.
The same kind of work and attention to detail should be applied to a marketing strategy. There are multiple ways to find new customers. Some people like the digital methods such as email, text messaging and social sites. Other people prefer the old fashioned postal mail and phone calls. Forming a comprehensive strategy for reaching out to new anglers and hunters, while keeping in touch with previous clients, will yield much better results. Over time, you will see your bookings increase and your referrals will be easier to gain.
This website is dedicated to providing services to outdoor guides to make attracting and retaining clients easier and more profitable.
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