I am looking to venture out this year into a new business. I have been in "retail" for the past 10 years selling everything from my own jewelry to perfume to t shirts. I have been mostly selling for the past 2 years on the internet, but am bored with the lack of people contact that I used to have when I sold directly to people at shows, booths, etc.
My recent vacations to Jamaica, New Orleans, New York, etc. have me itching to maybe start something in tourism. But I'm not sure what. Some of my most memorable moments from my trips were "tours" or special "activities" that I did in that particular city/locale. For example jet skiing in Jamaica($40 per person) Ghost tours in New Orleans ($35/person) or the double decker or walking tours in New York City ($45/person)
I want to maybe do something like that in my own hometown of Memphis, TN, but I have no idea what might interest someone that is not already available here. I don't really want to do anything related to Graceland (Elvis Presley), music or Southern History. Those are way over represented here. I want maybe something that may not necessarily even be related to the South or Memphis. Just something that someone may not do in their own hometown that now that they have time they get a chance to do.
I know some activities require a skill or knowledge. So I definitely don't want to get into helicoptor rides or teaching someone to bungee jump!! But I'm sure their are other ideas that simply require knowledge (THAT I can learn) I can learn just about anything if all it takes is remembering a few facts or allowing someone to immerse themselves in a certain type of experience that will be memorable.
My interests vary and I'm not sure if they would even have to relate to this new business. For example, I love perfume, aromatherapy, yoga, outdoor activities, herbs, etc. But the tourism business doesn't necessarily have to do with any of those.
It doesn't even really have to be "tour" related. But something that would be interesting for someone to do or learn to do while on vacation.
I would love to hear ideas of what some of you have done on vacation that was memorable for you that you didn't mind paying the price for. Anything to help me get my brain to spinning on something.
Please help!! I really want to get this year started right. Tourism season will be here before I know it and I really want to start researching and planning.
#1. "RE: Looking for Ideas for Tourism Businesses" In response to Reply # 0
Back in the mid '90's, our area was in a long depression. Then, riverboat gambling came into town. The first thing the tourism bureau did was promote all the big draws in town. What they didn't bother with was the smaller, local, mom&pop businesses that really needed the suppport.
I started a free guide to local points of shopping interest: the craft malls, the ceramic doll maker, the custom furniture shop, the collectible gift shop, etc. with a driving map in each issue showing where to find the advertisers. It was a great success and a real help to my clients. They loved it and so did the tourists that wanted something unique and not on the main tour route.
Later, I sold it and began doing all the backside support. I don't know if this is a possibility where you are, but a publication for the smaller out of the way places that only the locals know about might be an idea.
The "magic number" is always a) as cheap as possible & b) cheaper than your competition.
That said, what I did was distribute them for free and all the income had to come from the advertisers. They understood that this helped the pick-up rate and increase their exposure.
Of course, I researched printing options in my area - suppliers and stock and selected the most economical option available. My overhead set my ad cost, but the same is true for any business. Minimizing overhead set my prices far below any other advertising so clients were very responsive.
The trade-off was that the product did not have the advantage of being slick and glossy. But, my personal opinion is that a good designer ought to be able to make a anything look good with the right combination of design choices. Besides, it was not an improper match for the stated purpose of the publication.
#4. "RE: Looking for Ideas for Tourism Businesses" In response to Reply # 0
Hi there! I saw that your interests included aromatherapy and yoga. I teach yoga so that popped out at me. I think one of the things with being self employed is to stick with what you enjoy and what you know. Not that you can't learn anything new, but my point being that if you enjoy yoga and aromatherapy, why not approach some local businesses about offering "a vacation from your vacation"? Many people try to pack a lot of activities into a trip maybe they would enjoy a complete chance to unwind in a yoga class?? Just a thought:-) Good luck.