Thinking about opening a hunting guides business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Transitioning from Hunter to Guide
Before you can begin to properly launch a hunting guide business, you need to focus on making a personal transition from hunter to guide. Many wannabe guides jump headfirst into a guide business based on their passion and experience as a hunter, completely neglecting the unique training and skill set that clients expect from a first-rate hunting guide.
Hunting guide and outfitter schools are readily available for individuals who are serious about starting their own hunting guide business. These programs will train you in a variety of topics including guide techniques, wilderness skills, first aid and the interpersonal skills you need to deal with difficult customers.
Location & Licensing
Although you don't need to own a large hunting preserve to launch a guide business, you need to have legal access to a sizeable amount of acreage with abundant wildlife. Some guides businesses secure hunting leases on private property; others primarily hunt on state game land.
Regardless of whether your business operates on state-owned or private property, you will need to research state laws and licensing requirements for hunting outfitters. Contact your state's wildlife conservation department to learn how to properly certify your new hunting guide business.
Start Small, Plan Big
Prospective hunting guide business owners often have visions of launching their operations with luxurious hunting lodges and a full staff of workers. In the real world, hunting guide outfits rarely start that way.
Instead, focus on starting your business small and building it one step at a time. Initially you may be the outfit's only employee, responsible for marketing, guiding, cooking, cleaning and anything else your clients need to have a satisfying hunting experience. If you do a good job, your reputation will grow, enabling you to add staff, structures and other business components at a sensible pace.
Creating a Business Plan for a Hunting Guides Business
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a small business owner is to launch your company without having written a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. If you don't have a business plan, your leadership will be handicapped, choosing short-term opportunities at the expense of long-term benefits.
Start by defining your business mission. The process of writing a mission statement doesn't have to be complicated. From there, you can begin to build on it with goals, budget estimates, marketing plans and other elements that are typically found in startup business plans.
Review the Competition
Long before you open a hunting guides business within your community, it's essential to see how strong the competition is. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of hunting guides businesses that are close by.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
If you want to open a hunting guides business be sure to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, an entrepreneur who owns a hunting guides business in a different city may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
The key question new becomes: how to find a hunting guides business founder who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Advantages of a Hunting Guides Business Purchase
On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter hunting guides business ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. Yet hunting guides business startups aren't easy - many fail within the first year.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. By buying a profitable hunting guides business, you'll shorten the amount of time it takes to achieve a return on your investment because you'll have the advantage of a proven operation and an existing customer base.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
If you don't have much business experience, you may want to consider purchasing a franchise.
Prior to starting a hunting guides business, you should check out whether franchising might make sense for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a hunting guides business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to hunting guides businesses, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.