Skylark Land & Homes LTD
No-win no-fee planning for residential plots
We live in a beautiful part of the world and have access to stunning scenery at our fingertips. So how you could make a business out of this? Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
To make a profitable business in this sector, your unique selling proposition (USP) must clearly differentiate your business from the other, largely free, walking organisations.
Make your walks an adventure, with knowledge to highlight wildlife and identify local curiosities along the way delivered in an entertaining, confident style. Collaborate with other local businesses by offering themed walks, maybe food tasting at local producers along the way or a dawn chorus walk with breakfast.
See also: Writing a business plan
Find new customers by engaging with other local groups such as youth or sports clubs to introduce wildlife walking to non-traditional customers or tie the experience in with fitness or friendship to make it more than just a walk.
Research insurance required and make sure your walkers are clear about rules, dangers and behaviour.
Invite local journalists and photographers along for the walk for some great publicity and use social media, particularly Twitter, to give a live commentary of your walks and photographs of the wildlife to all your followers.
Time tip - ten minutes to spare: Create an interest in the changing local wildlife with a regular Twitter Hashtag session letting enthusiasts post what wildlife they can see from their window, garden or office.
If you are a keen and creative photographer you have all the skills and equipment to turn your hobby into a business, you just need some customers. Homegrown and lovingly produced photographs capturing the great outdoors and a rural idyll are always in great demand.
Offer customers a range of options at different cost points. At the entry level, unique handmade greeting cards give customers an affordable taste of your art. Offer art canvasses or atmospheric prints and finally bespoke commissions, customers will choose you based on your other products.
Promote your products in places that match your images such as country fairs, farmers markets and local fetes. These are all affordable and attract the right customers. Don’t neglect online sales though, it’s a crowded market but a simple Blog or Facebook page will create interest and allow you to build up a database. The chances are, customers who buy one card will buy more.
Your images are unique and precious – they are your business to you so don’t forget to protect them, have a look at the British Library IP centre.
See also: Business start-up guide - Photographer
Time tip - an hour to spare: Upload your newest photographs and encourage your database of customers to vote for the next images to make it to print – they will be delighted if they pick the winner (and probably buy).
Being able to see, feel and smell the local and natural ingredients that make up your skincare range is a really compelling sales proposition. Keep the natural theme by using rural and local images, with simple branding and packaging to reflect the product.
In your publicity material, frequently mention your ingredients, where they come from, what they do and your credentials: organic, natural, local. Customers need to be confident in your skills and ability, so highlight your qualifications and understanding of botanical techniques.
You don’t need specialist equipment and if you are using existing kitchen paraphernalia better still retro, make sure you capture the images, again the simplicity and authenticity is part of your brand.
Be clear about your values and motivations and dovetail this through the products and the brand – it is an important message and will attract customers.
Your family and friends can liberally apply your skincare products whenever they like but before you actually sell them you must meet cosmetic legislation and labelling laws and must have your product tested and approved by a certified assessor. Contact your local council trading standards office or Google Trading Standards Cosmetic Guidance.
Time tip - an evening to spare: Run tester sessions with family and friends over a period of time using video and photography to record the results then upload to your website completely un-photoshopped, it’s the ultimate testimonial.