Consulting Services for the Outdoor Recreation Industry
One of the problems with any form of professional service is when the consultants have a steep learning curve to understand and apply their consulting knowledge to a particular industry. Because consulting work and companies vary so greatly, consulting firms do a number of “One-Off” projects. In this scenario, the engagement tends to be often consumed with getting the consultant up to speed on the issues and peculiarity of an industry. Outdoor recreation, outfitting, adventure travel and eco-tourism companies have unique and often complex business issues. Some of the heavier issues these companies deal with are as follows:
- Seasonality and all the operating pains that go with it including staffing, cash flow, on and off season capacity of owners to market
- Increasing and ever changing competition
- Lightning bolt changes in e-marketing, web based advertising and other aspects of the new age of finding customers and the sheer difficulty of staying abreast and keeping pace with the changes
- Complexity in dealing with public land agencies and the often resulting impacts on growth and profitability
- Pricing competitively but profit oriented in saturated competitive markets
- Succession planning and/or exit strategy
- Attraction, retention and development of good people
Swan Mountain Consulting Group lives and breathes these operating issues every day managing their own group of outdoor recreation companies. We have an insider’s view of the issues and have been able to utilize our strong consulting backgrounds to solve problems not only for our own businesses but for scores of others.
Specialized Consulting for the Outdoor Industry
Swan Mountain Consulting Group has designed a portfolio of service offerings that are intended to go to the root of the issues. We observed in our previous careers that larger firms seem to spend an inordinate amount of time administrating themselves which adds little value to the end user, you the client, but clearly adds cost to the project. The fact is that most outdoor recreation companies or outfitters simply don’t have the budget for a monster consulting project. Likewise, most consulting firms don’t have the structure and overhead design to be able to deliver small projects and on-going consultations. As a boutique firm, Swan Mountain Consulting Group is happy to perform small projects and even brief consultations. Outfitters and adventure travel company owners share a common attribute, they want, desire and demonstrated track record of trying to solve their own problems. We often see the acronym “DIY” in our industry, meaning do-it-yourself. Yet many owners of recreation companies just don’t have sufficient enough knowledge or more importantly, objectivity in diagnosing their own business issues let alone coming up with a game plan to fix them.
The mark of any good consultant is to quickly but thoroughly diagnose the issues a company is facing and then assist the company in creating a long-term solution that can and will be implemented. Creating lengthy reports or having endless meetings has no place in the world of outfitting and outdoor recreation.
Swan Mountain Consulting Group has adapted most general service lines of consulting and specifically tapered them to outfitting, outdoor recreation, adventure travel and eco-tourism companies. In our experience, we find that companies in these industries most often require consulting services in the areas of: Business, Strategic and Succession Planning; Buy/Sell & Valuations; Marketing & Sales Including E-Commerce; Risk Management; Business Expansion & Acquisitions; Financial Management; Business Start-Ups; Customer Service & Operations; Personnel Planning, and; Litigation Support.