From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. A summary of the ten steps between your idea and the sale.
In South Africa, we may have overplayed the notion that we are a country full of would-be entrepreneurs, all champing at the bit to build a thriving business. And whilst we are tempted to throw in a dig at the ministry of small business, that would be too easy, and obvious. What if we offered that there are simply not enough entrepreneurs with original ideas, and that from ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps is a giant leap in reality.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. The entrepreneur.
There is a vast amount of literature available on the web which is helpful in assisting you in determining just how much entrepreneur there is inside you, and yeah, we get how they all love to profile and box, and tell us how likely we are to succeed. Having said this, we have found two sources which are useful as a start point and they are; CNBC article Successful entrepreneurs are more likely to have these 2 crucial personality traits, and personality profiling on 16personalities.com.
But, there is probably no stopping you, and chances are, you are already far down the road of achieving your idea, and in true entrepreneur fashion you are doing everything yourself. Not all entrepreneurs are in it to sell it, but all should build it to sell it, it simply gives you the luxury of options.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller. And you are up and running.
We know from much experience that there is plenty of work before doors open, and everything is flying along beautifully. This euphoria is the drug that fuels entrepreneurs, and you have just started thinking that this is something you could do forever. If you are an accountant type, your systems are all functioning well, and you have a report for everything and anything at your fingertips. The peoples’ person is there to meet and greet and is revelling in frequent guest interactions, and that awesome feeling when feedback from your customers mentions you by name. During this honeymoon phase you find yourself everywhere, and your energy levels know no limit.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller. Slow progress.
Whilst we all tend to believe we can do everything, the short answer is you can’t. You do yourself no favours trying to be everywhere, and something has got to give, and generally it is the areas that you are not particularly partial to that give way for those in which you have natural interest.
There does not appear to be a pattern of anything, bookings come in fits and starts, staff are here today and gone tomorrow. Projecting revenue is like a game of darts. Mrs Jones is demanding a refund because she can no longer take up her booking. It is indeed two steps forward and one back.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller. The waiting game.
Patience, patience and yet more patience, this is what you keep telling yourself, and you would be right, and as hard as it is for an entrepreneur to be patient, time is critical for any new venture. This is time for your establishment to reach your market, time for your lodge or camp to learn what works and what doesn’t.
You may have noticed that we have not referred to your business as yet – and the answer is simply because you don’t have one, yet.
The honeymoon phase is nearing its end, and you may find yourself with questions you just can’t seem to get answers to, at least not answers that you understand or perhaps replenish your confidence levels, much like they were in the beginning.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller. The slippery slope of outsourcing.
It is often about now that we consider the merits of outsourcing the management of your establishment. Now there may well be exceptions and if there are, we don’t know of any and this is one quick way to reduce the fruit of your labour to a catalogue entry.
Having said this, there are certainly areas that are best left in the hands of experts, and to establish which areas not to outsource, ask one question, will this action bring me closer to my customer, move me further away, or have no effect. If the answer is ‘have no effect’, then look at it seriously. An obvious example of this would be in designing, developing and optimising your website, payroll etc.
In the area of sales and marketing, it is possible to achieve reasonable success with outsourcing, but only if you are a seasoned ecotourism practitioner, as this is often a bottomless pit in a rapidly evolving discipline. And remember that whilst they are doing a sales job on your market, they are also doing one on you.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller. The slide towards discounting.
It is inevitable that our impatience with occupancy growth will result in our desire to discount our rates, and truth be told, this does very little to improve occupancy, and is fraught with unintended negative consequences if not handled very carefully.
You will have no doubt have learnt just how difficult it is to determine what your rates should be, and this we will leave for another day.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. The first step toward building your business.
The moment you start asking yourself, what is my business worth? Is the time to step aside. That’s right remove yourself from your organogram, now ask yourself, do you have a business.
There are several business valuation matrixes, all of which are likely to attach a myriad of complicated data inputs, and then the small matter of parting with a bit of cash, hit the output button, and there you have it. What a load of nonsense, its easier and simpler than that; attach a value to your land and buildings, determine your operating profit, add a multiple to your profit, and you have the basis of a value.
Or, and far more realistic, your business is worth exactly what someone is prepared to pay for it.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. Building value.
You have the basis of a business valuation, and the ultimate accolade and recognition of your efforts is the moment a prospective buyer comes along. You know exactly how low you cannot go, but do you have any idea of how high you can go.
Your prospective buyer has imagined him or herself replacing you and no doubt has some great ideas on how to improve your bottom line, an arsenal of tactics which is a closely guarded secret.
Now, we have spoken about stepping aside, and now we really mean step aside. We have to repeat this because for an entrepreneur, it would be easier to pry a bone from the jaws of a pit bull.
Let’s use an analogy of an airline, your plane needs to fly with you sitting in the back row for now, not the cockpit. You can now also tell at a glance if your field guide is burnt out, just how much liquor is leaving the cellar and not getting to the bar etc.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. Building real value.
Continuing the analogy, this is the time when you disembark and allow the plane to carry on about its business without you. Don’t panic, you will still need to bring the plane home for it’s A, B, and C checks and you will need to guide decisions on which routes to operate etc.
You have now transforming your owner run establishment into a business. Sellable yes, but is this the right time? The process of stepping aside and replacing yourself with one or more people has improved the autonomy of the business, significantly expanding the number potential of buyers. Amongst them are the hospitality institutions.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. I’m not a seller.
Entrepreneurs often have the idea of selling in the dark recesses of their minds, and possibly already have another new idea quietly percolating. It is critical that thoughts of selling, remain just that.
It is inevitable that thoughts about selling lead to talks about selling, and the quickest way to demotivate your staff and service providers is to talk of selling, and don’t think for a moment that talks can be kept confidential.
From ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller in ten steps. You now have a business.
Whilst you have stuck to your knitting, going about your business, all the time tweaking and monitoring your guest experience and costs, you have been noticed. And everyone notices your successes, and thankfully very few see the scars of failures along the way.
It is when you least expect it that you are likely to be approached by a buyer. You now have a business.
For you it may not be a case of from ecotourism entrepreneur to business seller, but if you start with the end of time, a world of opportunities await you.