How did you get into the industry?
I was fortunate enough to find a unique gap in the outdoor recreation space. I noticed that recent trends showed an increasing amount of outdoor enthusiasts, especially in and around my market of Orlando, FL. After doing further research and business planning, I realized that bringing clear kayaking to the marketplace would be an industry changer!
Whats New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
We offer 100% clear kayak guided tours! This gives the user the ability to see through the water in our clear water locations and also feel closer to nature amongst the other locations. We’ve gained 125,000,000+ views on social media since the beginning of our business in 2016 and we continually go viral with each new location that we open.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
A lot of potential franchisees believe that it would be tough to replicate in markets where the water may not be as clear, however, we believe and have seen that introducing clear kayaks and offering an incredible tour at the same price as a non-clear kayak can spark lots of interest and demand!
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
My goal is to give others the same opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to take a leap of faith for. We also intend to introduce clear paddleboards into the industry to further our market offerings.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
We have given thousands of tours at our flagship location and have over 1,400+ five-star reviews that back our experience. With our lead tour guide also as a crucial step in our training process, we’ve also given him the ability to become a certified interpretive guide. This helps create incredible and memorable experiences at all locations. We also have fostered some great relationships with large viral media outlets that we can continually send new footage and stories to as we grow. With our large social media following, we deliver great operating procedures for new franchisees to follow and see exponential growth.
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
I lost my first hired tour guide due to an incident he had cave diving on his day off. It was an extremely tough time to overcome especially because he saw the potential of the business and we had plans of taking many of these steps together.
Define your Franchise Model:
A. Training and Support Model? I am in charge of all back-end training that includes customer support, communications, social media, and more. We have monthly meetings to ensure we are on the same page with marketing and continually strive to be leaders in our industry. I am available at all times to help with any challenge that the franchisee may face, and welcome the opportunity. Our lead tour guide has over 300 five-star reviews and he is in charge of training new guides, and hopefully the owner/operator that is the franchisee.
B. What is the Fee Structure? Our franchise fee is $30,000. Equipment costs typically come in around $15,000 putting total initial investment right under $50,000.
C. Territory Definition? 250,000-500,000 people. We work with each territory to ensure they get as much space to grow within those boundaries as possible.
D. Day in the life of a Franchisee? I’d like to think each day can be extremely rewarding. Meeting people on their vacations and wowing locals can be an incredibly fun position. We typically get anywhere from 10-30 calls a day at each location and about the same in emails. I suggest that each owner also spends about 30 minutes – 1 hour on social media per day doing the tactics that I give in our training. If the Franchisee is also an operator of kayak tours, you can expect a fulfilling lifestyle in the outdoors and lots of great people meeting opportunities and story sharing.
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
I like to leave their level of involvement up to them! We look for someone who is willing to give tours and has a great passion for the outdoors, nature, conservation, and wildlife! We have Franchisees that live states away from their location, and we have Franchisees who are at their location every day giving tours and interacting with guests. We try to make it work for anyone that fits!
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
I love having a Franchisee that is outgoing, willing to work, caring, and tech savy. These four things together make for a great experience. Again, we have training programs that can help with each of these, but if you’ve got them all, you’re a great fit already!
Success Stories and Failures with Franchisees?
Every franchise has been a huge success. Each location has been able to make back its initial investment in year 1. We are all a big family and each of our 7 current locations is either owned by a friend or family member, which makes it even more meaningful. The return on investment has been insane!
What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
I am interested in introducing clear paddleboards into the industry as a new offering. I think this could be another great big game changer and also get us lots of new press! I am also hiring someone to help assist with content, communications, and growth so that we all continually see our numbers increasing.