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Monday, May 17, 2010

Moolah Monday: Become A Tour Guide

In this feature, Moolah Monday I am sharing my brainstorms on developing multiple income streams.There are two reasons why I am having this feature. First is to fulfill one of my 2010 Financial Goals. Second is fulfill one of my blog goals of posting more regularly and with better content. Hopefully, one of these brainstorms will fit your situation if not mine. You can view previous Moolah Monday posts here

Moolah Monday #5

If you live in a large city, starting a walking tour might be the best way to earn additional income without a lot of startup costs.

Some of the very basics you will need to begin planning your own walking tour:

  • First research, what tours are being done in your city/town currently. If possible make friends with other tour operators in your area. Approach them to see if the will be able to provide assistance in planning your tour.
  • Find a great 'hook' or idea for a tour, whether a historical tour or based on a movie that was filmed near by, or a ghost or cemetery tour or bicycle.  There are many ideas out there, you will need to narrow down your focus and pick one. 
  • Research what licensing requirements are needed. You may have to double or triple license with the city and state, and if you decide to drive your clients - you may have to license with the Department of Transportation and obtain a commercial or chauffeur's license.
  • Find out what type of insurance you will need: liability coverage, property, business.
  • Whether you want your tour to be part time, weekends only, weekdays only or full time.
  • Research everything you can find about the focus of your tour. For example, if you are conducting a tour on local battlefields. If you don't know, then I suggest hiring a friendly researcher (like me) or invest a lot of time at your local library and in making friends with your local librarian (food and presents help). You will want to know everything humanly possible about those local battles like:
    • Who fought?
    • When did they fight?
    • Why did they fight?
    • How long the battle lasted?
    • How many were injured?
    • Where there doctors? Nurses? How were injuries treated?
    • What was the average age of those fighting?
    • What did meals consist of? 
    • What weapons were used in the battle?
  • There are several other factors that you will need to consider:
    • How much will you charge?
    • How long will you tour be?
    • How many tours will you run per day?
    • The name of your company?
    • How will you operate your tour? Yourself? Hire someone? 
    • Who will do booking? Will you purchase booking software?
    • How will you spread the word of your tour? Word of mouth, website, print ad campaigns in tourist driven literature?
    • Will you run your own website?
    • How will you accept payments? Online, over the phone, on the spot?
    • Where will you meet clients?
  • What are your expectations for your business? Is it for supplemental income? Your retirement business? 
  • Will it be home based? Will you expand into a location?
  • Where will your start up budget come from? Will you borrow, take from savings, save up, find partners or investors?
There are many books on starting home based businesses. These books will give you more of the basics that I have outlined.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business, 3rd EditionHome-Based Business For DummiesSecrets to Starting a Home Based Internet BusinessMechanics of Starting a Home-Based BusinessCreating a Business Plan (Pocket Mentor)Creating a Business Plan: Your Dream Concept Made RealStrategy 360: 10 Steps to Creating a Complete Game Plan for Business and LifeEntrepreneur's Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture

I found a few books on starting a tour business.

Start and Run a Profitable Tour Guiding Business (Start & Run ...)Start Your Own Specialty Travel & Tour Business (Entrepreneur Magazine's Start Up)How to Start a Tour Guiding Business

Don't forget to look to the Small Business Administration, your local Chamber of Commerce and your city and town administration for help in developing and spreading the world as well.

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