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Old 02-17-2017, 10:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorelocal View Post
So it's $3500/yr to join and, based on a per ride price of $175 (I used the Spokane offerings), that would mean just over 22 paid customers a year to break even on the fixed costs. Assume 2 riders per "tour", that's 11 days of paid service just to break even.

For the affiliates who have signed up already, how long does it take them to break even in the first year? How many leads do you generate for your affiliates, on average, per month?
Don't forget during the shoulder season (Nov - Mar) you'll more than likely have zero bookings. So realistically, you're operating 7 months of the year.

Btw, Taylor... next time i'm in Cumberland you can show me the goods
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:13 AM   #17
sacredrides
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Permits and tenure

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Originally Posted by shirk View Post
How is permitting and tenure handled?
Hey Shirk,

affiliates are responsible for getting their own permits and tenure, but we do offer assistance in the process.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sethimus View Post
so about that exclusive thing. say one gets a specific area, and offers first a good service, but gets worse with the time. is there a quality check? why can't several persons serve one area and you work with a rating system so potential guests can choose their guide by themselfs? if you call it airbnb of biking allow some competion...
Hey Sethimus, there are lots of quality checks, first via extensive vetting before people are allowed into the program. Then extensive training. Then, customers are allowed and encouraged to review their guides, and the top-rated guides/affiliates and Rides are featured more prominently at http://getaways.sacredrides.com/rides, and ratings are posting publicly. So there is a strong incentive to keep the quality high.

We thought about doing an open/airbnb model, but realistically there isn't enough demand for that type of a model, except in a handful of places. With the current model, the affiliates have their own website with their own unique URL, and lots of incentive to promote it - with the airbnb model, where you just get a listing on a site, you're relying entirely on the platform to bring you business.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:19 AM   #19
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Insurance

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Originally Posted by gotham View Post
I'm not really sure I understand...so these affiliates are guides? Do they need insurance, or does Sacred Rides provide it?
Hey Gotham, we're working on insurance partnerships with a few partners to offer our affiliates discounted and expedited insurance (which all affiliates need to get). Eventually we hope to be able to provide it as part of the program, but we've tried to source that and the quotes are astronomical - too high for the current scale of the program.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by kperras View Post
This. And what about trail access? Organizations like BCBR, Endless, Rocky, etc all put money and hours towards the trail; there is a direct correlation between the business and the access. A business models that lets anyone become a guide in their own backyard for a fee should include some funds put towards the area in which the guide is operating.
Hey kperass,

great point. With the current structure of the program, 5% of every booking will go to a community projects fund. This will be used to fund community projects around the world, including trail building and trail maintenance.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:22 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by enduramil View Post
Yep. I can foresee issues with access in other areas with this. For example the map shows ride in Ontario. And I do know in some areas land access has taken years to develop. And some are actually on private land and bringing this in would cause major issues.

I would hope that anyone who decides to sign on with this would add in the cost of having their own lawyer check everything before signing.
Enduramil, this is why we require all our affiliates to show proof of permits and permission to ride local trails before they can start guiding. We encourage everyone to look into this before they apply.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mic View Post
I am not sure if I understand the whole idea correctly. I could offer guided riding in my area under your company's name? Basically like a franchise system not unlike to, say, Starbucks? So, how does the system work financially?

Does it work internationally? What about local differences in land use/managment? There are for example quite a few trails deemed illegal/off limits to riders. If one of my clients or I crashed what about the bills?

Setting up a person with a website and a blog and basic instruction is nice, but what about the fine print? And, as others have already stated, what about trail days/giving sth back to the local communities/quality control?
Hi Mic,

From a financial standpoint... you keep all of the revenue from the bookings you get minus 10% - half of that goes to Sacred Rides, half to a community projects fund to fund trail building, trail maintenance, and other projects around the world. There is a $3499 CAD/year fee to take part in the program.

Affiliates are expected to get permits and permission for all the trails they guide on, and are required to carry liability insurance, for which we are working with insurance partners to get discounted rates and expediting processing.

Yes, there is plenty of fine print, and we have set up a FAQ section at this page: http://sacredrid.es/getaways4

Hope that answers your questions
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by metroneck View Post
Interesting idea, sounds more like Uber.

If I understand correctly, anyone can be a guide, the 'service' just connects the client with said guide.
Hey Metroneck,

you're right, it's probably more analagous to Uber. But not 'anyone' can be a guide - there is an application process and it's quite rigorous.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:31 AM   #24
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soooo, you are offering little bit of marketing for the cost of joining and not much more? I dont see any advantages over just starting my own "guiding" business. insurance can be expensive and tenure and permitting have significant financial and time costs attached. not trying to be a dick, curios mostly.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorelocal View Post
So it's $3500/yr to join and, based on a per ride price of $175 (I used the Spokane offerings), that would mean just over 22 paid customers a year to break even on the fixed costs. Assume 2 riders per "tour", that's 11 days of paid service just to break even.

For the affiliates who have signed up already, how long does it take them to break even in the first year? How many leads do you generate for your affiliates, on average, per month?
Hey shorelocal,

it would take a lot of customers to break even on just day trips, which is why we are encouraging our affiliates to offer and promote 2-day trips (1/2-day to 2-day trips are allowed under the program).

We sell 2-day trips on our main site and charge $600-$800 for a mostly-all-inclusive weekend (guides, lodging, meals). If you get a group of 4 on a trip like that you can net $1000-$1500. A group of 6 can mean $2000 net. So a couple of 6-person, 2-day bookings and you've paid for your annual fee already.

We're encouraging our affiliates to consider all kinds of different revenue streams, from beginner trips to partnering with conference organizers, etc. Lots of possibilities when you think outside the narrow 'trips for other experienced mountain bikers' box.

As for leads we're sending them, that would be primarily through the central website at http://getaways.sacredrides.com/rides. We haven't officially launched, as our existing affiliates are all still in the process of getting fully up and running, so time will tell...
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:36 AM   #26
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I suggest that you leverage your 5% contribution to trails by requiring operators to provide a measurable amount of volunteer time to the trail systems they use. Nothing establishes legitimacy within the mtb community like serving on your local trail association, adopting a trail, providing community education... Generally volunteer time goes a lot further than dollars.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Dick View Post
soooo, you are offering little bit of marketing for the cost of joining and not much more? I dont see any advantages over just starting my own "guiding" business. insurance can be expensive and tenure and permitting have significant financial and time costs attached. not trying to be a dick, curios mostly.
Joe, it's a helluva lot more than just a bit of marketing:
  • A beautiful, mobile-responsive website that is super easy and quick to set up and customize (example site)
  • A blog that is SEO-optimized, from a trusted domain that is likely to rank high in search engines
  • A booking system that can start accepting credit cards within about 5 minutes
  • A robust backend operations system for managing Rides, departure, and staff
  • A listing on our main Getaways site, that we will promote heavily
  • Extensive marketing, sales, operations and guide training
  • Marketing materials and templates
  • Discounted and expedited insurance (coming soon)
  • Dealer rates on bikes, gear, and even trail snacks
  • Membership in a private Facebook group where you can share best practices and challenges and learn from other affiliates
  • Regular training webinars
  • Operating under one of the most respected and reputable brands in the mountain bike guiding business
  • The opportunity to ride with and visit dozens (eventually hundreds) of other affiliates around the world
  • And tons of support along the way, from our team that has, collectively, hundreds of years of experience in the mountain bike adventure industry
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:46 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by twinone View Post
I suggest that you leverage your 5% contribution to trails by requiring operators to provide a measurable amount of volunteer time to the trail systems they use. Nothing establishes legitimacy within the mtb community like serving on your local trail association, adopting a trail, providing community education... Generally volunteer time goes a lot further than dollars.
Great suggestion twinone, although I'm not sure we can really enforce that, and we prefer a 'carrot' approach rather than a 'stick' approach. Most of our affiliates are mountain bikers with deep roots in their local community and are already contributing lots of their time to their local trails
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:48 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brumos View Post
Don't forget during the shoulder season (Nov - Mar) you'll more than likely have zero bookings. So realistically, you're operating 7 months of the year.

Btw, Taylor... next time i'm in Cumberland you can show me the goods
Brumos,

it depends where you live, of course. Some destinations are true year-round destinations, while other destinations - where they're under snow for 4-6 months of the year - may very well do a decent business in fatbike adventures. I was just speaking with our contact at Norco (our bike partner) and over 25% of their sales are now fatbikes. Just a hunch, but I think people will pay for fatbike adventures!
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:56 PM   #30
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From a customer's point of view, the idea of having one site where I can find quality guiding worldwide appeals to me. In areas that are not renowned riding destinations it can be hard to find guides, especially outside their main season. So, essentially, I think it's a great idea.
Still, the initial investment is substantial, especially if you factor in the time you have to spend getting permits etc. Yes, you'd have to do this anyway, but still. So, for someone living in an area not known as a riding destination (or even as an outdoor destination) who just thinks about doing some guiding on the side and knows he/she will have to work a regular job, it could be too much. Also, it seems to be clearly aimed at one day or even 2 day rides. From what I've heard from various guides I've ridden with, half-day rides are quite popular (ride in the morning, spend time with your family/girlfriend/non-riding friends in the afternoon). Cheaper, and guides don't have to organize lunch.
Also, but this isn't specific to what you offer here, I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to have a "low key" guiding operation. Often when I'm in an area that's nor really remote, I'm looking for someone to show me trails, nothing more. He doesn't have to bring lunch/snacks, she doesn't have to repair my bike trailside (I can do most trailside repairs myself), and if they know how to stop a wound from bleeding, great, but my riding buddies aren't all so hot at first-aid, not to mention all the times I ride solo. So, just trails, no other responsibilities. Like a riding buddy showing you some new trails/a new area he's discovered. Probably legally impossible, but it would be fun. And no, it's not always possible to contact locals through the internet, and even Trailforks doesn't have everything.
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