The emphasis of this company is not on major tourist attractions, as it is with a regular tour guide service. Instead, it concentrates on one-of-a-kind and distinctive experiences. These sorts of tours/parties are popular among both locals and visitors.
This company offers intriguing excursions with a specialist emphasis, for which the tour guide possesses specialised knowledge and/or abilities.
Popular topics include:
Food and beverage tours
Tours of wineries
Tours of chocolate
Tours of liquor stores
Tours of nightclubs
Tours of “haunted” dwellings (ghost tours)
Dinner parties with a twist
Tours of Street Art
Tours of adventure
Tours for physical fitness
Tours of the environment
Tours by chuck waggon or horseback
Tours with limited access (backstage, restricted areas)
For residents, these trips might be a fun adventure, a night out, a memorable party, or a unique date. When visiting a new location, visitors from different locations are increasingly searching for immersive and intriguing experiences.
People choose activities that are more genuine and congruent with what locals do rather than just taking a sightseeing trip to view the big landmarks.
Right present, “experiential travel” is a highly trendy trend. Traditional travel companies, as well as new and emerging travel agents and services, are assisting travellers in connecting with nature via adventure tours, eco tours, and wildlife tours. These trips are intended to provide visitors a full experience that blends learning and travel with new sights, sounds, smells, and sensations.
Hiking, climbing, bungee jumping, flying down a wire cable above the tree canopy, whitewater rafting, and other activities may be quite energetic. Many people prefer such active experiences to regular bus excursions, when tour operators narrate things as the vehicle goes by.
Follow these ten steps to launch a boutique tour company:
Plan your Boutique Tour Company
Make your Boutique Tour Company a Legal Entity.
Register your Boutique Tour Company with the IRS.
Create a Business Bank Account and a Credit Card
Create Accounting for Your Boutique Tour Company
Get the Permits and Licenses You Need for Your Boutique Tour Company
Purchase Boutique Tour Business Insurance.
Define your Boutique Tour Company Brand.
Create a website for your Boutique Tour Company.
Configure your Business Phone System
Starting a company entails more than just registering it with the state. This straightforward guide to launching your boutique tour company has been put together by us. These stages will guarantee that your new company is well-planned, correctly registered, and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Make a business plan.
A well-thought-out strategy is vital for entrepreneur success. It will assist you in mapping out the intricacies of your organisation and uncovering some unknowns. Consider the following crucial topics:
What are the initial and continuing expenses?
Who is your intended audience?
How much money may you charge your customers?
Fortunately, we have done a lot of the legwork for you.
What are the expenses of starting a boutique tour company?
This company may be launched on a shoestring budget. You must devote sufficient time to learning as much as possible about your tour specialisation. You will need to have everything needed for the trip, which might involve a lot of equipment for an adventure tour and a way to transfer your customers as needed.
A passenger van that seats up to 8 persons is the most frequent mode of transportation for a boutique tour company. These cost about $50,000 apiece and may be rented for around $500 each month. If your visits are only sporadically scheduled, these vehicles may be leased on a daily basis with insurance for about $100 per day.
Other startup costs include any marketing fees incurred in order to recruit customers. You will need to design and then market a website. You could also wish to produce and distribute colourful flyers.
One firm we know was founded by someone who was already well-versed in the area “haunted” residences. She produced a few brochures for less than $50 and then went to the monthly meetings of local book clubs that read mystery literature or horror tales. She promptly scheduled her first four-person tour. They were impressed with her expertise and zeal and notified their friends. Since then, her firm has been a success. Because of the increasing reservations for her trips, she incorporated an LLC and recruited extra guides. She began simply but quickly rose to prominence.
Adventure tour equipment may be somewhat costly. If you want to provide bungee leaping or wire cable rides, the equipment will cost thousands of dollars.
Some boutique tour firms begin by selling the services of others and earning a fee for each customer who books a trip.
The initial costs for this company vary from a few hundred dollars to several tens of thousands of dollars. This is determined on the sort of trip you provide.
What are the recurring costs of a boutique tour company?
The primary expenditures are marketing, tour guides, and transportation.
For the most basic business, merely employing flyers, a monthly marketing cost of at least $200 is required. Tour guides are paid about $30 per hour. Vans are available for leasing for $500 per month or $100 per day. The cost of company insurance varies greatly based on the possible dangers to clients.
A haunted home tour requires transportation van insurance, which may cost roughly $200 per month or $30 per day if hired. A bungee-jumping, cable wire adventure trip will need insurance, which will cost several thousands of dollars each month and is calculated depending on the number of anticipated guests.
Who is the intended audience?
Some boutique trips, such as wine tours, have age limits. Others who are highly physically active may be limited by their weight, height, and health. However, depending on your specialisation, you may encounter consumers from many walks of life.
How can a small tour company generate money?
The excursions are sold on a per-person basis. You might provide discounts to certain groups or ages, such as elderly or children.
How much money may you charge your customers?
Here are some typical pricing paid for certain sorts of these excursions, excluding transportation charges and any required hotel accommodations (which are occasionally included in these boutique tour packages):
Tour of the Haunted House – $25 per person
Wine, chocolate, or liquor tours range from $25 to $125 per person (includes free samples and possibly a meal)
Tour of Bungee Jumping and Cable Wire Adventure – $50+ per person
$75 per person for a nightclub tour (includes VIP entrance and some free drinks)
$100 per person for a mystery dinner party or a Chuck Wagon Horse Trail Tour with food.
Tour with Special Access – $150 to $500 per person (backstage pass to a major concert)
How much money can a boutique tour company make?
The global experience tourism industry is estimated to be worth approximately one trillion dollars. Your firm might possibly generate as much profit as you like with an engaging variety of tour choices and a dynamic and competent staff of guides.
How can you increase the profitability of your company?
One approach is to hunt for any goods that may be offered to tour customers and earn a commission or profit from the sales. Eco-tours, for example, may provide images of consumers while they are participating in a unique, maybe frightening aspect of the trip. Wine tours may generate additional money by selling bottles of wine to tour participants.
Lowering transportation expenses by leasing or purchasing a van rather than renting a vehicle on a daily basis may result in significant savings. Another strategy to grow your company and generate more money is to give individuals commissions for assisting in the creation of bookings.
STEP 2: Establish a legal entity
Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation are the most frequent business structure forms.
Establishing a formal business organisation, such as an LLC or corporation, shields you from personal liability if your boutique tour company is sued.
STEP 3: File your taxes
Before you can begin for business, you must register for a number of state and federal taxes.
To register for taxes, you will need to get an EIN. It’s really simple and completely free!
Taxes on Small Businesses
Depending on the business form you choose, you may have multiple choices for how your company is taxed. Some LLCs, for example, may benefit from being taxed as a S company (S corp).
These guides will teach you more about small company taxes:
Taxes on LLCs
LLC vs. sole proprietorship
Corporation vs. LLC
S Corp vs. LLC
How to Form a S Corporation
S Corporation vs. C Corporation
There may be state taxes that apply to your company. In our state sales tax guides, you may learn more about state sales taxes and franchise taxes.
STEP 4:Establish a company bank account and credit card
Personal asset protection requires the use of distinct business banking and credit accounts.
When you combine your personal and business accounts, your personal assets (your house, vehicle, and other possessions) are at danger if your company is sued. This is known as penetrating your company veil in business law.
Furthermore, understanding how to develop corporate credit may help you get credit cards and other financing in your company’s name (rather than your own), lower interest rates, larger lines of credit, and other benefits.
Establish a business bank account.
Opening a business bank account is not only required when asking for business financing, but it also:
Separates your personal assets from the assets of your firm, which is required for personal asset protection.
It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.
Create a net 30 account.
Net 30 accounts are used to develop and grow company credit while also increasing cash flow. Businesses use a net 30 account to purchase items and refund the whole debt within a 30-day period.
Many net 30 credit suppliers submit information to the main business credit agencies (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how firms establish business credit in order to get approved for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Apply for a business credit card.
Obtaining a business credit card benefits you in the following ways:
Put all of your company’s costs in one location to separate personal and business spending.
Build your company’s credit history, which will be important for raising funds in the future.
STEP 5: Establish business accounting
Recording your numerous costs and sources of revenue is crucial to assessing your company’s financial status. Keeping precise and thorough accounting also makes yearly tax filing much easier.
STEP 6: Obtain all required permissions and licences
Failure to get appropriate permissions and licences may result in significant penalties or possibly the closure of your firm.
Requirements for State and Local Business Licensing
Certain state permissions and licences may be required to run a boutique tour company. Visit the SBA’s reference to state licences and permits to learn more about licencing requirements in your state.
Furthermore, local licencing or regulatory restrictions may apply. For additional information on local licences and permissions, please visit:
Check with the clerk’s office in your town, city, or county.
Contact one of the local organisations mentioned in the US Small Business Associations database of local business resources for help.
Waiver of Liability
To reduce legal risk and promote transparency, it is best to give clients with informed consent agreements. This is an example of a liability release, often known as a “informed consent agreement.”
STEP 7: Obtain commercial insurance.
Insurance, like licences and permits, is required for your company to operate safely and legally. In the case of a covered loss, business insurance protects your company’s financial well-being.
There are several sorts of insurance plans designed for various types of companies with varying risks. If you are unaware about the hazards that your company may encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. This is the most popular coverage required by small companies, so it’s a good place to start for yours.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is another important insurance product that many companies need. If your company will have workers, your state may require you to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance.
STEP 8: Establish your brand
Your company’s brand is what it stands for, as well as how the public perceives it. A strong brand will help your company stand out from the crowd.
How to Promote and Market a Boutique Tour Company
Flyers are an excellent technique to attract people. Hotels often have display cases where you may post your fliers for a charge. Distributing fliers to organisations, shops, or other companies related to the trip you give may also be a useful marketing tactic. For example, if you provide an exercise tour that takes customers through different workout stations in city parks, you may distribute flyers to nearby health clubs and health food shops and offer to pay a fee for each booking they produce.
Online marketing for your services and website may also be beneficial. You may sell your trips via travel agents and pay them a fee for each booking.
Billboards and bus stop ads are efficient ways to reach out to passing traffic on a busy roadway. Larger professional firms utilise television commercials as well as advertisements on in-house hotel video systems.
How to Keep Customers Returning
You will have repeat customers for certain sorts of excursions. In most circumstances, recruiting new clients will be critical. It is a good idea to give discounts for future reservations, specials and loyalty reward programmes for valued customers, and even subscriptions if feasible, for those excursions that may be enjoyed again and again. For example, an established adventure tour that owns a physical location may offer a season pass that allows customers to return as many times as they want.
STEP 9: Create your company’s website.
After you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo, the next step is to build a website for your company.
While developing a website is an important step, some may be concerned that it is out of their grasp due to a lack of website-building skills. While this was a fair concern in 2015, online technology has made significant advances in recent years, making the lives of small company owners considerably easier.
The following are the primary reasons why you should not put off developing your website:
Every genuine company has a website, period. When it comes to bringing your company online, it doesn’t matter what size or sector it is.
Social media accounts, such as Facebook pages or LinkedIn company profiles, are not a substitute for your own business website.
STEP 10: Install your company phone system.
Getting a phone for your company is one of the finest methods to keep your personal and professional lives distinct and private. That isn’t the only advantage; it also helps you automate your company, provides it legitimacy, and makes it simpler for prospective clients to identify and contact you.