Whether you’re self-employed or working for someone else; if you’re tired of getting out of bed each day, just to head inside to work, it could be time for some fresh thinking. You might be sitting at your desk all week, dreaming of days, weeks, and months spent outside in the fresh air. Making the most of the changes in seasons and weather is best enjoyed in nature, outside, where it’s all happening. Well, there’s no better time than as the year draws to a close, to start considering your business options and creating an exciting prospect for 2023 spent outside. Time in nature is proven to benefit your mental and physical health, so if that’s a key part of your working life; you’re already onto a winner!
There are far more ways than most think to create a business that centres around the outdoors and nature; even in places that don’t have sunshine all year. Perhaps you’re not quite ready to commit fully to an off-grid life, living amongst nature 24/7, but your whole being is full of ideas, and you’re craving less time in a traditional business or corporate environment, mainly due to it being based inside. Whatever has drawn you to this; it’s a great time to weigh up your options and begin making plans. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and tips for those who want and need to make their outdoor business ideas a reality in the new year, but are a little stuck on where to start.
Buy the land
Very often, a love for the outdoors and nature stems from a childhood memory or a favourite place that you can’t stop returning to. Imagine basing a business around your dream location so that you can thrive in your ideal environment, and others can enjoy it too. If you’ve spotted some land available for purchase, maybe with buildings on it; now is a great time to buy, before prices inevitably creep up again in the coming years. Make sure you know what would work well on the terrain you’ve chosen, and consider any difficult-to-manage areas of the property. Whether you need to bring in woodland management consultants, get a farming expert to test the soil, or ensure that the body of water would be, or could be made, safe for people to enjoy; make it the first thing you do, before making any offers.
Although it’s easy to imagine your ideal business 5 years down the line; you’ll want to understand that the land you’re considering can fulfil the needs of your future company. Think about the safety, maintenance, and growth of your fledgeling business. Also, it’s worth considering your role in it all. Obviously, you’ll be a business owner; however, if you’re doing this for a lifestyle change and to spend a large portion of time outside, you’ll need to invest in staff to cover the admin and office side of things. Perhaps you’ll need to do some extra training or work experience to ensure that your dream life is actually manageable and viable as a successful business.
A hospitable touch
Maybe you’ve come from a hospitality background; hotels, dining, and weddings are all businesses that are in demand all year round. Therefore, considering starting one of the aforementioned things, in an outdoor, or semi-outdoor setting, could be a lucrative move. Creating glamping pods, hideaways, and shepherd huts within a beautiful area of land is the ideal way to draw others to come and enjoy it as much as you do. They are also a cost-effective way of entering this market. Renovating or building a whole hotel will only be a timely and expensive venture that really has little to do with the outside.
However, individual dwellings, such as shepherd’s huts and glamping pods can be bought as and when, and made as luxurious as your business plan requires. You’ll be able to take bookings quickly, as many are pretty much finished before they even arrive at the site, so you can begin to reap some of the financial rewards straight away. Consider the experience your guests would appreciate; cooking on a BBQ or open fire is another great way to provide sustenance at a low cost. Local produce, hampers, and equipment will all be much appreciated, and keep your guests returning.
Action and adventure
If you’re going down the route of outdoor adventures and experiences; safety has to be at the forefront of every detail. Once you’ve secured the land and ensured that it’s suitable for your new business; it’s time to invest in expert help wherever and whenever you can (even if you’re an expert yourself). There will be a lot of legalities to consider and investing in the best equipment and safety gear is the only way to ensure that you build a great reputation and can thrive in a popular industry.
It’s always worth looking into a variety of other uses and experiences that your outdoor environment can offer, even if that means building some indoor areas. It’s worth thinking seasonally; Halloween might be a great time to set up a spooky midnight hike, and Christmas has endless opportunities to make money in an outdoor setting. Come rain or shine, your business needs to keep bringing in paying customers, so make sure all bases are covered beforehand.
If the idea of investing in land and a large-scale business fills you with dread; it’s not for you. There are plenty of ways to enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle as a business owner and self-employed person. Therefore, think out fitness boot camps, or landscape gardening; these are again, year-round businesses that will offer a variety of outside settings and plenty of flexibility regarding the location.
Growing and selling don’t have to be on a large scale either; therefore don’t focus too much on the size of your dream life and business. You can do what you love and be where you want to be every day, and ensure that it’s sustainable for you and your means. Take a deep breath and go for it!