21 November 2011

Expanding To Galway - Step 3

I spent the last few days in Galway, partially as a weekend off and partially as a chance to get some Galway expansion work done.

A morning meeting with Failte Ireland was fairly productive and highlighted several more areas of work to be done between now and our Easter launch date, mainly in terms of working with county councils and the harbour authority.

What's reassuring for us as a business expanding into a new area, is the fact that adventure tourism in Galway and Clare doesn't seem main-stream/established/majorly recognised; or certainly to my initial research. While boat trips and coach tours are big business and there's a lot we can learn from how they run their operations, especially in relation to their city centre booking booths, adventure tourism is a new and niche area that we can hopefully play a part in developing.

As work has progressed over the past couple of months it's become clear that there is a need for at least one more Outdoors Ireland instructor in Kerry, especially over this coming spring and summer; so I'm currently recruiting for a new team member...

Applications are beginning to come in and over the next two/three weeks we'll set up interviews and get another instructor on-board. There will be a long and intensive in-house training process to get the person au-fait with all of our practices and methods of running training courses and guided trips.

I need to get back up to Galway as soon as possibly, probably mid December now, to finish checking out kayak locations, meet landowners and just get things ready to have a proper product in place.

The main challenge I'm still grappling with is whether we really need a second work vehicle or not. While in terms of spending/cash flow it would be great to avoid buying a second vehicle, it's looking like it's going to be necessary, even simply in terms of looking professional in both of our locations.

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