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Guest Ranch

Corral in customers with a guest ranch business.

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Business At A Glance

Guest Ranch
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Guest or dude ranches have become an extremely popular vacation destination for thousands of North Americans every year. While starting a guest ranch is a labor and capital intensive business undertaking, there are also numerous benefits, such as a rewarding lifestyle, great income potential, and strong consumer demand.

The most popular guest ranches include services and activities such as horseback riding, outdoor barbecues, and sporting activities, such as swimming, mountain bike trail riding, and tennis. Advertising, promoting, and marketing this sort of travel business is best accomplished by utilizing all of the traditional advertising and marketing mediums.

Once the business has been established, many guests will become repeat clients as well as generate word-of-mouth referrals for the ranch. The profit potential will greatly vary as to the operating format of the ranch, and the services provided. However, current guest ranch accommodation rates start at $700 per week per person, and can go as high as $2,000 per week per person depending on the vacation package.

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Recreation

River Rafting

This new business idea may be waiting just around the river bend.

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Business At A Glance

River Rafting
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

White-water river rafting is a low-cost, mini adventure trip that almost anyone can participate in. White-water rafting excursions can be advertised to the general public as well as schools, corporations, and clubs to gain customers.

There is no marketing magic here. This is a good business and a fun adventure that does not require a lot of arm twisting to get people excited about paying you to go rafting. With that being said, you will still want to separate yourself from any competition and seek your niche in the marketplace.

Needed Equipment

You and your employees that will be operating either the paddle-style rafts or motorized-style rafts will be required to get a license, which is commonly referred to as a river guide certificate.

Likewise, all employees will need certification in first aid and river rescue techniques. You will also be required to carry a substantial amount of liability insurance. All of these certification courses are widely offered by outdoor instruction and certification companies.
Additional information about these companies can usually be obtained from local police and fire departments. In terms of equipment, there are generally two types of river rafts used in this business venture. The first is a motorized inflatable raft, and the second is, an inflatable paddle raft. All boats and passengers have to be equipped with safety gear such as life vests and helmets.

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Recreation

Laser Tag

Looking for a business that gives you a rush? Consider opening an indoor laser tag center and play your way to profits.

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Business At A Glance

Laser Tag
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Indoor laser tag is quickly becoming as popular as paint ball games, and starting a laser tag recreation center may just put you on the path to financial independence. Though this is a very costly business to start and operate (well into the six-figure range0, the profit potential is outstanding.

Revenues are earned by drop-in customers that want to play, as well as by selling monthly memberships to the center. You can also market laser tag games to corporate clients, schools, and clubs, and create special packages that include laser tag games, food, and beverages for corporate and social functions like birthday parties.

Additionally, many operators of laser tag centers also create team leagues and monthly tournaments and give away prizes to the winners. Of course you will also want to have a concession counter on site and sell related products, such as promotional clothing and equipment to bolster sales. The initial objective when you first open is to get as many people as possible to come out and try the game, as a great number of these people will return as regular customers. To accomplish this, give away two-for-one play coupons, and create joint promotions with other businesses in the community.

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Recreation

Rowboat Rentals

Row, row, row your biz gently down the cash flow stream.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Rowboat Rentals
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Here is a great little business that can be started for peanuts and operated on weekends and holidays on a part-time basis. Secondhand good quality rowboats can be purchased for as little as $500 each, yet the same rowboats can be rented for as much as $10 per hour to fishermen and sightseers.

With that kind of return on investment, it will not take long to get back your initial start-up costs and reap a healthy profit. Obviously the business has one main requirement in order to be operated: water. If the business is established within close proximity to a river or lake, the boats can be rented from a marina location, beach, or even right from a riverbank. A rowboat rental business also requires that you carry liability insurance and the boats are outfitted with safety equipment such as life vests, paddles, and a whistle.

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