Strategy Sessions: New SNEWS column to help you grow your business


This is the first column in a new monthly series to help small business owners in outdoor specialty create and grow profitable businesses and remarkable brands.

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden

Small, independent retailers, rep agencies, gear makers and service providers are the fabric of the outdoor industry. Indies hand-built this market; they’re passionate, entrepreneurial and they literally power innovation.

But these companies are also resource-strapped, making it tough to navigate the ever-changing landscape of business today. It’s tough to spend time evolving your business when you’re focusing on shipping great product, serving customers and making payroll.

Yet, it’s more important than ever before to do just that. Up-leveling your company to take advantage of the amazing resources and opportunities available today will result in sustainable profit tomorrow.

It’s a fact: What you’ve done to lead your small business to where it is now, won’t be what gets it to the next level. So throw away the old playbook and adopt a new, hybrid approach that retains what’s working, ditches what isn’t, and layers in the new strategies and tactics afforded to us today.

As businesses and the end consumer continue to migrate and operate online, a convergence of technology, access, community and reach is now available to small businesses on a level that’s never been seen before. New platforms and resources are leveling the playing field for small companies by removing barriers to entry that once ruled how business was done.

What small business may have lacked in efficiencies and scale, it now has in access, outsourcing and direct access to consumers. There are more solutions than ever for independent businesses as they grapple with the changes in distribution, funding strategies, growing and leading teams, delegation, sales, marketing and branding.

Forging ahead in such a transformation doesn’t always equate to a smooth, well-marked trail to success. Small companies need direction and support to navigate the new playbook of business.

Welcome to Strategy Sessions, a new monthly column intended to provide support, insights and analysis to small business owners, inventors, and other people in our industry like you who are trying to create and build a successful brand in this new era of opportunity.

What makes me an expert on these topics? For the past two decades, I’ve been an entrepreneur in the outdoor active lifestyle markets. My company, the Intrepid Entrepreneur, specializes in offering resources and training to small businesses, independents and entrepreneurs in these industries. I strongly believe in the tactics and approaches to business that I will cover in this column. They work, and you’ll come away with strategies that will help you implement the new best practices (the new playbook) of launching and growing a company in the outdoor biz. I’m also going to be monitoring the horizon for you as a small business owner to help you grasp and implement new tools and platforms as they become available.

The spirit of innovation, pioneering new ideas, and creating new solutions all aimed at getting more people outdoors is the legacy of our industry. I’m so stoked to be bringing you value in this column every month. Please let me know if you have a specific topic you’d like me to cover:

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden is founder and CEO of two successful companies: Verde Brand Communications, one of the leading brand communications agencies in the outdoor active lifestyle markets, and the Intrepid Entrepreneur, a coaching and consulting business dedicated to supporting independent and small companies in the outdoor markets as they grow their brands and businesses. She had a successful, decade-long journalism career for major consumer, business and trade outlets prior to founding Verde. Kristin produces a weekly Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast and offers free weekly content built for small business owners in the outdoor active lifestyle markets at She serves as a mentor at the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) and is writing her first book, which will be published this year. Kristin resides in Durango, Colorado with her husband and two children.


Photo: TK artist/

Strategy Sessions: How to create awesome newsletters for your store

This is part 2 in a series about effective e-mail communication with your customer. Okay, you’ve convinced a customer to sign up for your newsletter. Now what? To build lasting audience engagement, every single email you deliver should bring value. To determine how to bring more

Strategy Sessions: Harness the power of email

Email has the highest ROI among digital marketing channels. Are you using it to its fullest potential? Outdoor businesses put so so much energy, focus and dollars towards various social media platforms (and that’s not a bad thing), but we often overlook one of the most effective more


Strategy Sessions: How to create awesome video content on a shoestring budget

By 2019, pundits predict that 80-percent of all Internet traffic will be video. If true, that’s a 64-percent increase in five years. This all begs the question, what’s your businesses’ video plan? If you don’t have one, what are you waiting for? Chances are your staff is more


SNEWS Qs: Boost your business in the 'Sheconomy,' and capitalize on female purchasing power

It’s not a man’s world. At least not when it comes to buying power — in fact, Time Magazine refers to it as the “sheconomy.” A social marketing website by (almost) the same name, She-conomy, claims that 85 percent of all brand purchases are made by women. According to Nielsen more


SNEWS' top tips to make content marketing work for your business

On Wednesday, SNEWS brought you a primer on content marketing — what it is, and why it's important for businesses in the outdoor, yoga and fitness markets. We also teased you with the top two tips included here. Now we're ready to share all 11 of our key recommendations on the more

What is content marketing, exactly — and how can it help your business?

In a vast and sprawling digital world, outdoor brands and retailers are recognizing the value of quality content as a part of their marketing. Today, so-called "content marketing" is a $44 billion dollar business (for reference, consumer electronics is about $208 billion and the more


SNEWS Qs: Dan Mann talks strategies for healthy retailers and the Mann Group

Dan Mann has been a college professor, basketball coach and vice president of retail for Bachrach men's clothing. But since 2003, when he founded the Mann Group, he's guided hundreds of outdoor retailers to double-digit revenue increases through the firm's training programs, more


New look for SNEWS® coming at you, your survey input helped loads – thanks!

The teams at SNEWS® and its new parent company, Active Interest Media, have been busy in the last few months -- looking at strategy, planning the future, surveying many hundreds of loyal subscribers and readers for editorial and navigation input and, yes, leaping into a redesign more


Is your business standing on a Burning Platform?

Heading into Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, OIA President and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer shares with us what the organization is focusing on to prep outdoor businesses for the next generation . The Burning Platform is a change management conundrum that emphasizes the need for more