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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.intrepidentrepreneur.net. 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.