The world of water sports draws various types of travelers; whether they be adventurers, thrill-seekers, or simply those seeking a refreshing escape from the ordinary. But what if you could turn your passion for water sports into a thriving business venture? With water sports experiences seeing a 311% growth between 2019 to 2022, the waves of opportunity have never been higher.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to make waves or a water sports enthusiast with a dream, here are 9 tips that’ll help you navigate your exciting business ideas of running your very own water sports business.

1. Understand the water sports industry and identify your niche

The water sports industry is experiencing a tidal wave of growth, driven by a global shift towards outdoor activities and experiential tourism. With a focus on connecting with nature, water sports have gained popularity among individuals seeking an escape from their daily routines.

When launching your water sports startup, it’s important to understand the diverse range of water activities you could offer, as different activities attract different crowds. For example, activities such as parasailing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing attract travelers seeking the ultimate rush, whereas kayaking and paddleboarding attract those looking to navigate serene water bodies and explore hidden corners. Furthermore, other advanced water sports could include snorkeling and scuba diving which attract skilled divers from across the world curious to explore the vibrant underwater worlds.

From the adrenaline-fueled to the curious divers, water sports cater to a wide spectrum of preferences, and it’s important for you to understand each niche you’re catering to.

2. Develop your unique selling proposition

While starting your new business may be an exciting process, the water sports industry is most certainly competitive. Therefore, it’s important that you’re building a water sports company that stands out from the crowd.

Develop a business value proposition, that will capture attention, resonate with your audience, and clearly communicate what sets your business apart. This proposition should be your guide in every decision – from marketing to customer interactions. Dive into the heart of your business – your core strengths, values, and the experiences you offer – and weave them into your business model.

While the thrill of water sports draws many, it’s the experience that truly leaves a lasting imprint. Imagine a personalized paddleboarding lesson at sunrise, a scuba diving excursion to an untouched reef, or the thrill of conquering formidable waves under expert guidance. These moments are the treasures that differentiate your business. Whether it’s through expert instruction, top-tier equipment, or access to exclusive and pristine locations, your commitment to offering exceptional experiences will be the key to your success.

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3. Build a strong online presence

Your website is a place where potential customers can come to learn more about your services. A well-designed website conveys your brand’s essence, that effectively showcases the thrill of your activities. By ensuring your website is visually engaging, easy to navigate, and SEO optimized, you’ll increase your chances of popping up at the top of search engine results pages such as Google; thus improving your overall online visibility to thousands of potential customers.

Furthermore, leveraging social media is one effective tool to further boost your marketing efforts. By utilizing popular social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook you’ll be able to share authentic, high-quality visuals all while being able to communicate effectively with your audience via comments or messages.

Fun fact: Roughly 52% of travelers decided to visit a specific destination after seeing its image/video from friends, family, or peers on social media.

4. Provide quality instruction and safety measures

In the water sports industry, safety should be one of your top priorities. Prioritizing safety protocols and certifications isn’t just a legal requirement; it’s a testament to your commitment to the well-being of your customers. Clear safety guidelines, well-maintained water sports gear, and adherence to industry standards build a foundation of trust. Whether it’s providing life jackets, conducting safety briefings, or offering first aid training, these measures reassure your customers that their safety is your top priority.

safety protocols when doing water sports

5. Leverage technology

Embracing technology isn’t just about efficiency; it’s about placing the power of choice in the hands of your customers all while streamlining your operations. With an online booking system such as Rezdy, you offer a user-friendly booking process that fits seamlessly into your customers’ lives. From the comfort of their homes or while on the go, they can explore your offerings, choose the perfect adventure, and secure their spot with a few clicks. This simplicity not only increases customer satisfaction but also automates all your tedious tasks such as confirmation emails, billing and payments, and even rescheduling/refund procedures.

Furthermore, as a Rezdy online booking customer, you’ll have instant access to the industry’s largest distribution platform – Rezdy Channel Manager. Seamlessly connect with over 25,000 agents and resellers globally and broaden your distribution channel all in one place.

Curious to see how Rezdy can fit within your business? Start your FREE 21-day trial today.

6. Champion sustainable practices

The water sports industry is riding a wave of change, driven by a collective realization that our actions have a direct impact on the oceans and rivers. Sustainability has become more than a buzzword; it has now become a deciding factor for bookings. In fact, 83% of travelers firmly believe in the importance of sustainable travel.

Implementing eco-friendly practices isn’t just an obligation; it’s an opportunity to harmonize with the ecosystems that offer water sports enthusiasts the ability to indulge in their favorite water sporting activities. Some minor initiatives you could promote could be in the form of offering refillable water stations, using biodegradable sunscreens, and encouraging responsible disposal practices. You could even go as far as forming partnerships with organizations dedicated to protecting marine habitats or participating in beach cleanups.

7. Build trust with reviews

In an age where information is readily available, customer reviews are the currency of trust. By embracing feedback, you’re not just crafting experiences; you’re creating a community where each of your customers’ voices shapes the journey for future customers. Your openness to feedback, appreciation for testimonials, and responsiveness to concerns are what will build trust with potential customers to get them over the line.

Responding to reviews, whether positive or negative, is a practice that demonstrates your dedication to customer satisfaction. Acknowledge positive feedback with gratitude, deepening the connection with your patrons. For negative reviews, approach them as opportunities rather than obstacles. Address concerns with empathy, offer solutions, and show your commitment to learning and growing from every experience.

8. Adaptability and flexibility

Being a business owner of a water activity business is a fun gig, however, frequent challenges such as unexpected weather conditions mean being flexible and adaptable to unforeseen circumstances is key to running a tight ship.

Prepare for the unpredictability by offering a range of activities that can be tailored to different conditions. For example, if the waves are too harsh for surfing, provide an alternative such as paddleboarding or kayaking. Embrace technology to stay informed about weather forecasts and adapt your offerings accordingly.

Flexibility in scheduling and customer communication is also crucial. Utilizing an online booking system like Rezdy empowers you to effortlessly oversee operational adjustments. Streamline mass communication through automated notifications, conveniently provide gift cards, facilitate hassle-free refunds, and efficiently manage large-scale rescheduling.

9. So, you’ve launched your water sports business. What now?

Types of tour package

When it comes to increasing sales in the travel industry, most water sports businesses will set aside an ongoing budget to cover various areas that are key to growth. This includes:

  • A professional website with 24/7 online reservation service capabilities
  • An effective guest management solution
  • Reseller relationships with local travel agents and popular online travel agencies (OTAs) such as TripAdvisor, RedBalloon, and Adrenaline
  • Social media and website updates to grow organic engagement with followers
  • Marketing across channels such as social media, paid search, radio, and print
  • Purchasing and maintaining water sports equipment
  • Capital outlays in new guest experiences or infrastructure where relevant
  • Follow-up marketing after the guest experience, and more.

While every business is different, many operators allocate anywhere from 5-10% and upwards of revenue towards their growth and marketing strategies. As time goes on, it becomes easier to gauge and grow the best returns on investment.

Start your water sports business with Rezdy

Growing a water sports activity business requires careful planning and execution. By following the tips outlined in this guide, operators can increase their chances of success and create a business that provides a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for customers.

If you’re currently on the lookout for the best online booking and guest management system to support your growth, start a FREE 21-day trial with Rezdy or book a free demo today.

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