Hustle early to be flexible as a start up
In the initial stages of starting Australian Coastal Mountain Tours (ACMT), a nature based Tour Company in Melbourne Australia; we spent too much money early on that was wasted on silly things.
In the early stages of most, if not all ventures you don’t know really what your product is going to evolve to or the things that won’t work and the things that will. This is one good reason to try many things and test as many things required without giving up the farm to do so.
Here is the biggest mistake we made early on
Hiring a web development firm to build the first Austalian Coastal Mountain Tours website, which turned out to be something we couldn’t edit or manage very well from the backend. This cost us $6,000 and a lot of lost time in SEO development. 2 ½ years later I re-built the site myself for under $100 and a few weekends worth of work. This has allowed us the flexibility to work on our SEO strategy both on the site and off the site. Since re-launching the website we have increased traffic by 50% and our tours have started ranking highly in Google for key search terms like Melbourne Day tours, Day Tours Melbourne, Great Ocean Road Tours and Phillip Island Tours.
The issue with bringing in external development/consultants is that even when you have paid up front for something you think is going to be great. When you work out that your business is changing or wanting to move in different directions, every change from then on cost you more money. It becomes a bleeding whole in your limited budget.
So, stay lean and scrap together what you need to get a product out the door early and iterate as you get the money to spend on the things you need. At Australian Coastal Mountain Tours we are now able to provide a much larger depth of Tours across Victoria as with the new website has increased our ability to make customized touring packages around Melbourne.
Samuel Johns is the co-founder of Australian Coastal Mountain Tours a luxury nature based Tourism Company providing one day tours, two day tours and extended overnight tours into the surrounding regions of Melbourne, Australia. Recently expanded into providing extended 10 day tours along the east coast of Australia from Sydney to Melbourne.