Business Plan — Rocky Mountain Sports Fishing, LLC

Business Description

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Definition of the Market

Services Offered


Marketing Strategy

Financial Management

Recreational fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, both for salt and freshwater. Conservative estimates show that there are upwards of 30 million individuals with more than a 1-2 time/annum interest in the sport. This has an overall impact on the economy of $125 billion (Williamson, 2012). Consumer demographics show that it is primarily a male oriented event. Mobility and technology have improved the sport in the last two decades, as well as maps, surveys, and handheld sonar and GPS devices. For this reason, as an organized sport, it is chiefly an upper middle and above income sport that also may require several thousand dollars in travel expense. There are even contests for ice and sport ice fishing in the U.S. And Canada.

Sport fishing is tied to the economy in our niche because of the income and equipment needed for a typical trip; Some clients, in fact, even rent small planes or helicopters to take them to high mountain lakes and/or fishing locations off the beaten track. Typically, ice fishing is a sport that has no direct competition; usually individuals who are fond of sport fishing often wish to have a winter activity of a sort as well, and spring/summer fishing remains popular due to ease of access and in combination with hiking and camping (Hummel, 1994).

Rocky Mountain Sports Fishing, LLC is a business that allows inexperienced fishermen the chance to experience the sport guided by professionals in the field. Because the company incorporates both ice fishing and lake/river fishing, the season is yearly. Additionally, because the Rocky Mountains include so many states, it will be possible to customize tours based on the strategic hiring of guides as opposed to an expensive brick and mortar location in any one fishing area. The combination of year-round and almost limitless availability of geographic area and the low costs result in a business that has a .

Additionally, because the Rocky Mountains include so many states, it will be possible to customize tours based on the strategic hiring of guides as opposed to an expensive brick and mortar location in any one fishing area. The combination of year-round and almost limitless availability of geographic area and the low costs result in a business that has a low barrier-to-entry ratio.

Business Description

Rocky Mountain Sports Fishing, LLC will fill the need for experienced and trained guides for both winter (ice) and spring/summer (fly and bait) fishing tours. Obviously, the ice-season is weather dependent, but may last as long as October through March, but will typically be mid-November to the end of February. The service will be unique in that it will partner with various sporting good and equipment manufacturers strategically designed to allow for equipment rental, new equipment trial, and other services designed to cross-promote the businesses. There are very few actual limits to either the growth of the business- it is entirely dependent upon clients/guides and interest. Each particular area of the country has retired individuals who have been hunting and/or fishing in their area for years — these people would make excellent guides. The market, as well, is open to fishing publications, partnering with resorts or other strategic businesses like outfitters, catalog merchants, and even eco-groups. Additionally, because the Rocky Mountains include so many states, it will be possible to customize tours based on the strategic hiring of guides as opposed to an expensive brick and mortar location in any one fishing area. Barriers to entry are relatively low; the key will be maintenance of professional and reliable staff and guides.

Market Definition

Fishing can be a way for family or businesses to bond in the outdoors. Very little equipment necessary and the barriers to entry are quite low. The key to success is continual customer satisfaction reporting, doing everything possible to pre-plan the event, checking the equipment, checking the conditions, and having an easy plan to implement for any activity desired. Rocky Mountain Sports Fishing is poised to move from a local, regional, and State level year round sport’s adventure to national and even international prominence.

Customer service is the idea or provision of service to the customer before, during, and after a purchase. While its importance varies somewhat on a sliding scale, depending on the product, in the case of RMSF, it is vital from a marketing perspective; return client template, and critically the health of the business. One business scholar said that it was “a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction — that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation” (Turban, 2002). To really “wow” the customer in this age of competitive markets, expectations must be more than met — they must be exceeded. In areas in which consumers have numerous choices and the competition is high — in the case of RMSF competing for the leisure dollar means “Because of the Customer, We Exist.”

The basic premise to Customer Service for RMSF revolves around the premise of the Customer Value Perspective. The customer must perceive that they are getting good value for their dollar spent, that it was worth their time and effort, and that there is a seamless integration between service, satisfaction, value, loyalty — and therefore the extension of the company into profit and longevity (Kotelnikov, 2001).

Recreational fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, with no fewer than 30 million individuals with more than a 1-2 time/annum interest in the sport. This has an overall impact on the economy of $125 billion. While numbers of individuals actually fishing have trended down over the past few years, the products and ancillary fishing gear markets continue to expand. In fact, 51% of anglers have a household income greater than $50,000 and one out of every 7 people say they enjoy fishing, making it more popular than golf or jogging (Williamson).

Services Offered

Rocky Mountain Sports Fishing is primary a service-based business that connects motivated individuals with the right guide or trainer to provide a unique and individualized experience in year-round fishing. Some clients may want a family vacation in the Gunnison Valley of Colorado, a 3-4 day outing with camping and fly fishing; others may want to bring a group of employees together for a retreat and incorporate ice-fishing into the mix. Although the title indicates “Rocky Mountain,” the service can literally be used anywhere there are fishing opportunities.

Because many of the clients will be in the upper income range, have the means to rent or own top-notch equipment, but lack outdoor training, or even fishing expertise. Nevertheless, it is important that these clients have a superior experience, and learn whether they enjoy the sport. Additionally, if the excursion is set up to provide a “larger than life” experience, the most important issue will be the client’s level of enjoyment and likelihood to become a regular and recommend the service. Each staff member will need to be trained/reminded about listening and interpersonal communication skills; they will need to remember patience, and do their best to remain supportive and non-judgmental.

RMSF can also couple fishing events with ecological and natural learning experiences since this type of venue is extremely popular and trendy right now. Combining this experience with ice-fishing will not only set the company out with a competitive advantage; it will take advantage of the free publicity that focuses on environmental problems. Partnering with State or Local activists groups to help clients understand the delicate balance of nature, to inform them about the ecological impact of the watershed, and to help them understand sustainable sport’s fishing will have a positive effect upon the overall experience for the client (Skorupa, 1991).

Organizational Management

RMSF will be a rather lean organization to begin, with many of the ancillary duties being subsumed by management. Guides will be 1099 contractors, and will vary from location to location, from season to season, but will all need to be appropriately vetted. The initial company will consist of 1-2 partners who will provide strategic direction, work to align the business with sporting partnerships, inspect locations, etc. Additionally, there will be a CFO/CPA who will handle, full or part time, the fiscal and payroll aspects of the business. One assistant will be hired to answer the phone, do basic administrative support, and liaison with marketing or advertising firms, etc.

Staffing, too, plays a key role in the eventual success of the business. At first, trips will likely be 2 per weekend done by the owners, or limited due to guide expertise and location. As business increases, though, a series of on-call local experts will not only enhance the client’s experience, but will put a positive light on the business from the local community. Support back and forth will allow for trust, long-term planning, and aversion to obstacles. Hiring local “flavor” will also increase marketing notice and .

Marketing Strategy

Finding the right clients is crucial, and doing something different will allow the event to be marketed as team building, power management, or educational. This may require some employees to become certified in various areas of expertise, but will allow the marketing to organizations of all sizes. The overall kkey to success is partnering with local fishing gear and sporting goods stores and staff. This will ensure a perceived level of expertise, and allow dissemination of marketing with very little fiscal input. Going to conventions in major cities, contacting travel planners, and business planning groups will provide planned revenue growth.

The company will need a where clients can inquire about specific trips, dates, locations, etc. This requires regular maintenance and upkeep in order to keep the site vibrant. Advertising in angling publications will be important as well, and the production of a professional brochure for display in sporting goods shops and/or mail outs is essential. In addition, within the overall marketing paradigm, it will be important to utilize customer-based measurement tools in order to achieve and maintain goals.

Financial Management

Because of the relatively low-barriers to entry for the business, and initial capitalization of $150-200,000 is suggested. This will allow the company to rent a small space, design and hire an Internet manager, fund initial marketing expenses, and pay for initial travel to locations for hiring guides. Assuming a $100,000 influx of capital, we will assume little or no income for the first 4 months, minimal income for months 5-8, and then beginning in month 9, nominal income. Trips, of course, vary by location, but can be averaged to $250/day per guest, including lodging and lunch (no airfare or unless camping package paid). Thus, we have:


# Trips with 4 people average

Gross Income

































Total 1st Year



Initial Capitalization


Year 1 Income




Equipment Capitalization










Employee Wages/Taxes


1099 Wages






Location/Staff Interview Trips



Year 1 Income


80% of projected


$ (488,750.00)

125% of projected


Thus, with conservative projections of 80% of projected income and 25% additional for expenses (125%) the end of year one should result in over $100,000 in profit, allowing a good start for Year 2.

Appendix A-Overall Strategic Plan

Monitoring/Controlling Strategic Plan

Planning session with CPA and Banker (if appropriate)

Use time off season to read, update or develop additional plans

Control and monitor costs for Apple site, Web site, checkout system

Find vendors to participate in coupons drawing, even event sponsorships

Daily monitoring of cash control

Weekly meeting and monitoring of bank issues, invoice, and checkbook

Ethical/Legal/Regulatory Issues

State licensees for fishing, catch limits, hunting

Private property issues

Ethical fishing practices, no explosives

Moral and ethical camping procedures, eye toward ecology

Appropriate levels of staff training

EMT certifications for at least one person on per shift

Contingency and emergency weather or disaster plan


Hummel, R. (1994). Hunting and Fishing for Sport: Commerce, Controversy, Popular Culture. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University.

Kotelnikov, V. (2001, January). Customer’s Perspective of Quality. Retrieved from E-Coach: guide / corsscuttings / bizsys_customer.html

Skorupa, J. (1991, September). Eco-Tourism Arrives. Popular Mechanics, p. 92.

Turban, E. (2002). Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective. New York: Prentice Hall.

Williamson, M. (2012, March). Angling Retains its Mainstream Appeal and Broad Economic Impact. Retrieved from American Sportsfishing Association:


Experience, Adventure, Corporate Training, Bonding

Core Business Model RMSF


Interface with Fish & Game,

State Issues,

State Clubs



Buy In,






Alliance, Recommendation, Participation, Interest