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Ways To Make Money From: Outdoor Opportunities

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Outdoor Opportunities

FORGET ABOUT GETTING a suntan and queuing at the cinema for the latest film blockbuster. Summer is an excellent time to cash in on tourists and sun seekers.

Here are 20 excellent outdoor opportunities you could try:

  1. Be a mobile refreshments vendor

A roving refreshment kiosk is the perfect way to cash in from thirsty tourists lazing about in the park, on the beach, or queuing for amusement rides. Rather than lose their place or in the queue, many would rather pay you double usual price for a can of pop or an ice cream if you’re there’ in the right place at the right time’.

You’ll need some kind of ice box or bag to keep your merchandise cool – preferably one that’s reasonably comfortable and can be easily carried on your back, allowing you to reach customers on foot or by bicycle. Simply strolling along the beach will attract thirsty customers eager for your liquid refreshment.

While you can purchase drinks from the local supermarket and still make a profit, you’ll earn a lot more by visiting a cash and carry outlet and buying in bulk – you’ll find them listed in your phone book.

  1. Organize adventure holidays

If you’re adventurous you could establish and exciting venture taking customers to exotic countries where they can indulge in river rafting, mountain trekking, rock climbing and so on.

Another idea is to offer quests in search of mythical creatures such as Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster, incorporating other activities into the package. A trip to Scotland in search of Nessie may involve water skiing or mountain climbing, while a holiday in search of the Holy Grail could take enthusiastic holidaymakers to historic sites associated with King Arthur.

Ads placed in the Travel section of the weekend national newspapers are an effective way to market special interest holidays such as this. You could also advertise in fantasy magazines or via the Internet.

Your prices will have to cover travel, hire of equipment, food, accommodation and any entrance fees to historical sites, museums etc, but specialized holiday packages are generally more expensive than the standard two week in Ibiza. For the extra cost your clients would be getting a holiday of a lifetime which offered exciting pursuits as well as interesting and information excursions.

  1. Setup a boat excursions

If you own a motorboat, dinghy or canoe you’ll find guaranteed profits in hiring it out or conducting trips. For a basic rowing boat hire service fishermen will provide custom all year round, while tourists will offer lucrative trade during the summer. You might want to give thrill seekers a high speed run out at the sea, allowing them to experience the excitement of the ocean in safety and (comparative) dryness. Or, you could provide leisurely trips along scenic waterways many people never have the chance to drift along a peaceful river, relaxing in the gentle tranquility of a quiet summer’s evening (you could use that as an advert!)

When setting your price you’ll need to cover any fuel bills and other expenses and add your profit margin on top. Look at what similar services in your area (if there are any) are charging. For a trip in a small motor boat you can charge around $30 an hour, whereas $5-$10 per hour is right for a small rowing boat. Anything up to $200 per family is the going rate for a weekend trip or break.

Advertise this venture in riverside pubs, fishing shops, on the beach and in the local paper. Make up flyers and hand them out to passes by, and put up at least one attractive sign close to where the trips start. Contact your local council regarding obtaining the necessary permits. You’ll require public liability insurance, and your vessel will need to be insured too.

  1. Become a plant sitter

A plant sitter is like a baby sitter, except instead of having to endure hours of Teletubbies videos and unpleasant nappy ordeals you just need a watering can and a gardening reference book.

To avoid returning to a withered, lifeless desert, plant lovers will employ plant sitters to water plants and / or tend their lawns while they’re away. This could be the job for you if you’re trustworthy and have a little spare time on your hands.

To advertise your service, drop leaflets around garden centres and through people’s front doors. Tell friends and neighbours to spread the word, and put up some cards in shop windows. Charge a daily rate of around $5 – you could offer discounts for weekly or fortnightly sessions.

The owners will probably brief you on what needs watering and when, but if not, all the information you’ll require can be found in a decent gardening manual. Normally you’ll be asked to tend and water plants in your clients’ homes (don’t forget to ask for they key) so you’ll need some form of transport. Alternatively you could bring potted plants back to your own nursery where you can care for them in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Run trips to seaside

Everybody loves the seaside, but many can’t visit it as often as they’d like. That’s where you might come in. By organizing seaside day trips you can bring a ray of sunshine into people’s lives while establishing a profitable business.

You’ll need a transit van (hire one if necessary to save on start-up costs). Ask your local council or the DVLA for information about obtaining a passenger license. Also consult your insurance company and a solicitor about getting the necessary insurance cover.

Next you can begin targeting prospective customers. Consider nurseries, retirement homes, office groups, community organizations, social clubs, colleges and youth clubs, disabled groups, large families… the possibilities are endless. Offer customers a block booking discount if they can fill all the seats in your transport. Another effective sales incentive is to offer a free seat to someone booking, say, ten or more customers.

As well as contacting organization directly you could try putting up posters in shop windows and community centres, leaving leaflets in tourist information offices and gift shops, and placing ads in the local paper and tourism / travel guides.

  1. Sell beach souvenirs

If you’re creative you could make souvenirs to sell on the beach – perhaps necklaces and jewelry made from shells, or badges, bookmarks and scarves bearing the resort’s name.

As your products will be hand made you can sell them as unique mementos of the holiday. You could either set up a small stand on the seafront or display your goods on a board which can be carried along as a mobile advertisement.

  1. Boat bottom cleaning

They may be in the water but that doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty. The underside of a boat can get encrusted with marine life and aquatic scum over the years, which needs to be cleaned off.

If you have diving skills and equipment, boat bottom cleaning could earn you a fortune, Traditional methods – hoisting the vessel out the water – are expensive. A diver with the correct cleaning gear can do the job considerably more quickly and cheaply, and with far less hassle.

Consult a reputable marine establishment for information on the cleaning equipment to use and then set about marketing your business. Get cards printed and hand them to boat owners, and put them up on notice boards at boating shops, chandleries and yacht clubs. You could also advertise in specialist magazines, ensuring that the cleaning rates you charge are noticeably cheaper than traditional dry clock methods.

Once you’ve built up a client base you should contact them annually to suggest recleaning the vessel.

  1. Sell rain proof clothing

It’s a typical scenario in the UK. One minute you’re soaking up the sunshine, while the next, you and hundreds of others are rushing for shelter as the hail and thunder pours down in biblical proportions.

A great way to make money from this climatic confusion is to have a stand of disposable kagoules on hand. They are cheap, can be carried around in a pocket or bag, and are not necessarily unfashionable. Due to their minimal features and disposable nature they’re inexpensive to buy – specialist outdoor equipment wholesalers are the places to get them from.

Carry a pack of 20 or 30 with your and hand around popular resorts waiting for the clouds to darken – as they’re bound to do eventually. Sell the ‘make do macs’ for around $2-$3 to tenacious sun seekers waiting for the shower to pass over.

  1. Be a professional busker

Contrary to popular opinion, busking can provide a decent second income if you’ve got the talent and outgoing personality.

Busking is street entertainment, so remember you have to actually entertain people. Learn popular songs and involve your audience, getting them to sing along and join in. Try incorporating a gimmick into your act to encourage participation – perhaps a short song about the town or resort, that everyone can join in with.

It’s possible to make a good living out of busking in the summer if you can find and area populated by tourists and /or young people and do a regular performance. After a few days you’ll begin to build a regular following. You could ask a friend to circulate among the gathered throng accepting donations while you entertain.

It’s a good idea to contact your local council and enquire about a busking license. In some popular areas a license must be purchased in order to perform.

  1. Be a walking advertisement

In the hot summer months many organizations employ members of the public to dress up in a costume the publicize their product / service / attraction in the high street or on the crowded beaches. You could undertake this role, entertaining shoppers and handing out flyers.

Of course, being decked out in a thick plastic out-fit on a scoring July weekend has its downsides, but you can make a healthy weekly wage if you can stand the conditions.

To find work as a walking advertisement simply go from shop to shop and speak to the manager. Also approach company bosses by telephone, getting their numbers from the phone book. Local tourist attractions, theaters and show organizers often employ people to walk the streets handing out flyers and generating publicity, so be sure to contact these people.

  1. Organize nature walks

People love to walk, so you could arrange to take people out on themed nature walks enjoying a leisurely stroll through Britain’s remaining greenery.

You’ll require an ability to plan journeys along the best routes and to navigate your group, reading maps and offering relevant information as you go. You might take an outing every Sunday, leading your group around attractive countryside. You’ll need to provide transportation for any members of your group who don’t have a vehicle, or organize ‘travel companions’ – customers who provide lifts for one another.

Your fees will need to cover transportation costs, maps and tourist brochures for each destination about $5 to $10 per person is reasonable.

Advertise your walks in outdoor shops, nature magazines and in busy urban locations where the prospect of a peaceful stroll will really appeal. Also use tourist information offices and notice boards in libraries and museums to attract customers. Getting a ‘Blue Badge’ award from your local tourist board will give your business extra credibility.

  1. Sell sunglasses

Sunglasses are ideal products to sell at the beach because they are so light and small. You could easily carry 30 pairs around on a mobile stand. By selling them around $3 each you could make up to $90 a day!

You can purchase cheap plastic sunglasses from wholesalers at relatively little expense, and then mark them up by two or three times the purchase price. They will still stand out as a bargain to customers who’ve left theirs at home or sat on them in the car. Euro-Optics UK (Tel: 0181 963 1885) and The Vision Optical Company (Tel: 01580 715598) are two wholesalers who sell sunglasses in bulk.

  1. Organize a festival

Local music festival are always popular and can be highly lucrative enterprise. Contact local bands and have seven or eight play throughout the day (get them to play for free in return for the exposure). You could also put on local comics and poets to entertain the crowds.

A pub garden, park, car park or even a farmer’s field might be suitable for staging such an event. Ensure it has suitable access and won’t turn into a quagmire if it rains.

Organizational time and costs shouldn’t be underestimated, but neither should the profit. You may need to organize staging, seating, a PA system, drinks license, and other sideshows and attractions. Booking a local celebrity to give a speech and present an award to the best act will help generate local enthusiasm for the event and draw in the public.

Advertise wherever possible: the local paper, in schools, on the radio; and leaflets people in the street. A reasonable entry fee of around two pounds should encourage people from all walks of life to savour this unique event.

Increase your earning by allowing food and gift vendors to set up stalls. You could charge a standard fee, or arrange a percentage of their profit as payment.

  1. Be a little picker

Offering a litter picking service to owners of popular resorts, attractions, caravan parks, holiday centres and the like, is a good way to earn some summer funds.

Expect to charge at least $5 an hour for this. The only equipment you’ll need is a litter picker and a constant supply of bin bags.

You could also offer your services to the owners of famous landmarks such as churches and mansions. Picnic areas too, many of which are owned by the local council, become soiled with the wrapping of sweets and sandwiches, spoiling the scenery and putting off others.

  1. Set up a cycle hire service

Bicycles provide a great alternative for tourists to explore the local area without spreading a fortune on petrol or searching all day for a parking space. By purchasing a range of cycles suitable for any age and gender you could establish a successful hire service. You can pick up excellent cycles at incredibly low prices at government auctions – you’ll need around 10-20 bikes to get your venture on the move.

If possible, locate your business near a campsite, caravan park or hotel to attract custom. Advertise in the bar and entertainment lounge and leave flyers under the windscreens of vehicles. You could leave information in cycle shops and even in city car parks (especially if they are full and turning vehicles away). Your service will also appeal to environmentalists, so peddle your business in the kind of places they frequent.

  1. Run hot air balloon excursions

If you and a group of friends can raise the capital to invest in a hot air balloon you could make a fortune providing one or two hour flights for rich customers.

You’ll need to purchase the balloon and a transporter, and pay for lessons to learn how to fly it. Your initial outlay will be expensive, although once qualified you can charge $100 per flight, earning $300 to $400 a day!

Chartered flights will bring in the most money, but you could also take aerial photographs of houses and towns and sell these to local populace.

Advertise in the Yellow Pages, specialist magazines, and at fairs and important events, and hand out advertising flyers to interested onlookers. You could increase your market by contacting businesses and TV programmes, providing them with the ideal prize for summertime competitions.

  1. Start a car washing service

Going from house to house offering to wash people’s cars is a classic summer money maker. Make sure you appear presentable and eager, otherwise no-one will hire you. Charge between $5 and $10 per car, depending on the labor involved.

It’s well worth getting business cards or flyers made as it will make your service appear trustworthy and respectable. You can hand them out to potential customers, post them through people’s doors, get them put up in shop windows and leave them under windscreen wipers. If you do a really good job word will soon spread and the whole neighborhood will be requiring your services.

You’ll need a bucket, sponge, chamois leather and cleaning solution. A hose with brush attachment will also make life easier. If you can lay your hands on a mobile vacuum cleaner you could also tidy the interior of the vehicle. To really impress your customers why not provide a full interior and exterior valet service? You can charge upwards for $15 for this.

  1. Start and outdoor exercise class

An outdoor exercise group will appeal to holidaymakers, pensioners and children alike. A gentle workout on a sunny beach is far more pleasant than sweating away in a gymnasium, and it acts as a social occasion, allowing people to chat and make friends. You could even take your group on jogging and cycling excursions, giving people the chance to explore the local countryside.

This idea is perfect for the summer months. Contact existing exercise classes and discuss your proposition – they may be interested in employing your services as an extension of their class.

Alternatively, go it alone. Advertise in shop windows, sports clubs, the local paper, tourist attractions and accommodation. Either yourself or a friend could hand out flyers to passing tourists and locals – make sure the time and date of your class is clearly printed on it. An attractive sign is always a good idea too.

  1. Make and sell kites

Kites are easy and inexpensive to produce, making ideal presents with which to entertain children on the beach or during a picnic. Get a book explaining how to build the kites from a library and then customize the designs with imaginative graphics.

Next take a selection of your products along to popular resorts and sell them to anguished parents trying to entertain demanding youngsters. You could ask a friend to fly one of your kites next to you as an advertisement for your designs.

By selling your kites for around $5 you’ll easily cover your production costs and make a tidy profit.

  1. ‘Baywatch’ advertising.

Although not to everyone’s taste, getting some models in skimpy bathing costumes to promote a product or service is a tried-and-tested attention-getter. Setting up a service employing attractive people to strut and pose around crowded beaches / parks / shopping centres advertising your client’s business can therefore be extremely lucrative.

A classified ad placed in the local paper is a good way to recruit ‘models’, or you could simply approach people in the street. To find clients, contact them by telephone or in person, explaining a shop having its summer sale, a venue looking for people interested in attending a show, a tourist attraction offering a new ride, or a firm launching a new product.

You could charge daily rates of $200-plus for this. Pay the models $20 each and you’ll pocket at least $100 in profit.

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