Working hand in hand – The success of a vibrant network
Working hand in hand is the key to success, especially for single-acting entrepreneurs like most Nature Guides are. Therefore, we decided to set up a website-series of possible partnerships and hands-on cooperation between Nature Guides and network partners to show opportunities for enlarging the benefits for all Nature Guide Network parties.
Part two: Kayak rental FAMILYday in Cewice / Poland
Especially in the beginning, reliable partners build the basis for starting your business as a Nature Guide. That is also the experience of Michał Kulesza, who has started tour guiding in Pomerania not long ago. Surrounded by lots of rivers, he found a suitable niche for his favorite activity. His passion for kayaking and exploring geomorphological and hydrological features in the environment brought him to the idea to offer guided kayak trips to tourists.
Of course, he relies on suitable boats and equipment for that. Since he does not own his own boats yet, he usually borrows single kayaks from rentals like the entrepreneur “FAMILYday”, owned by Wojtek and Marzena Reclaf from Cewice. This company usually rents their kayaks directly to their guests, the cooperation with Michał is rather a novelty but already works out well. Beforehand, Michał was looking specifically for rentals that provide single kayaks, which are more suitable for trips in small individual groups. Further, he searched only within a radius of 100km in order to stay on a regional level. These factors already limited the offer. Under those circumstances, Michał was even happier that he could develop his partnership with FAMILYday. It all started with his private usage of their kayaks, their friendly and amicable counseling and the idea to start offering his own tours.
Michał describes the relation with the canoe rental as something more like a friendship. He knows that he can always contact them and will be provided with professional, qualitative and modern equipment. The rentals, on the other hand, know that their kayaks are in safe hands and support Michał’s idea of small tours, even though they could probably make more money with large groups or double kayaks. His example shows: It is not always about formal cooperations – trusting each other and knowing that one can rely on one another is the key.
The idea of own tours was born, the right equipment was at hand but how to continue? Luckily, Michał was also friends with Sebastian Tymecki from Człopa, who supported Michał to gain the required skill for tour guiding on kayaks.
Sometimes, the right equipment and especially single kayaks can be hard to find in other places in his area, Michał says. As a last resort, having alternative partners in the region like the kayak school “Szkola Kajakowa” from Resko and “Agroturystyka Dolina Studnicy” from Kawczyn, helps him through peak times of high demand.
As this example shows, the dream to start working as a Nature Guide started with a private contact to a kayak rental that probably turned into a familiar long-term cooperation. Of course, it can also go the other way round: If you want to establish yourself as a new Nature Guide, it is essential to constantly get in contact with different relevant actors connected to the aimed activity, to finally build up your network slowly and to find trustable contacts.