As our country banded together to flatten the curve of Covid-19, the “safer-at-home” orders caused many in isolation to invent creative ways to stay active and social while self-quarantining. However, there are only so many board games and puzzles a person can take. Therefore, it’s no surprise stir crazy consumers are eager to spend more time outside as soon as possible. In fact, according to a recent Automobile Association survey, 40% of respondents plan to do more outdoor activities after the lockdown orders are lifted, with 62% of those outdoor seekers being in the 18-24 year age group.
3 Outdoor Friendly Business Ideas
If you love the outdoors and have always wanted to start a business relating to your outdoor passion, now is a great time to take advantage of the country’s desire for outside activities. Here are some outdoor business ideas and trends you need to know to get you running on the right path to business success.
1. Bicycle Culture Businesses
Although the car driving public may not like sharing the road, the reality is more and more cities are becoming bike friendly—establishing safer and wider spread bike lines accessible and connected to all neighborhoods. Cycling sales grew 31% to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to a new NPD Group report. COVID-19 has brought out the desire for families riding together for entertainment and fitness needs.
Several categories had unprecedented sales increases in March of 2020:
- Electric bikes up 85%
- Trailers & trail-a-bikes up 77%
- Transit/fitness bikes up 66%
- Children’s bikes up 59%
- Front suspension mountain bikes up 55%
- Gravel bikes up 20%
The news is positive for bike retailers and bike repair shops, but outdoor enthusiast entrepreneurs should think beyond the brick-and-mortar shops.
Outdoor business ideas and opportunities in this industry include:
- Outdoor bike rental stations
- Bicycle messenger businesses
- Bicycle food carts
- Bicycle guided tours
- Selling bicycle accessories
Millennials especially believe in “the power of the crowd and feel a strong need to be together,” according to a 2020 Forecasting Report from the Outdoor Industry Association. The report points to how millennials embrace community events and small group activities Bicycle tour/meetups are a great way for consumers to explore a city, town, or nearby parks/wilderness areas and interact with other people.
2. Outdoor Recreational Businesses
According to Civic Science, hiking, visiting parks, boating, and fishing were the outside recreational activities most likely to get a coronavirus-related boost. But in warmer weather, other recreational activities, such as camping, horseback riding, and rock climbing should also see a surge. Entrepreneurs should think of other business startup ideas that can help consumers “play” outdoors that respect the social distancing rules still in place. And with most people not yet comfortable flying, target local consumers.
The NPD Group reports camping, RV, and road trip essentials are already seeing double- and triple-digit growth, as fuel prices remain low and national parks and other parts of the country begin to reopen.
Results from the 2020 North American Camping Report in late April also show travel limitations have drawn more first-time and long-time campers. Near the end of April and beginning of May 2020, sales grew for camping basics including:
- Recreation tents up 30%
- Hammocks up 103%
- Camp sets up 119%
- Campfire equipment up 42%
- Grills up 74%
- Smokers up 94%
- Portable power kits up 87%
- Bike trailers and joggers up 133 %
Seeking refuge in the great outdoors means opportunities for those willing to teach and guide consumers in outdoor activities. From sailing to rock climbing, canoeing and backpacking, consumers are primed to explore more this summer and are seeking out adventures to get them out of their homes.
3. Outdoor Home Maintenance and Design
If you like working with your hands and yet still want to be outside, the number of opportunities are endless for startup business ideas. Most are not new ideas, but with more people confined to their houses, apartments, and condominiums the desire to fix or upgrade residences is growing. Long planned projects once on the back burner are being pushed to the top of the to-do list and small businesses are being called upon to step up.
Some more outdoor business ideas for skilled laborers include:
- Window cleaning
- Deck maintenance
- Roof repair
- Solar sales and maintenance
- Home painting
- Pool service
For entrepreneurs with a green thumb and/or environmental science backgrounds, now is a great time to start a gardening and landscaping business. Coined “pandemic gardens,” Americans have been buying seeds in record numbers for coronavirus-related reasons such as food shortages and spending more time in their own outside spaces. E-commerce data analytics show online sales of home and garden products grew by 63% from mid-March to mid-May and will need help creating gardens in small to large spaces. Deemed essential in most states, landscaping businesses were still allowed to perform maintenance duties while following social distancing rules. Now, the need will be even greater as the rules relax, and more consumers are comfortable having workers in their homes.
Starting Your Outdoor Business
Once you’ve decided what kind of outdoor business you want to start, you need to choose a legal structure to protect yourself from personal liability. Especially with an outdoor-related business, the risks of someone getting hurt and taking legal action against you are high. You can avoid most of the liabilities in running a business by incorporating or establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) to protect your assets.
Under the incorporation and LLC umbrellas, the business is a separate legal entity from the owners/members and therefore, its financial and legal responsibilities are also its own. So, if you form an LLC and someone sues the business or the company cannot pay its debts, the owners are typically not held responsible. Personal assets are at lower risk of being seized to pay legal damages or settle debt than they would be if the business were a sole proprietorship or partnership.
To learn more about incorporating your business, CorpNet is here to help. We handle all of the filings to start your business and keep it compliant in any state!
Contact us to save you time and money and get the peace of mind that your filings will be completed accurately, on time, and affordably with a 100% guaranteed.