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**Please help** Start-up mountain business needs your views!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
To be fair dealing with dp's challenges will be a diddle compared with a stressed alpha dad going postal over his £400 vid where young Orlando's mad skillz don't seem to have been captured properly.


Dealing with alpha dad will be nothing compared to dealing with dp snowHead NehNeh

Filled out survey but similar queries/criticisms as others have raised. Seems that rather than being as business plan stage this is more about testing whether it's worth progressing it that far. Personally I wouldn't want to drop 400 notes on a video, but then I do all my trips for under a grand all in (travel, food & pass included) so I'm clearly not a target. Trouble is that I don't think you'll have the time to be able to drop the price much. If you're taking a day to ski with them and a day to edit then you aren't going to want to do it for much less. However at that price I can't see you having the number of regular clients to keep you busy. Plus it's a seasonal business in a seasonal pastime. You aren't going to have them queuing out the door to get video if there's nothing but hard pack man-made.

I agree with dp's point, do it because you enjoy it rather than something you expect to make a living off.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
dp wrote:
... Chopping and changing depending on what one forum of skiers says, to me demonstrates that you are not firm or confident in your business plan. ...


We're not all skiers.

wink I've sold people quite a bit of my advice on business matters, and it never occurred to me to suggest that they're showing some sort of weakness.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My brother tried a similar business in Breckenridge about 20 years ago.

He had been working in London for a large advertising company, filming/cutting adverts for them. Loved snowboarding so went out with a mate to Breckenridge for a couple of ski seasons to see if they could make it work. Similar to you he had a done a couple of good videos for groups of friends on ski trips, and he was very good at the shooting/editing/soundtracks stuff.

Once in Breckenridge I think they successfully sold about 2 video packages in the end. He ended up DJ-ing in a nightclub to pay the bills whilst his mate worked as a handyman. I suspect that they weren't the best at the marketing/promoting the business side of things, and as such I wouldnt say that this is a completely unreasonable idea. However, both of them didn't regret it for a second - essentially what they were really looking for is an excuse to do a few seasons. If the business had taken off then great, but I doubt they ever saw it as much more than a lifestyle business.

If you are going to do a season then give it a go - why not. And as you say its worth pursuing a dream - you never know!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I don't see this working for any number of the reasons listed above + I don't think it's scalable. GoPro's litter the helmets/slopes for those already interested so you would have to be selling a service to a group to make sense. Which might mean dealing with the ski schools - the French/Austrian/Swiss ski schools probably. And we all know how inviting and compassionate they can be ....... As soon as they see any potential in the idea they will nick it and cut you out. Since you have already said the 'guide' won't be official I can also see you falling foul of the local ski patrols and rozzers. They could well judge the addition of a camera as a not-too-subtle attempt to get around the guiding rules. And you already have all those annoying picture takers hanging around the top of ski lifts in many resorts. All it would take is an extended memory card for their DSLR, the flick of a switch and some skis and they could be offering the same service for a reduced price. Probably the best way to approach it is to go via Chalet companies. I can see it working as a 'free' add on to a group stay IF you can get the thing shot and edited in a day (cap and tail with shots of the chalet/on-piste meal, etc.etc.). That may play but I suspect the numbers will be tight once the Chalet company takes a wedge. If you can get a meal out of them at the same time it might be worth it.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
tjgadd18 wrote:
My brother tried a similar business in Breckenridge about 20 years ago.

He had been working in London for a large advertising company, filming/cutting adverts for them. Loved snowboarding so went out with a mate to Breckenridge for a couple of ski seasons to see if they could make it work. Similar to you he had a done a couple of good videos for groups of friends on ski trips, and he was very good at the shooting/editing/soundtracks stuff.

Once in Breckenridge I think they successfully sold about 2 video packages in the end. He ended up DJ-ing in a nightclub to pay the bills whilst his mate worked as a handyman.


Ha - small world - was he staying in the seasonnaire annex/garage at Rocky Mtn Snowboard Tours? I did a trip where I rode with a lot of those guys and I always think of them when anyone punts the idea of a videography business wondering how they panned out. Now I know.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@dp, very harsh and just plain wrong in places - and yes I run a business
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
manicpb wrote:

You make some valid points but still stand by working at a reduced price.

I only work for free for very good mates. Ask any self employed tradesman what he does if work is slow and the answer will 9/10 be the same...do a couple of jobs at a cheap rate!


I'm a self employed professional. I have never worked for cheap. Working for cheap lowers the going rate. It screws everyone. It also screws you, because people will expect you to work for the same price that you charged them last time, or charged the person who referred them onto you.

Also, what do you do if somebody tries to book you for a full rate gig and you've got a freebie on the same day? You tell the person getting the freebie that they'll have to wait til next week, sorry.
What do you do if the same situation occursand you've got a cheap gig on the same day? Suck it up brother!

Horses for courses but I would never work for cheap. It's free (with expenses covered) or full price. Charging too little tells people that you don't think your work is worth the money. I think my work is worth the full price - so I charge it. If people don't want to pay it, they can go somewhere else. It works for me. Maybe your quality of work is just crap! Toofy Grin
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Fish_Head wrote:
@dp, very harsh and just plain wrong in places - and yes I run a business


Yeah because saying "yes do it don't worry" is actually the kind thing to do....

until the bailiffs knock on his door.

philwig wrote:
dp wrote:
... Chopping and changing depending on what one forum of skiers says, to me demonstrates that you are not firm or confident in your business plan. ...


We're not all skiers.

wink I've sold people quite a bit of my advice on business matters, and it never occurred to me to suggest that they're showing some sort of weakness.


Read what I said. In it's entirety. Don't cherry pick the bit you need to take a point out of context.

The point is... presenting your ideas, listening to advice, going away, using the advice to adjust your idea, looking at the pitfalls and the benefits, then presenting the new idea... that's OK. That's how you develop a plan.

Presenting your ideas, having 4 or 5 random people on the internet say "err bit expensive" then saying "OK I'll lower my price!" says to me that you never fully considered the price before and you're just trying to chop and change depending on what's in fashion this week. The right answer - in my mind - would have either been "No, I have given this serious thought and £400 is the right price for the product", or "OK thanks for your advice, I'm going to take it away and do some thinking".
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@dp,

"yes do it don't worry" I don't believe anybody has said or inferred that

"Until the bailiffs knock on the door" WTF?

Your cherry picking your own bolloc*s pal rolling eyes

Anyway, I'll leave you to it

All the best Very Happy
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Fish_Head,

I'm just saying... sometimes the truth isn't what people want to hear. That doesn't make it harsh. The truth is what is best for people in the long run.

Bailiffs... well plenty of people have lost their home or their car because their friends and family encouraged them to take up a crappy business plan.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@dp, chill dude!
I know you and I know you mean well but the rate you're falling out with people here, you'd think the thread was about Brexit!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I think you should give it a go. It will probably be harder work than you think, but if you're prepared to stick at it, you might make enough money to sustain a winter in the Alps.

For practice, you should come on a bash, and film us Snowheads!

Good luck anyway!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@admin sorry I just thought someone ought to tell the guy before he ends up mid-season unable to pay the rent.

I'm sure many of us here have set up business. I just thought like... obviously in his proposed line of work, his day rate is directly proportionate to his total turnover. So to see 5 posts and say "well I best change the day rate" just seemed complacent, as if he'd not really actually forecast his turnover against liabilities. I'm sorry if I came over harsh but I just want to see the OP take this seriously and truly work out what he needs to charge and whether this venture can actually work.

Nobody not least I wants to see him back on here in 8 months time seeing if anyone wants to take his apartment because he can't afford the rent, because he dropped his rate to £100 and with 2 or 3 days work a week, couldn't keep up.

As you know I'm rubbish at dressing things up to sound nice I just say what's in my head... it's a bit of a marmite trait. Some people ask my opinion because they want the bull-poo free version but plenty others don't ask at all... But there is no malice
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
On a side note - but Dave Marmottes did kind of touch on it with the alpha father comment: Very few people know what they actually want. They usually just see it and decide it's not what they expected.

I don't know how much editing you've done commercially. Be aware of charging an all-in price for editing. (IE £400 for recording and editing). The recording bit is fine - you're giving them a day of your time and if they want more, they have to book another day.

The trouble with the editing part is where you draw the line for how much time it takes you. You spend 4 hours making something look nice and send it then they say "sorry we're really not happy with this. We were really hoping you'd include that bit where (x happened) and also maybe that bit where (y happened) and we kind of wondered whether you could do an effect to make it look like (z is happening) and also could you use this song (which it will turn out is 4 minutes long for a 15 minute video and supplied to you as an appallingly compressed mp3 from youtube).

So you do your best to make what you think they've asked for and they're not happy with it either. It then just goes back and forth with you putting in 4 hours of your time per edit and them saying "actually we preferred the old version" etc etc. At what point do you draw the line?
When I was doing recording studio stuff at university, I charged 'per track' for mixing and once I did 16 mixes for a band before I finally announced in my work customer services impression that of the 16 there were only actually about 3 different sounding mixes and they were just being ridiculous now so they could either say thanks and accept it or take me to small claims. (they did the former but I never mixed anything else for them).

Just be wary of that. Do what you will with the knowledge... maybe put a cap on the number of edit changes included in the price or get them to sign a disclaimer to say they're giving you creative control and if they want changes then that'll be charged for. You could offer them an 'accompanied' edit session of 4 or 8 hours in your studio where they can come in and do the directing... but it costs more. So they get both options. But the sad thing about the world is that people... especially when they become clients, have a tendency to extract the urine. (Ask any tour operator...). So be prepared for people to try and gather as much value out of that £400 as they can!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
dp wrote:
manicpb wrote:

You make some valid points but still stand by working at a reduced price.

I only work for free for very good mates. Ask any self employed tradesman what he does if work is slow and the answer will 9/10 be the same...do a couple of jobs at a cheap rate!


I'm a self employed professional. I have never worked for cheap. Working for cheap lowers the going rate. It screws everyone. It also screws you, because people will expect you to work for the same price that you charged them last time, or charged the person who referred them onto you.


I can only think you work in an area that has an abundance of work with a shortage of your profession.

I, along with other tradesmen I work with have day rates for sub contracting which we'd prob never move on, however if we were pricing a job which had high possibilities of leading to more work we would certainly quote "competitively" (that's at a cheaper price in layman's terms)!

Likewise if I'm snowed under (no pun intended) or jut didn't fancy a job I'll quote high and if I get the job its worth the ball ache!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@manicpb, yep that's how I tend to see things working, construction industry (presuming that's what you do) has a weird ebb and flow though. Also people don't assume that you'll be cheap next time round just because you were cheap before, there's always enough variables to change price and people accept that workload has an influence.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@manicpb, @dp, I can see both sides of the argument and I think it does to some extent depend on what it is Your business 'sells'.

As an example I used to run an event photo company, our prices were based on a set model (basically we printed 1 of everything that we shot). We would often have people come towards the end of a weekend or evening and trying to offer us less because "You're only going to throw it away" (which wasn't strictly true because we held unsold but printed copies for a period of time in case there were any post event orders online).

Now in this case if we started discounting at the end of an event just to make a sale then over time (lot's of repeat events/customers) then people would just wait to get a bargain. We would never do a fire sale not even if it meant making a reduced profit or even loss as it sets a precedent. We did however do the reverse, buy before X time and you get a discount.

Horses for courses.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hey Snowheads snowHead wow you guys have been super busy!! Sorry for only just catching up on the thread - had a couple of hectic days with work...

Must say I've really enjoyed reading all your messages and the words of advice, encouragement, caution, and abuse all the same NehNeh Must say I wasn't expecting such an emphatic response, so once again would like to thank you all for your inputs - especially those who expressed doubt and scepticism because, for one thing, I've been through the same fears myself and it's good to know they weren't unjustified Smile and, for another, it's been a real wake up call and made me much clearer on what issues need to be addressed, and how much I need to put into this to make it work.

Ultimately, I feel I have to meet the challenge and chase the dream. Yes, it may be just a foolish dream, but I wouldn't claim to be anything greater than a fool - a fool who remains hopelessly in love with the mountains; with rising before dawn to carve out fresh lines in the backcountry; with riding beside people who live their lives with true passion, to share in the beauty, the adrenaline, and the silence with them.

The way I see it, I'm incredibly lucky just to be in a position to try out such a venture and I'll give it my all. And if, in the end, the dream is short lived. Well, damn, at least I had fun.

Thanks all once again, and happy riding always snowhead brethren...
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I did my first season waaaay back in 92/93 (I think) I mainly skied with a guy and his mate who had a similar plan to you OP.
They worked hard, played hard got left over food from our hotel and eventually did pretty well... Have fun.
https://www.rosswoodhall.com
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