All adventure sports business models should be centered around safety practices. People should have confidence by seeing the practices in operation, and know that they are in safe hands. This is the most important factor in building up business around adventure sports.
Let us take an example, we at Jumpin Heights, attach paramount importance to the safety aspects. We ensure safety by hiring services of technically qualified adventure sports experts with years of experience of operating these sports in New Zealand.
The obvious question could be “Why New Zealand”?
The answer is, New Zealand is the country which commercialized Bungee; in other words New Zealand is the country where Bungee was conceived. Needless to say, they have also set benchmarks in safety standards.
That is why; Jump Platforms have been designed by a team from New Zealand. Technically qualified Jump Masters, with years of experience in New Zealand, have been brought in to handle operations.
Therefore, we ensure safety by making sure we have a highly experienced crew, high level of training, good quality bungee jumping cords, the best equipment and procedures in place, as well as a number of checks and counter checks and very thorough inspection schedules.
- One must invest in sourcing equipment from globally reputed companies. Strict adherence to inspection schedules and phasing out equipments on a timely basis is very important. Any violation of safety guidelines could have serious implications in adventure sports. That is why ageing equipment should be promptly repaired if the need arises or be replaced if it is in a highly compromised state. But under no condition, sub-standard or unfit equipment should be used.
- Periodically training the staff in rescue operations helps in case of emergencies. The staff needs to be highly motivated and well- trained. Training manuals and procedures should be in place from day one. These manuals need to be continuously updated and staff be given refresher training on regular basis so that they are ready to deal with unforeseen circumstances and precious time is not wasted. Safety procedures should have well defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and these SOP's should be strictly followed if need be.
- A good infrastructure that is systematically organized with a proper briefing procedure; boosts the confidence of the customer. So, apart from good facilities and clear communication with the guests; smooth functioning of this setup make the guests feel that they are in a safe environment.
- One must not forget that this is not a production factory. So, one must not increase numbers for the sake of money. The organization has to ensure strict discipline at all steps and should not deviate from the numbers that the system is designed for. As a thumb rule, safety should always take precedence over monetary considerations.
- In adventure sports, the Return of Investment (RoI) is mainly through positive word of mouth. This method is highly rewarding even though it is quite time-consuming. Entrepreneurs who plan to enter this arena should plan for long gestation period even in their basic business plan. They must also plan on how will they tide over initial cash crunch situations and look for investors if such need arises. So, one must be prepared to wait long before achieving profitable returns.