Part 4: 5 trending, income generating activities to consider
Read time 6 minutes
Next to kitesurfing lessons we see many schools offer additional activities to generate income and improve customer relationships. Here are 5 trending and income generating activities you should consider:
1. Year round activities for the school: Trips
Offering trips and holidays has become an important side activity for almost all schools with the survey showing that over 80% of you are organizing and/or offering holiday packages with accommodation.
Our tip; the purpose of you organizing/offering a trip must not be to make a margin on the trip itself but to establish a closer relationships with the participants (your ambassadors), to generate content for your social media channels and to boost long term sales. Just give it a try, start small and invite your friends!
2. Rising star: Guided downwinders
We expect an increase in schools that offer guided downwinders. From our research we noticed that most of the schools will start organising downwinders this season. About 50% of the school already did that last season but 75% of all the schools will organise guided downwinders this year.
Our tip: An significant change that will be noticeable in the school scene as we expect schools to promote this activity. Adding or combining additional activities such as barbeques, film nights or simple drinks around that same downwinder might give that extra layer of diversification to stand out from the other schools.
3. Specialized niches: Hydrofoil specialists and coaching local talent
Hydrofoiling: (with a closed cell depower foil or a Leading edge inflatable kite) has turned from a hype into a more accepted discipline. We do however spot a decrease in schools offering lessons in this specialized discipline as the equipment is generally expensive and/or not as easy to use.
Our tip: Hydrofoil clinics remain a possible lucrative niche that might be worthwhile to specialize in. The technology is improving rapidly making the discipline more and more accessible for schools and intermediate kiters. The discipline it itself is appealing to the seasoned kiter looking to expand their riding possibilities / time on the water.
Training kite instructors: whilst the kite sport is still one of the most fastest growing sports, the need for well-educated and trained instructors grows along. While offering instructor courses is a way to stand out of the crowd and generate additional income, our tip is to balance cost VS benefit. Becoming an IKO licenced examiner requires time and money.
Youth Talent Program: every kite sport and school has raised its own “local heroes” and “legends” and these are good for business because they are the best ambassadors you can find as they love to share their experiences with the world. Bonding with them once they are “famous” might not always be successful as the link has not grown natural. It does need a better than average kiter to inspire the young talents but it is a great way to generate publicity, content and attract newcomers to the sport and the school in the long run. Just 20% of the schools offered a talent program last season so there is potential for your business.
Our tip: organise small, local events, simple formats of trick perfection sessions (might be aided by video analyses, most smartphones nowadays can do slow motion), a local low key competition, a photoshoot session with a local (semi) professional photographer and a trick clinic of a local hero and you already have 4 ideas to put on the agenda. Host an after surf barbeque for the kids and their parents to enhance the bonding!
4. Benefit from the possibilities of your locale
Being able to inspire wind enthusiasts with more than kiteboarding alone depends on the location of the school and its natural environment. Sup lessons, power kite clinics, wave surfing, snow kiting and land boarding still remain a steady option to generate income from customers who don’t want to enter the water with a kite. Especially power kite clinics, snow kiting and land boarding are viable alternatives as they can be made quite accessible as these alternatives don’t require large investments.
Our tip: Small 2 or 3-line powerkites which are built to last wont set you back too much financially but are perfect to teach kite basics to kids and/or other beach goers that are not necessarily looking to go kitesurf but might be in the market for a couple hours of kite flying fun. As a bonus, these small kites are quite easy to sell and might just trigger the itch to get into kiteboarding!
5. The overlooked alternatives: Combinations
Snow kiting + trips = more income: For many schools snow kiting is not possible because the lack of snow or a suitable location nearby. But that is basically the only missing link as many potential customers already have skies or a snowboard and thus experience with skiing and boarding. It is not hard to imagine what the opportunities are if we combine the trend of kiting holiday/trip organising schools and the increasingly popular snowkiting discipline.
Our tip: Start out with the basics, go on a snow kite trip yourself, bring some friends and invite some customers. Starting small minimalizes the risk, organisational pressure but prepares the foundation, making it easy to scale up.