Can we build a profitable business in 52 weeks with an investment of $10,000?
Keith & I talk about different businesses all the damn time. Too much, honestly. A lot of it is a waste of time. We have talked a lot about outdoors companies and experience companies because these are things we both like.
52 Trails grew out of that. The idea (today) is that we are building a community about hiking trails and that includes trail guides about Arkansas trails and a couple of framed prints of trail maps and state parks. It's called a lot of different things linear commerce, content & commerce, community commerce, etc.
We have mapped out the plan like so:
Content budget: $50 per post x 52 = $2,600 on trail guide only content for a year
Most of the writers we have found online or knew previously and have an affinity for the outdoors. So far we have been a little loosey goosey on the content style and layout. I think we can get a lot of leverage here if we can really nail the content piece/map. It will help with SEO and referrals.
Our current distribution strategy is through weekly email newsletters. Each newsletter will contain the latest guide and also a product feature as well.
Getting sign ups will be the most important part of this whole equation. In later posts we will go through different tactics and trials/errors.
If we cant efficiently get the right users to sign up through the primary distribution channel then we will have a difficult time getting the type of growth we need to make 52 Trails work.
“If you write it and nobody comes, did you even write it?”
We have budgeted $5,000 for email acquisition efforts.
Curation/merchandising/selling stuff…. We have lots of ideas and not a lot of conviction.
We like framed decorative trail maps, playing cards, technical gear, apparel, etc. There are lots of directions to go here and we will try a lot of stuff. In the beginning we are starting with a few prints.
We are also trying to use all no-code or low-code tools and solutions since neither Keith nor I are coders. So far, our stack is webflow for the content frontend, shopify for our commerce solution, and klaviyo for email.
Our bet is that by the end of 12 months -- December 2021-- we can build a profitable (at least marginally)business for an investment of roughly $10,000.
We invite you to come on the journey with us!
Next up we will talk about text messages vs online and why we chose online.