How to Build a Sustainable Business Model

The Challenge: How do we scale? After the first 6 months, it was clear that we were on to something, and of course we were having the time of our lives, so we had to figure out a way to make it sustainable.

Every trip itself was profitable, but we still weren't making enough money to continue as-is. We realized that we had to scale in order to live our dream, and so the question became 'how, exactly, do we do that?'.

The Solution: It came down to some simple math: we divided our target revenue goal by the average price of a trip, and then divided that by the average size of a trip. This gave us the number of trips we had to run in one year.

We realized that our 13-person hiking trips, while some of our favorites, just couldn't scale reasonably, and so we focused more on the 50-person trips that could create a sustainable model. We still kept the lost leaders that we loved so much, but we didn't try to scale those; we scaled the trips that we knew could be scaled.

The Lesson: We didn't do this exercise just once - it became a quarterly ritual. When you're starting out, it's easy to get sucked into the day-to-day and continue on your current path.

But that's when it's most important to take a step back and do some math to make sure you're on the right track. We ended up changing our focus a couple of times before we felt we had it right, and I'm sure that if we hadn't, we probably wouldn't have made it to where we are today.

About Maia Josebachvili

Maia Josebachvili grew up watching too many Indiana Jones movies and decided at a very early age that she was going to try everything in the world once. Maia started Urban Escapes as an answer to every young professional's desire to "get out of the bubble".

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>