A Look Into Our Cooler
All the best outfitters know the importance of embracing the seasonality of the outdoor adventure industry. It’s the same over here at Zebulon – we approach seasonality with intentionality, and we make the most out of our clients’ ebbs and flows with a special annual calendar.
In this blog, we’ll unveil the power of the annual calendar we designed to drive business growth and empower our smart-working outfitters. Read on to uncover the key phases of our client calendar, which when intertwined with our internal business calendar, help us all stay the course, conquer challenges, and achieve remarkable outcomes.
New Beginnings: Discovering Potential and Setting the Course
New client relationships tend to begin in October each year. This allows for sufficient time to analyze past seasons while also scouting things out for the next one. Between October and November, we help all clients reflect on their most recent season, sift through what worked well, what didn’t go so well, and what changes need to be made. We’ll then lay the foundation for a prosperous upcoming season and introduce goal-setting.
Strategy & Planning: Charting a Course for Success
By December and January, we’re helping our outfitters strategically map out the path to next year’s success. This includes identifying growth opportunities and refining business strategies to achieve optimal outcomes.
By the end of this stage, we’re getting our hands dirty diving into the trenches of targeted initiatives. These include pricing, trip profitability, wage structuring, leadership charting, employee-specific growth planning, and all things related to helping each client work smarter, have more fun, and make more money based on their unique needs.
Strategies and solutions that pop up during conversations with one outfitting client can quickly be adopted by another. This dynamic relationship helps our clients achieve results more efficiently and effectively than non-clients in the industry. Our clients tell us this solution-adapting is one of the most valuable benefits they receive when working with us.
Test the Waters: Assessing the Flow and Elevating Leaders
February and March are when we experiment, stress-test, and fine-tune initiatives to ensure preparedness and confidence before the start of the peak season. This is also when we’ll bring new leaders into the fold.
Want to elevate operating managers into strategic thinkers? Curious how to empower trip leads to embrace leadership skills focused around guide happiness and retention? Ready to educate key players around outfit finances so they, too, can take ownership in your outfit’s profitability and drive the funds available for higher wages, benefits, and bonuses? This is the time to do it.
Season Kick-Off: Launching with Confidence Into the Outdoor Season
In April and May, our clients are igniting operations, aligning teams, and executing our initiatives with precision as the season really gets underway.
Monitor & Recalibrate: Navigating the Rapids and Making Course Corrections
June and July are “all hands on deck” months, and it’s during this time we lift up outfit owners, executives, and top managers above the day-to-day rapids. We help our clients continuously assess market dynamics, monitor their outfit’s progress against their goals and the targets we set earlier, and suggest necessary course corrections to stay in line, all while remaining responsive to changing conditions.
Finish Strong: Riding the Rapids to a Triumphant Finish
In August and September, we leverage the insights accumulated over the last year. In this season, we capitalize on opportunities as they arise by optimizing and streamlining so everyone can end the season on a high note. This is a crucial time to provide recognition where recognition is due, pay bonuses to top earners, solidify the “stoke” culture, pinpoint cream-of-the-crop employees to retain next season, manage cash flow to maximize profitability, and more.
Behind the Scenes at Zebulon LLC
In addition to rocking and rolling with our clients year-round, we also prioritize two additional internal time blocks each year: conference season and continuing education.
Speaking to Our Values During Conference Season
Allow us to toot our own horn a little: When you combine our collective business expertise with our rock-solid track record of helping outfitters strengthen their businesses, plus our extensive industry knowledge and insider intel, and Zeb’s contagious positive energy, it should come as no surprise that conferences nationwide are interested in having Zeb as an expert speaker.
We take speaking seriously. This means between September and January each year, we devote multiple hundreds of hours to devising content, running the numbers, conducting interviews, and building engaging presentations. Then we practice everything over and over (and over again!).
Continuing Education: On the Hunt for Knowledge & Excellence
As a Certified Public Accountant, Zeb is required to log forty hours of Continuing Education each year. That’s a lot of hours! Even if we weren’t required to keep learning, you should know by now that we’d still do it anyways.
One of our core values at Zebulon is always maintaining a high level of excellence. One of the best ways to deliver on this is to keep our minds sharp by staying on top of the newest trends, tech, and innovations. So, each year throughout the summer and beyond, we make a point to invest in our knowledge and attend expertise-specific conferences and classes, soaking up as much learning as possible.
What Does Your Next Year Look Like?
By harnessing the power of a well-structured and annual calendar, we equip our beloved outfitters with the tools and strategies they need to adapt, flourish, and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the outdoor adventure industry.