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Consulting Services for the Short-Term Vacation Rental Industry

Matching Skills to the Unique Needs of the Industry


One of the problems with any form of professional service is when the consultants have a steep learning curve to understand and apply their consulting knowledge to a particular industry.  Because consulting work and companies vary so greatly, consulting firms do a number of “One-Off” projects.  In this scenario, the engagement tends to be often consumed with getting the consultant up to speed on the issues and peculiarity of an industry.  Outdoor recreation, outfitting, adventure travel and eco-tourism companies have unique and often complex business issues.  Some of the heavier issues these companies deal with are as follows:

  • Seasonality and all the operating pains that go with it including staffing, cash flow, on and off season capacity of owners to market

  • Increasing and ever changing competition

  • Lightning bolt changes in e-marketing, web based advertising and other aspects of the new age of finding customers and the sheer difficulty of staying abreast and keeping pace with the changes

  • Complexity in dealing with public land agencies and the often resulting impacts on growth and profitability

  • Pricing competitively but profit oriented in saturated competitive markets

  • Succession planning and/or exit strategy

  • Attraction, retention and development of good people


Swan Mountain Consulting Group lives and breathes these operating issues every day managing their own group of outdoor recreation companies.  We have an insider’s view of the issues and have been able to utilize our strong consulting backgrounds to solve problems not only for our own businesses but for scores of others.


Specialized Consulting for the Short-Term Vacation Rental Industry

Swan Mountain Consulting Group has designed a portfolio of service offerings that are intended to go to the root of the issues.  We observed in our previous careers that larger firms seem to spend an inordinate amount of time administrating themselves which adds little value to the end user, you the client, but clearly adds cost to the project.  The fact is that most outdoor recreation companies or outfitters simply don’t have the budget for a monster consulting project.  Likewise, most consulting firms don’t have the structure and overhead design to be able to deliver small projects and on-going consultations.  As a boutique firm, Swan Mountain Consulting Group is happy to perform small projects and even brief consultations.  Outfitters and adventure travel company owners share a common attribute, they want, desire and demonstrated track record of trying to solve their own problems.  We often see the acronym “DIY” in our industry, meaning do-it-yourself.  Yet many owners of recreation companies just don’t have sufficient enough knowledge or more importantly, objectivity in diagnosing their own business issues let alone coming up with a game plan to fix them.



The mark of any good consultant is to quickly but thoroughly diagnose the issues a company is facing and then assist the company in creating a long-term solution that can and will be implemented.  Creating lengthy reports or having endless meetings has no place in the world of outfitting and outdoor recreation.



Swan Mountain Consulting Group has adapted most general service lines of consulting and specifically tapered them to outfitting, outdoor recreation, adventure travel and eco-tourism companies.  In our experience, we find that companies in these industries most often require consulting services in the areas of:  Business, Strategic and Succession Planning; Buy/Sell & Valuations; Marketing & Sales Including E-Commerce; Risk Management; Business Expansion & Acquisitions; Financial Management; Business Start-Ups; Customer Service & Operations; Personnel Planning, and; Litigation Support.


Proven Method for Project Management
Swan Mountain Consulting Group can be best described as a boutique consulting firm with a virtual workforce.   We are specifically designed with a very low overhead so that we do not have to increase rates beyond what the typical outfitting, adventure, outdoor recreation or eco-tourism company can afford.


All projects are managed by either Pat or Aubrie.  Once we assess the needs and specific projects to address the issues identified of the client, we draw on either our own collective skills and/or assemble a team by accessing the network of resources that we have been developed as a virtual workforce.  Our network consists of personal contacts that we have developed over the years that have content or topical expertise.  Think of it like a physician bringing in a specialist.


Of Our Consulting Model
We identify, assign and manage technical experts instead of the client
Technical experts are best utilized when assigned specific tasks with tight timelines and budgets
The overall firm pricing lacks heavy overhead as the firm does not carry the burden of full time experts that are typically used inconsistently in consulting firms

There is no training or apprentice component built into our service delivery.  Unlike large firms that use your project to train their people, we are not designed to offer services in that manner.  This results in lower delivery cost and higher value for each consulting hour worked.
The vast majority of our work is small projects and consultations.  Sometimes, owners of outfits, eco-tourism, outdoor recreation or adventure travel companies just need an experienced “mentor” to confer with.  We particularly enjoy playing this role as we believe it truly adds value.  If companies could afford the time and expense of having a board of directors that add insight and counsel to management they would.  But the owner/managed nature of the outfitting industry and often overwhelming seasonal structure of the industry simply prohibit it.  Having a confidant/counselor to tap into on an as needed basis adds not only value when needed, but controls cost.





Training Services
Good Advice Requires Training Support
A key component to implementation of any good strategy, business goal or objective is proper execution by the staff that is ultimately accountable for delivery.  This often does not happen because companies fail to train staff in a consistent and thorough manner that will ensure the accomplishment of the strategy, goal or objective.  Swan Mountain Consulting Group compliments the provision of consulting services with training services.  This often serves as the insurance companies need that the agreed upon direction the company will be taken will come to fruition.


Management & Employee Training
Swan Mountain Consulting Group specializes in training ownership, management and staff on topics specific to the needs of the business and typically in concert with the specific deliverables of the consulting project.  This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Topical seminars to ground participants in jargon and process

  • Strategy & planning

  • Leadership development

  • Risk management

  • Customer service

  • Comprehensive marketing

  • Financial management and accountability

  • Employee attraction development and retention

  • Conflict management

  • Roll out training due to retrofit, redesign or new service introduction

  • A new way of doing things

  • New service training

  • Manager development

  • Merger or acquisition assimilation

  • Project specific implementation training

  • Train-the-trainers

  • Work group facilitation

  • Conflict management

Swan Mountain Consulting Group believes more value is added by training key employees in an outdoor recreation company so they can in turn train the members of their organization.  This will imbed most principles into the organization and begin the process of stake holders taking ownership of those issues.

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