4 Tips To Start Planning For The Fall

How to get ready for a productive & profitable hunting season amid COVID-19

Apr 9 #hunting

4 Tips to start planning for the fall

At Guidefitter, we want to help you in this time of pandemic and uncertainty. We are working hard to collect accurate, relevant information about loans, grants and other resources to protect and maintain your businesses. Here are four steps that will help outfitters in particular. These are things you can do now to look past this current crisis and plan for a better fall season. As always, we want to hear from you, so please post at the end of this blog if you have more info or experience that could help others in the Guidefitter community.— Guidefitter staff

Please note: Guidefitter has aggregated all information from external sources. This should not be taken as legal advice. A huge thank you to state outfitter & guide associations, industry associations, and others who are taking the time to communicate with their community. Together we will get through this. Resources are linked throughout the post & at the bottom of this page.

Build a Communications Plan

Reach out to clients

  • Let them know you care about their well-being
  • Communicate the latest state rules & regulations
  • Let them know you’re evaluating the situation and will stay in touch
  • Share the steps you’re taking to ensure your staff & facilities are CDC-compliant
  • Strongly recommend they purchase travelers insurance
  • Communicate any changes to company policies

Review your advertising

  • Are you paying for ads that can’t deliver right now? With so much uncertainty, consider adjusting ad creative, CTAs (calls to action), or pausing paid advertising all together
  • Keep a close eye on your social engagement - is your content aggravating people or offering them a moment of escape?

Communicate with your land management agencies

  • Determine the best way to stay in close contact as things change over the next few weeks
  • Understand delays and adjustments
  • Inquire about deferring payments
  • Estimate a lower proposed use which will directly impact your up front fees

Communicate with your staff

  • Similar to your clients, let them know you care about their well-being, communicate the latest state rules & regulations, and the steps you’re taking to be CDC-compliant
  • Realize that your staff is wondering if they still have jobs, if previously agreed upon start dates still stand, etc. - let them know you will stay in touch
  • Ask your staff to practice social distancing and let them know you’re doing everything possible to take care of them & the business

Evaluate Your Business Situation

Your finances

  • Take a clear look at your business & finances. Determine what your business can realistically withstand
  • Map out your financial obligations through the end of the year
  • Come up with a worst-case scenario, mid-case scenario, and best-case scenario and build actionable steps you can take for each

Your specific state

  • What is your state’s stance on out-of-state licenses & tag sales?
  • How will this affect your business?
  • What action can you take to ensure your business is able to accomodate your state’s specific rules & regulations?

Refunds & Policies

  • Determine how your business will respond to cancellations
  • Will you refund deposits in full, in part, offer re-booking options, or credit toward another booking?
  • Weigh all your options carefully when deciding your plan of action as this may directly affect your ability to keep your business afloat
  • Consider the short-term and long-term impact of your policy decisions - financials, client retention, reputation of the business, etc.
  • Be sure to put all policies in writing and share them with current & future clients

Understand and Consider Your Options

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • This loan is intended to help businesses maintain their workforce
  • If funds are used appropriately, the entire loan may be forgiven (i.e. you will not have to repay the loan)
  • Deep-dive into PPP here

Other Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans & Disaster Assistance

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network

Let Us Know How We Can Help / Ask Questions

Email your questions directly to

Post on the Guidefitter Community Feed. using the tags #COVID-19 or #Coronavirus - we will do our best to find answers to your questions or direct you to resources that may offer guidance

Find additional resources on the Guidefitter Blog.

Be part of the discussion in the Guidefitter Community Feed. We have created tags within our platform so you can ask questions, post resources, find topics you’re interested in, and join the conversation.

As professional guides & outfitters, you’re facing a unique challenge. If you’d like to narrow your conversation to guides & outfitters only, don’t forget that you can check the box that makes your post “visible only to verified guides & outfitters.”

Additional Resources:

American Outdoors Association - COVID-19 Guidance
American Outdoors Association - Webinar Recording (March 27)
Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association
IRS Tax Relief
Johns Hopkins University
Outdoor Industry Association - Webinar Recording (April 2)
Outdoor Industry Association - The Power of the Outdoors
Paycheck Protection Program: Here’s What You Need To Know (April 3)
Small Business Administration - Disaster Loan Assistance
Small Business Administration - PPP Loan
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network

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