"As soon as I got off the plane in Phoenix, I knew I had found my version of Paradise."
That's what this now-69 year old woman from the Midwest told me. That was her lead-in for discussing with me her tentative plan to launch a tour-guide business.
After she settled in 30 years ago, she got her kids enrolled in school, landed a job, and spent weekends visiting typical tourist attractions such as Tombstone, Arizona. She, her husband, and three kids rode the authentic stagecoaches. They read the writings on every gravestone. And they stayed in bed and breakfasts.
Soon enough she had started her own B&B in her house. "It was like a continuation of those great weekends."
That side B&B went great for years. Then her husband became ill. He couldn't pitch in with the reservations and serving the guests. The kids weren't interested in the family business. So, that was the end of that.
In its place, she went back to weekend trips. Instead of the husband and children, now grown, friends joined her. Over and over again they praised her knowledge of facts about the area.
You got it. They kept encouraging her to start her own tour service. Simple stuff, like day trips. She began talking to others with tour businesses. They told her what to avoid. For example, lots of stress is reduced if you have those on the tour make their own eating arrangements. Sure you can recommend several dining places. But don't be responsible for booking so many reservations.
Among her next steps is calling SCORE. That's the group of retired executives which provide free advice to small businesses. She needs to ask them about what kind of license and insurance she would need. I offered to help with bringing her up to speed on leveraging social networks and social media for marketing.
I have a hunch this will be Fun Business Number 2.