April '18

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6 THE SHOP APRIL 2018 EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a two- part series on business opportunities pre- sented by the overlanding trend. See part 1 in the March 2018 issue of THE SHOP magazine. L ast time, we began the discussion about overlanding—self-reliant adventure travel to remote desti- nations, where the journey is the goal. If you're not already involved in this segment of off-roading, how do you engage this audience and make your shop known to proponents of this fast-growing pursuit? First, it's important to understand that four-wheeling and rock crawling are not overlanding. While four-wheeling and rock crawling test the limits of a vehicle, overlanding pits man against the elements, with camping as the chosen form of lodging while partici- pating in adventure travel. In overlanding, the journey itself is the main purpose. There are no trophies, awards or a finish line. In some ways, adventure travelers share much in common with backpackers, hikers and campers, in that you prepare your rig and yourself for the elements and equip your truck or SUV to be self- sufficient in the wild—often for extended periods of time. Realizing these fundamental differ- ences, you can appeal to this crowd with an approach that might seem somewhat different than what you are accustomed to. Don't despair—you are merely reaching out to an audience that may be unfamiliar with all you can offer, not only in the parts and accessories you carry, but the services that you can provide. TRUSTED ADVISOR ROLE When you go out into the community, particularly in a group or segment you may consider greener or more environmentally friendly in their views than perhaps your own, keep in mind they are enthusiasts too, and they still need a vehicle to get them where they want to go—and back again. Your emphasis should be on preparation, and who better than you and your shop to ensure they have what they need? In this advisory role, introduce the basics, but try not to lose your audience. They may have a general idea that a winch would be a good thing to have if they were to get stuck, Story and Photos by Jason R. Sakurai OVERLANDING How shops can engage adventure seekers. PART II 6 THE SHOP APRIL 2018 Adventure travel is all about the journey.

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