Hub Member: Jenny Davies - Snowdonia Nordic Walking

Snowdonia Nordic Walking

20 August

Snowdonia Nordic Walking brings a new form of exercise to North Wales. Established just before lockdown, the company had to put a halt on things literally just as they were about to begin, but owner Jenny Davies used that time to develop the marketing, work on getting feedback, and preparing for the time she was able to open. With lockdown now easing, and social distance measures in place, Snowdonia Nordic Walking is open for business.

Mixing the Nordic style of walking with the scenery and landscape of the region, the offer is a challenging and rewarding experience. Jenny has brought something unique to the tourism industry, showcasing a new form of exercise not only for visitors, but for local people who are keen to explore what’s right on their doorstep.

The idea was developed as an on-site business for campers, as a result of numerous requests for walking route ideas. Jenny spoke with friends who run activities in the region in order to gain feedback on marketing, and price points. She then sought advice from a Nordic Walking instructor who was happy to provide advice, and scouted the region for competitors. Sessions can be developed in Welsh or English, and the website is bilingual.

Having found no direct competition, she then set about developing the marketing and branding, as well as meeting the Outdoor Partnership to discuss collaboration, and help ‘mock’ sessions with a range of ages and abilities in order to gain feedback on the experience and the routes. Various local residents were also consulted for their feedback. The business was ready and bookings were being taken for March when, as has been the case for many, COVID19 put a stop to things.

However, this was seen by Jenny as another opportunity. The period was used to focus on online marketing, in particular through Instagram and Facebook. Snowdonia Nordic Walking as able to build up a following, and after receiving some feedback it was decided to add smaller ‘taster’ sessions to the experience as well.

“I have been approached during this time to trial and review walking shoes for a company who had seen my tweets and photos. This was a really proud moment for me, as the business hasn’t kicked off properly yet!” Jenny said. “If I could do anything differently, it would be to start sooner, because I’ve been left with no income and spent a lot on Facebook advertising, but I have been able to use this time to build up a network via the Enterprise Hub. I would recommend Instagram for marketing, and also advise others to speak to people about the idea – and accept constructive criticism. Cash flow charts are also essential; you’ll spend a lot on the outset to establish your business.”

Sara, Enterprise Hub Coordinator, said “Jenny’s done fantastic work, making the most of a bad situation and preparing her business so be ready to launch. We’ve provided business advice, and know that Jenny’s benefited from our networking events and inspirational speakers. We continue to provide these, virtually for now, and encourage anyone starting a business to come and see what we offer.”

The Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Funding through the Welsh Government.

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