Today we’d like to introduce you to Brendan Robinson.
Brendan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the owner of Pacific Coast Kayak Tours, LLC based out of Coronado, CA. We provide fun, safe, and family-friendly kayak tours of San Diego Bay and the coast of Coronado.
I grew up in Marshfield, MA, a beach town about 30 miles south of Boston, and have been in love with the ocean since I was little. Swimming, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, etc. – I love all of it. I was even an ocean lifeguard when I was younger so I could work in an environment that I loved.
I went to business school and worked in the accounting and investment industries after college, but felt like I was missing something. My wife and I started Pacific Coast Kayak Tours so we could be on the water, meet and interact with customers, and hopefully share some of that passion for the ocean and water sports with people who are new to it.
We chose to operate as a mobile business, so we don’t have a store-front, but do all of our scheduling through our website or by phone, and we bring the gear to the launch sites and meet up with customers there. Being mobile gives us more flexibility to try out new areas, and it helps keep the prices down so customers don’t have to pay extreme rates to get a great experience.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My business background taught me to expect some bumps in the road (and there have been a few), but it’s gone pretty much how we expected. The biggest struggle has been finding a way to effectively market our company to customers without having to break the bank. We’ve used Groupon and Living Social, which is a great tool for getting our name out there, but those services cut our revenue down by almost 75% for each sale.
Additionally, the logistics of finding staff, and finding places to store our gear since we don’t have a store-front have been challenging. With a little creativity and hard work, we’ve been meeting these obstacles head on and hope to get through them as a stronger and more successful company.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pacific Coast Kayak Tours – what should we know?
We provide kayak tours in San Diego Bay and off the coast of Coronado. Our tours include a great amount of history about Coronado and San Diego, and we’re incredibly focused on customer satisfaction. The whole point of our company was to give our customers an unforgettable experience on the water, so our goal is to make sure that everyone on the tours has a great time.
What sets us apart is our dedication to making sure that each customer has the best experience possible. We make sure to help anyone who may be struggling, offer tips to make paddling easier, and really pay attention to how everyone is doing on the tour. After all, it’s their tour so we want them to enjoy it. We check in with everyone individually and as a group, we take breaks for pictures and to rest, and we will cater to the group if they want to spend more time checking out the skyline, the Hotel del Coronado, the bridge, etc.
Customers regularly tell us that we do a great job providing instruction for beginners, and making sure that everyone is comfortable and having fun during the tour. They also tell us that they appreciate how we keep them informed while coordinating tours and providing them with any needed information ahead of time, and that our prices are awesome compared to other tour companies in the area. We have a 5/5 star rating on Groupon and Living Social and our goal is to keep that perfect rating.
Some of our written customer feedback includes:
– “This was the best thing I did in San Diego… I would recommend this to anyone”
– “This was my first time kayaking for my boyfriend’s birthday and it was amazing. Brendan and Kellie were super helpful and super nice. I definitely plan on coming back.”
– “Excellent professional courteous service! I highly recommend :)”
– “The guide was so nice. Very helpful for beginners and very friendly experience. Would definitely do this again! We all had a blast!”
– “Had so much fun on our kayak tour. Would definitely recommend. The guide was so nice and friendly. Also, very easy to book.”
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Attention to detail is really important when running a business. There are so many different things that could go wrong if you don’t have your eye on the ball, and we try very hard to ensure that we don’t let anything fall through the cracks. Whether it’s making sure we’re up to date on licenses and permits, gear maintenance, maintaining our website, scheduling, working on the script of what to talk about while on tour, accounting, customer needs, employee needs, etc., we really want to make sure we have everything under control so the company runs smoothly.
Being attentive to all of these different areas, and putting work into each one really helps to drive the business toward success.
- All tours are about 2 hours – including some instruction at the beginning and about 1 hr & 45 minutes on the water
- Tours in a single kayak (1 person) are $55
- Tours in a tandem kayak (2 people) are $85
- Website: PacificCoastKayakTours.com
- Phone: 619-880-0067
- Email: PacificCoastKayakTours@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pacific_coast_kayak_tours/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PCKT.SD/
Pacific Coast Kayak Tours, LLC