National digital support programme greases wheels for mountain bike firm
A Scottish mountain bike business has achieved a 50 per cent surge in bookings compared to last year by employing skills developed through a national digital support programme.
With the help of Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost scheme, Ride in Peace Adventures (RIPA) was able to develop a high-quality website and integration of a new tour operating booking system, which allows a more user-friendly way for customers to book.
The founder of the Aberdeenshire-based company, Chris Roper, also attended various workshops to support increasing the brand’s following on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Nestled between Deeside, Donside and the Cairngorms National Park, RIPA offers mountain bike coaching, guiding, and riding adventure.
With a multitude of coaching and guiding qualifications under his belt, Roper initially approached Business Gateway in 2017 during RIPA’s launch phase, where he was signposted to a range of courses to help get his venture off the ground. He accessed support with business planning, bookkeeping and finance.
Now, as the tourism industry starts to reopen, RIPA plans to develop tours for local and inbound tourism across various communities in Aberdeenshire.
Roper said: “The pandemic has highlighted how useful social media is when you’re looking to grow your customer base, so this was a priority area for us during lockdown.
“Thanks to the clear advice and guidance given by the DigitalBoost team, I was able to develop a social media strategy and reach potential target audiences. RIPA bookings for the 2021 are looking strong considering the challenges we have all faced. We have also been able to develop a website that meets our needs, allowing us to enhance our efficiencies and spend more of our time delivering a quality experience for our customers.”
Maryann Bove from Business Gateway, said: “Chris’s passion and vision for mountain biking coupled with his industry expertise is what sets RIPA apart from competitors. By working with our expert team, RIPA has been able to adapt to a virtual world and is now in a stronger position to reach new customers and raise brand awareness.
“Despite restrictions easing, digital channels and communicating online with customers will continue, so we would encourage all businesses to assess their current platforms and make use of the free DigitalBoost service if there are areas where support is needed.”Business Gateway offer a range of professional resources, support and tools to help businesses and those in business learn new skills, create new opportunities and develop sustainable strategies for growth.
Business Gateway, which is delivered by local authorities throughout Scotland, works in collaboration with a wide variety of organisations, including Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to help deliver advice and support to Scottish businesses.
To learn more, click here.
Please mind the gap… or healthcare may fall
Imagine sharing a lengthy train journey with others. From beginning to end, imagine how often you might hear ‘mind the gap’ messages about embarking and disembarking safely. Picture how navigating…
Women Lead: My journey from Dragons’ Den to Silicon Valley
Following her appearance on Dragons’ Den, Sheila Hogan, serial entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of digital legacy vault, Biscuit Tin, shares her experience of her time in the Den and…
Look anywhere – the future is ‘aged tech’. But Scotland needs to be more adventurous
Scottish Care, as the representative body of independent social care providers of care home, care at home and housing support services, has been working over several years with colleagues in…
Women Lead: Engineer turned entrepreneur
We are always fascinated by other people’s stories. It’s how we connect, grow and learn from each other. Until very recently I always felt like I didn’t have a story to tell. Who…
‘Women – together we will change the dynamic in tech’
I was inspired to start a career in technology when personal computers were in their infancy and the internet decades away. My childhood dream of becoming a scientist was shaped by…
It’s time to change the future of tech apprenticeships – and we need your help
In his latest exclusive column for Futurescot, Ross Tuffee, chair of the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Digital Economy Skills Group, calls on tech employers to get involved in shaping the…
What AI difference a year makes
Amazingly, it’s been one year since the publication of Scotland’s AI Strategy. And what a year it has been. Demanding but rewarding, with good progress made and great foundations laid…
International Women’s Day: It’s time to harness power of women in technology
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I hope to be part of a future where barriers that prevent women from competing on a level playing field in the work environment…