We came across Hike & Seek almost exactly a year ago, and we’ve enjoyed seeing their business expand and grow since establishing in September 2016. Founded while hiking through Victoria’s Sealers Cove in Wilson Promontory, Hike & Seek is the brainchild of outdoor dreamers James and Mette. The couple operate intimate hiking adventures around Victoria from the back of VW Kombi Vans. This adventure A-team were determined to combine nature, travel, nutrition and good times and with a shared passion for VW Kombi vans and road tripping it wasn’t long before Hike & Seek was given its name and its mission. James and Mette are passionate about sharing adventures with their customers, amongst glorious landscapes whilst eating good, healthy food along the way. Sounds like a dream gig!
Can you tell us a little about how Hike & Seek began?
After years of working in the skate and snowboarding industry, I was looking for a change. I went back to work in a corporate environment for around two years before Hike & Seek was conceived. During this time, I met the love of my life Mette who is from Helsinki, Finland. Mette is a professional photographer with years of experience in the fashion world and it was only a matter of time before we would put our business and creative minds together.
What are some of the tools you use to run your business?
Being an outdoor business we work closely with many agents such as STA Travel, Trip Advisor, Viator, Hero.Travel and a bunch of smaller independent travel retailers. We advertise our business through Facebook / Insta and dabble with Google adwords somethings also. Our business has grown organically through word of mouth and social being a strongest avenue.
We currently use Woo Commerce and operate a WordPress website. We use Mac, Paypal and a few other booking platforms depending on where the customers is coming from.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in running your business?
The biggest challenge with any new tour business is getting customers. We focused very hard on our social presence from the get go and this has been a very rewarding channel for us. We knew that our products where unique but the questions was, were people going to book? Showcasing our products via social media and having a clean, easy to navigate website has been key as with getting out to travel agency / stores and building our relationship with them face to face.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other small businesses?
You must be committed and passionate about what you do. There are times when you doubt yourself and the business but this is all about of it. Be in business for the right reasons. For us / Hike & Seek it was about sharing our passion of hiking and the outdoors but doing this completely different than those large bus companies. The best stories are built on strong values.
And lastly, what’s next for Hike & Seek?
This year is going to see Hike & Seek introduce a few new hiking tours. We will start operating in the Cathedral Ranges shortly, we will commence our overnight hiking tours down in Wilsons Proms, Sealers Cove. Everything will be supplied on these overnight hiking tours so all you have to do is make the pickup points. We are also kicking off our Mt Buller – winter transport service. We will be operating return transport from Melbourne to Mt Buller via Kombi Van on Tuesday and Saturdays each week of Winter which we’re so excited about. We have many other plans for Hike & Seek so keep an eye out for more Kombis on the road with more hiking adventures.