Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Steve Silberberg owner and wilderness guide at Fitpacking, a business founded in 2005 that guides people on backpacking adventure vacations to help them get fit and lose weight, explains how this image represents his business.
This is a photo of myself and one of our wilderness guides, Rick Romine on one of our trips. While I would love to tell you that the photo represents an essential part of the business, we were just fooling around in Yellowstone National Park. If anything, it shows that having fun is an important part of going on an extended backpacking trip. Getting fit and losing weight is actually pretty fun on our trips.
Before starting Fitpacking, I worked at an investment firm in a corporate environment for many years as a software contractor. Being chained to a cubicle under intense pressure is a good way to make money, but a lousy way to live. My vacations from the firm were backpacking trips and when I returned I was a little thinner, my clothes fit better and I felt stress free and happy. So, I figured I could go backpacking all the time if I could convince others of the benefits of such an adventure.
Marketing is our biggest challenge. How do you get noticed in a smog of other fitness venues and wilderness outfitters? Perseverance helps but if you’re not a shameless self-promoter, it can be difficult. Letting people know Fitpacking exists is by far the biggest challenge we face. But over 40 percent of our participants have been on trips with us before, so either people really like what we offer or we’re awful at drumming up new business.