The Local U Blog is dedicated to helping local businesses face the many challenges they may come across during the process of starting their business and facing obstacles along the way. The Local U is run by a group of university students and recent grads supporting local businesses that drive the economy.

A student from The Local U interviewed the Co-Founder of local independent business USA Guided Tours. The case study conducted by the student entails the journey of USA Guided Tours. The case study allows other local independent businesses to take inspiration from the steps of Co-Founder Rauf Shakir who built the company from scratch into the reputable and award winning business it is today.

USA Guided Tours is a sightseeing company based in Washington DC, the business offers sightseeing of historic attractions as well as transportation services in Washington DC. USA Guided Tours faced common business challenges that almost all local independent business face; building a customer base, maintaining product quality, building the right team, and adjusting to changes in the market. USA Guided Tours participated in the Locology Engage conference that took place in 2018 in Washington DC in order to improve their team building abilities and online presence.

Building the right team

Recruiting the right team members played a crucial role in the success of the company. In the tour industry employees represent the face of the company, customers are primarily interacting with the employees. Co-Founder Rauf Shakir ensured his team of employees consisted of only talented individuals who would make others feel comfortable. Rauf’s valuable team was the key to achieving steady growth while maintaining service of the highest quality. He kept the company’s focus on the quality of the product rather than the company’s growth, this choice equated to the natural growth of the company.

Changes in the market

The digital age has resulted in changes in many markets. Potential customers in the tour industry are drifting away from the use of traditional travel agents and directly finding tour companies through their own effort. To combat this, USA Guided Tours has put an increased effort into their SEO and online presence. The company improved their online presence through the creation of a user friendly and highly informative site. Through displaying their knowledge and expertise on their website USA Guided Tours was able to grow their customer base and improve their brand awareness. The company also became very active on social media, connecting with their audience on a personal level to display the enjoyment their customers experience on their tours. USA Guided Tours successfully combated the challenges they faced using affordable and practicable solutions.

Learn how to grow your local independent business into an established enterprise.This case study will help you:

  • Grow your customer base
  • Maintain a quality product/service
  • Build the right team
  • Improve online presence to create brand awareness

Click below to read the full case study.