We asked Involved Holidays, an exciting new and upcoming walking holiday company, what they had in store for the future and why they chose the HIC as their new home.
Steve West, founder, and Managing Director was happy to answer our questions.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Having worked in travel for over 20 years I have always wanted to explore the activity sector of the tourism industry.
Working in a previous company, walking holidays formed a small amount of the collection and after being made redundant I decided to set up on my own and expand on this. Walking holidays have always been very popular, but with the pandemic it became apparent that there was even more demand from people to be active and explore their local areas by foot. We have delved deeper into this, providing the opportunity for people to explore areas a little further afield with the experience and expertise of a local knowledgeable guide, who can show them the best walking trails in the time frame they have whilst on holiday.
When did you start the business?
I started the business on the 9th December 2020, but did not go live until May 2021.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We operate specialised walking holidays that visit some of the best walking destinations across the UK & Europe. Our holidays are unique in that they offer the perfect balance of discovery and relaxation, giving our customers the opportunity to explore new destinations at their own pace.
What are your biggest achievements?
Setting up a walking holiday company in a pandemic.
Do you work locally or nationally?
Our holidays are available throughout the whole of the UK, as we operate from all the major local UK airports where possible.
What is unique about your business?
Our biggest USP is that we offer walking holidays from local regional airports, where our competitors mainly focus on the larger international airports. By offering regional airports we are able to offer destinations to those who do not like travelling to London and Manchester to go on holiday.
Where do you see your business in 10 years?
We are always looking to expand and evolve our collection of holidays. As the company name “Involved Holidays” suggests; our aim for the future is to get people ‘involved’ in a broader selection of activity holidays, from cycling, cooking, wine tasting etc. whilst exploring different parts of the world.
Does your company help the community where it is located?
Yes, we try and get involved where we can! We have recently sponsored the Harborough District Walking Festival!
Have you ever turned down a client?
Due to the nature of the holidays we operate, we like to keep the numbers at a certain level to ensure the quality of the service and the experience is always high. If for any reason our customers can’t travel on a date that is full we will always look to offer an alternative, or make sure that they can go on the next available date.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t overthink it, have patience and test your ideas as soon as possible. No point spending lots of money advertising a product if you don’t know how it will be received by your audience.
What is it about the HIC that has motivated you to base your business here?
As a relatively new and upcoming business we wanted a premises that represented our values as a business and provided us with the support to evolve over time around other like minded small businesses looking to grow and share their knowledge.
The great value packaged rates for amenities were attractive in terms of price and ease. Everything we needed was bundled into one easy monthly payment, so we don’t have to worry about separate bills for broadband, electricity, heating and postage.
Located on the outskirts of Market Harborough, there is a relaxed rural environment that flows throughout the atmosphere of the centre. The building itself boasts excellent eco-friendly credentials, harvesting rainwater, biomass heating; helping us to rescue our carbon footprint and meet our own sustainability goals and targets.
There are also regular opportunities to take advantage of free courses set by the local council offering free training on a wide variety of business and non business related topics for both those located in the building, and as a base for the surrounding areas as well.
How has your experience been throughout your move to the centre, from your initial enquiry to your physical move in day?
From being shown around the facilities to move in day the team were very helpful. We were offered advice on how to move in and they made sure that we were set up with everything we needed to get going from day one.
Get in touch with Involved Holidays today
Or contact the Harborough Innovation Centre to find out more about flexible office and workspaces within our community