Spotted Tail, getting some love out of NC. Check out the article in the newest issue of The Fisherman’s Post:
For many anglers, there’s nothing higher on the “dream job” list than becoming a charter captain or guide service owner. What many fail to realize is that along with calling the water your office comes a host of less savory chores like taking reservations, keeping track of clients, billing and finances, and plenty more.
Alabama Capt. Andy Parker combined his experience as a guide with his professional financial background to create a new online system that takes the sting out of the menial day-to-day chores than can drain some of the joy out of the business—the Spotted Tail RMS (Reservations Management System).
“I guided for several years in Alaska and the Florida Panhandle,” Parker explains, “and noticed a need for this type of system. I paired my guiding background with my experience as a CPA and put something together.”
The Spotted Tail RMS, similar to systems used by the hospitality/hotel industry, allows users to log reservations and client information into a web-based application that guides can access from any computer with an internet connection. A click of a button will send out a confirmation email to upcoming bookings, impressing clients and reducing lost time at the dock or ramp waiting on no-shows.
“When somebody’s organized and professional,” Parker continues, “it shows to the clients. This system helps people to grow and stay competitive in a very competitive industry.”
Not only does the Spotted Tail application help guides and outfitters keep track of who’s fishing with whom and where meet-ups, etc. are taking place, it helps with another onerous part of the job to many captains—the finances.
“Reservation systems aren’t new,” says Parker, “but pairing them with financial reporting in something tailored to the outdoor outfitter is.”
The financial side of the system will let people check at-a-glance to see how their business is doing, year-to-year and month-to-month trends, and which clients owe money. Users can even print an invoice to send out.
“The system doesn’t collect for you,” Parker says, “but if you never know the money’s missing, you won’t know to look for it.”
Those in the outdoor industry aren’t necessarily famous for their computer savvy, and Parker wanted to make the interface of his system as user-friendly and intuitive as possible to maximize its appeal to those who’d rather be outside than in front of a computer.
“It’s hard to get people who like to talk fishing into the technical side of it,” he explains. “That’s a challenge but a selling point, too. People will see that the Spotted Tail system is easy to use, more like surfing the internet than operating software, and using it ultimately enables them to spend more time on the water.”
Depending on the size of the operation, the Spotted Tail RMS ranges from $30-75 per month. Complete information and a free trial of the system are available at www.spottedtailoutdoors.com.