The Birth of a Business
Updated: Jul 18
This weeks blog is a little bit more of a background into how Maddog Adventures came about, how the business whilst still relatively small has grown and what we are looking forward to in the future.
We've always all had a little adventure in us. Going back to around 2007, myself and Marc came up with an idea that once we turn 30 in 2009, we would have travelled to Nepal to complete the Everest Base Camp trek. We wanted to do this with a twist. In an effort to raise much needed fund for the then new Help For Heroes charity, we decided on doing the trek fully self sufficient. This meant everything from organising the travel, the equipment and the route. Now back then, this was still something new. Yes, we've been out in the mountains whilst Marc was in training for the Army, but never had we come up with a plan like this.
It was whilst on this trip back in February of 2009 and the fact that most of our late afternoons were spent in a tent or a teahouse that we had plenty of time to chat and come up with new ideas going forward. We were resting up a just South of the glacier, in a small village called Dughla, 4620m up along the trek and within touching point of the end. We had pitched out tent just outside the village with and amazing mountain panorama outside the door. We wondered what the possibility of potentially starting up a company where ultimately, we would be able to offer trips like this, but to also further our own adventure goals.
Fast forward to 2014 and we were now pushing ahead with the launch of what was to become Maddog Adventures. Mike had by then come onboard as the third partner, bringing with him a whole new skillset and fresh ideas. We understood, from being clients in the past just how many other outdoor businesses there were and that to be a success in our own right we would need to have our own USP. We wanted to be able to hold events, with a reasonable small client to staff ratio. This would ensure quality time and a more personal touch to our events. We wanted to be family and pet friendly and to give some our events a slight military twist (but not to the extent of pushing our clients) to reflect the business owners and to make our events unique.
Our logo, whilst fairly simple took in 3 distinct elements. The wolfs' paw to represent leadership, protection and loyalty and the crossed tools to represent our events and direction - the woodland axe and the ice axe. When we came up with the initial idea, we did not realise just how much of an impact the logo would have going forward.
Our ethos was simple, Adventure Is A Mindset. We wanted to show that adventures do not need to be in far flung places (although, we have some plans) but you can learn skills with us to have the confidence to head out on your own using new skills learnt. We run our year using a number of what we decided to be 'core' events. These would be repeated each year and when possible on a number of dates. But the time we got up and running, we were able to call in favours from a pool of guest instructors each with their own experiences and background which were able to call on when needed. By late 2017 we had narrowed down our favourite areas, not only though accessibility but what they can offer. Events ran across the UK and took in some of the best landscapes this country can offer.
We realised that social media was now what could make or break a business. We wanted to ensure that Maddog Adventures came across on our social media channels as a perfect reflection of what the business actually is. The popularity of the 'Gram has given a rise to influencers and blaggers. We wanted our followers to have the 'what you see is what you get' experience. At the end of the day, we are not only partners, but 3 close friends who enjoy the outdoors. We have always aimed our content at showing this. We wanted to become the brand that we had envisaged all those years back. Being Veteran Owned, we have been grateful to work alongside other similar businesses, forming a like minded community. It's not all about us, it about what we can do to help others along the way. Whether this is in the form of charity events or getting involved in other ways when possible. One business used the #OneTribe tag which fit perfectly.
This year was supposed to be our first International expedition. A trip was planned for October 2020 to the jungles of Langkawi. Unfortunately, Covid-19 put paid to all those plans and the trip had to be shelved until 2021. But every cloud as they say has a silver lining. Off the back of this event we had been putting more of an emphasis onto our survival and expedition skills courses. We have since found some amazing areas of woodland to expand these and along with our mountain days, the future is looking bright. What better time to run survival and bug out courses than off the back of a worldwide pandemic (toilet roll not included).
Now for the advertising, check out the events pages on the website for a full insight into what the business offers and maybe we'll see you on one of our events moving forward and remember Adventure is a Mindset.
You can also join in the discussion and community in a number of places.....
Author: Chris Elkins (Maddog Adventures)