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Pop Quiz, Monday with Julie Singh

Julie Singh
Photo credit: Julie Singh

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Julie Singh

What is your job role?
Owner, Co-Founder

Tell us about your company?
TripOutside.com allows customers to discover top outdoor destinations, compare rental pricing, and rent the gear they need to experience them. No more searching for and contacting shops, checking gear availability, booking over the phone, waiting for bikes, skis, and kayaks to be prepared, and tedious waiver processes. Customers find their favorite activities and destinations on TripOutside.com and book their gear online quickly and easily. The equipment will be waiting at the outfitter, getting customers to their adventure faster.

TripOutside.com works with outfitters of all sizes, and whether they have an existing online booking solution or not, the TripOutside marketplace provides an additional marketing channel for more gear rental bookings. TripOutside helps outfitters rent unused equipment while saving them time and effort in the shop. Our motto is: You Get More Rental Bookings, We Do All the Work.

What do you love most about your job?
TripOutside.com is a completely digital company, and we are able to work from wherever we are… which is usually in the mountains! We are able to focus on our passions and get more people outdoors and adventuring. We travel full-time and gather information on the best outdoor destinations for our customers to bike, hike, paddle, ski and more.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We work on what we are passionate about – outdoor adventure. Being passionate about your work is truly critical – it doesn’t feel like work! We love knowing that we are making it easier for people to explore and enjoy the outdoors, and allowing them to spend more time doing what they love.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
My closest co-worker is my husband, Reet. We co-founded TripOutside.com together. We balance each other’s strengths well. I am inspired by his creativity – he has come up with some of our best features like our price comparison tools. He relies on me to manage the financials of the business. Having opposite strengths means we really respect and value each other.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
To keep things fun, we head to the outdoors. Getting outside and biking or hiking a mountain, or paddling a clear glacial lake really puts things in perspective. We are reminded why we started TripOutside.com and nature always brings out our best ideas!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Being a marketplace, we have two very different customers: outfitters and end users. We need to understand both fully – what they are looking for, where they spend their time online, how to market to them, etc. We spent a ton of time talking to outfitters and customers early on to understand their challenges and how we can help. We learned a ton, and it even resulted in an early pivot in our business plan.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
We work with contractors a lot and hire from sites like Upwork. Finding good contractors is always a challenge, and we’ve gone through our fair share. We’ve learned that we can’t hire solely based on their profile and reviews – these can be misleading. Instead, we do a small project with them first to see how they do, and sometimes we give the same project to 2 or 3 different people to see who completes it best. This helps us make sure we hire the best people!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Outdoor adventure is growing in popularity, and changes in technology are happening fast. There is still tons of opportunity, so find your niche and focus on providing what your customers need – and don’t give up!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

www.tripoutside.com
IG – @trip.outside
FB – TripOutside

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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