When Gary Weir approached the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Anchorage he already had a specific idea in mind.
“Unlike Europe where the trains bring you wherever you want to go at almost any time, Alaska’s vast size requires you to explore it on your own, at your leisure, in your own transportation,” Gary said. “Alaska needed an alternative transportation choice.”
A better description of a market niche was never spoken.
To build a business around his idea, Gary began by attending the “Starting a Business” workshops at the AKSBDC where he learned where to get a license, how to build a team, and how to start organizing his ideas into a business plan. By the time he met with an SBDC Business Advisor a couple months later, he had already made a lot of headway on his plan. Weir launched the business as Northwest Van Campers, Alaska’s one and only budget campervan rental services.
About a year after launching the business Weir returned to meet with the AKSBDC to make sure his financials continued to stay on the right track.
This summer Northwest Van Campers is up and running, and backpacker types from around the world have a new and accessible way to explore Alaska.