To be honest, we nearly missed this date, but Aleksei Agafonov, BookYourHunt.com‘s founder and CEO, always knew the month of June was special. He checked in the logbook, and there it was – precisely 3 years ago, June 1, 2015, the BookYourHunt.com website was launched.
The three years have gone by in a flash. The idea of an online marketplace where outfitters can offer their hunts, and hunters can find them and book directly, at the outfitter’s price, without any hidden or extra costs, is simple. Making it work is another story. Still, in all the three years BookYourHunt.com has been seeing continuous growth. Our favorite performance indicator is the number of outfitters and hunts featured on the marketplace. On the one hand, it illustrates how many opportunities you have for exploring the world of hunting. On the other hand, it shows that outfitters and guides benefit from putting their hunts on BookYourHunt.com.
You see that we started with only 10 hunts from 3 outfitters, and the number has been climbing ever since, and the Hunting Map on the site covers literally all the world. And can we have fanfares and drum roll please, because the number of hunts available on BookYourHunt.com from over 500 outfitters in 50 countries has just broken through into 4000+!
Hundreds of hunters have found their hunting adventures on BookYourHunt.com, and their reviews posted on the site help future clients choose the offers that precisely match their interests and desires. The growing number of reviews allowed BookYourHunt.com to start the Award of Excellence, based on hunters’ reviews. The first eight awards have been handed out this May. More will follow.
The success wasn’t free, of course, and here we’d like to use the opportunity to acknowledge the effort of the team who made it possible.
The world wide web has come a long way since 1990s, when you could put up any dot.com and sit back. Today getting through to your potential customers online takes a lot of work and know-how. To make finding the right hunt for the right person a piece of cake, with dozens of species, hunting methods, hunt difficulties, hundreds of outfitters and locations, cancellation and discount offers, times and spaces there are on BookYourHunt.com, takes a lot of toil and talent. So here’s to our unsung heroes, the computer programmers!
BookYourHunt.com always stresses the support you get when you book through our online marketplace. This goes to both outfitters and clients. Most best guides and PHs are reassuringly old-school; they typically are much more at home in the wilds than in the world wide web, and would rather deal with an angry mountain lion than a computer mouse. The BookYourHunt.com support team handles everything for them, so that presenting your hunts online for clients worldwide has never been easier.
So it goes for the hunters. Many of those who found their adventure on BookYourHunt.com discovered that we’re willing to do things that aren’t mentioned in the customer agreement. For instance, we don’t have to reschedule hunts and help with visas for hunters who mistakenly assumed Hungary and Russia had a visa-free agreement. But BookYourHunt.com exists to give hunters the best of the hunting experience, so we do. Three cheers for the support team here!
Last but not the least let’s give their due to the people who are the spearheads of BookYourHunt.com. James Reed, partner and relentless Director for North America, who tirelessly travels from trade show to outfitter convention and then again, to represent BookYourHunt.com. Jim Shockey, the co-founder and one of the world’s most respected outfitters and outdoor personalities, who has invested and puts in BookYourHunt.com something invaluable – his reputation. And of course Aleksei Agafonov, who created in BookYourHunt.com not only an online marketplace, but a business where people actually enjoy their jobs!
“It went like a flash” – say the team members, adding that they’re proud and grateful to be a part of this project, that gives them many opportunities for professional growth. There’s challenge, and there is toil, but there’s also passion and enthusiasm. When you’re doing something challenging, something important, and something you love, time flies. That’s probably why we nearly missed the anniversary.
It looks like before we know it, BookYourHunt.com will celebrate its first round figure. If by then it will become a household name in the hunting industry and the go-to place for a hunting trip, nobody will be surprised.