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Thread: Survival School????

  1. #1
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    Default Survival School????

    Hi all,
    This is my first post. I am a current Army Reservist, been deployed to Iraq twice, been trained in wilderness and combat survival techniques, also teach the wilderness survival merit badge for boy scouts and I am also a teacher for public school.
    I am posting this thread because I have been really toying with the idea of starting a survival school in my area of Virginia. I live in Hampton Roads (by Virgina Beach) an there are no real survival skill schools in the area.
    I want to teach fire starting skills, basic first aid, shelters, improvise weapons, hunting and food consumption, water purification and finding, and land nav.

    Any suggestion on how to get this started?

    -Brandon


  2. #2
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and thank you for your service.

    DO NOT start up any new business without a business plan. If you are not sure how to do that - local community colleges or the SBA (Small Business Administration) can help. Think of it as a road map for a long trip you are planning. There are a lot of things that you need to think of when doing this - to incorporate or not, insurance, funding, permits and on, and on.

    It's a worthy goal, but there is a lot more to making a successful run at a business than just your expertise in the field that you are teaching. I wish you luck.
    Can't Means Won't

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  3. #3

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    Distinguished Brandon,

    First of all, I really liked the idea, I appreciate your deeds and your martial career. I believe you obtain a lot of skills that are functional for a lot of stuff, including survival in the wilderness. Imagining the idea of a survival school, really chills me. Sounds like a very intriguing, essential and urgent topic to teach about, and even to implement an official school for its tuition. Furthermore, I think that your previous experience, grants your the knowledgebase in purpose to implement a school. So, overall, I really support your idea, and I would like to hear more of this, after it gets implemented.

    Regardless about what I said above, I suggest you to meet up a financial consultant, perhaps contact some businessmen, because you will be needy of sponsors, in purpose to earn a budget for running up the school; atleast at the beginning, you'll need partnerships with other companies. So, I suggest you start communicating with important people, CEOs of companies, economists, professors, biologists, chemists, physicians, doctors, psychologists, et cetera.

    Good luck!

    PS: I would like to chat with you via PM, if you'd like me to assist you in someway, or somehow. If you want to share more specific plans, business agendas and such. I think I might be helpful in some cases. Additionally, I would like to hear from you after you start up the schooling. :P

  4. #4
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    First and foremost, thank you for your service.

    We receive similar requests from time to time. Here's a response I posted to one we received not too long ago. It will apply to you as well.

    Here are some honest questions for you.

    1. What do you know about the industry?
    2. Who is your competition? Where are they located? How many are within 100 miles of you?
    3. Have you put together a business plan?
    4. What is your funding level? Can you pay salaries until the school starts making a profit? That includes taxes and unemployment insurance.
    5. What do you have to offer that your competition doesn't? You had better have something or you are indistinguishable from anyone else doing the same thing.
    6. Do you have any background in Marketing? Accounting? Management? Business principles?
    7. Have you defined your role in the business? What is your vision and how do you communicate that vision to your employees?
    8. What are the laws governing your concern? Have you consulted a lawyer?
    9. Do you have property locked down? If renting/leasing does the owner understand and concur with what you are doing?
    10. What medical training do you have? How are you going to handle injuries and sickness? Is there a plan in place for same?

    It's one thing to sit at the table and pencil out a plan on a beer stained napkin. A lot of entrepreneurs have done just that. But it's an entirely different matter to have the skills and knowledge to run a business. If you don't have all of the items above locked away (and a lot more by the way) then your business is starting on the wrong foot and you probably won't succeed.

    I concur with Crash on the SBA and the community colleges. Here's a link to the SBA's website Thinking About Starting a Business?:

    http://www.sba.gov/thinking-about-starting

    Look at community colleges for business classes or entrepreneurial classes.

    Depending on where you are located in Virginia you might contact the Virginia Business Incubation Association. Their role is to assist folks like you in starting a business. Some incubators will assign a mentor to assist you with the process while others might provide book keeping services or secretarial services until a business gets up on its feet. They can play a substantial role in assisting a fledgling business. Here's a link to the Virginia VBIA:

    http://vbia.org/find_an_incubator

    You can have the best survival skills in the world but running a survival school requires business skills to make it a success. I will close with one word of advice. Starting a business requires collateral. Do NOT put your home up as collateral. About 50% of business startups fail within the first year and with that goes your home. I had a good friend do that very thing despite my constant nagging not to. They took his house in a heart beat.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Hunter63, saying Hey and Welcome.
    That was some great advice guys.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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    Thank you guys for the help. This has been very insightful.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Good luck BrandonB. Hope it works out for you.
    Can't Means Won't

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  8. #8
    Senior Member xjosh40x's Avatar
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    Hey. I'm also a reservist. And I too have been to several military survival classes and learend much on my own. If you want to go small classes and not have to spend too much money at first do classes at your local WMA or Wildlife Refuge. I have taught a few classes this was for a youth group. Good luck brother.

  9. #9
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    Hello all,

    I just wanted to give an update. I started my Wilderness Survival School, in Chesapeake / Virginia Beach, Va. So far things are working out pretty well. I have taught a few civilian classes, and am partnering with Virginia State Parks ( First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park) to volunteer and teach some abbreviated classes to spark interest. I'm teaching the basics like improvised shelter construction, water purification, fire creation, and most importantly mental fortitude (as the Army calls it). Nothing too crazy just yet, just keeping it simple to prepare people for emergencies.

    So thank you to everyone for your suggestions on how to get this ball rolling.

    Thank you to Crashdibve and Rick for helping me create a solid business foundation and help me create a clear path.
    Thanks to xxJosh40XX for your WMA suggestion. That definitely helped out, and great out of the box thinking.

    If you guys get a chance, please check out my website and give me some constructive feedback on how to improve it. It's still a work in progress, but I wanted to get it out and viewed.

    Thanks,
    Brandon B
    Brandon Burdick
    Wilderness Survival Instructor
    On The Brink Survival LLC
    onthebrinksurvival.com

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Sorry, Brandon. I had to remove the reference and the link from the body of your post. It's considered spam. However, you are perfectly fine with the information in your signature.

    I'm glad things worked out for you and wish you the best of luck. I'm glad something we offered was beneficial.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Congrats and continued good luck to you.
    Can't Means Won't

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  12. #12
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Welcome back....Glad it's working out for you.
    Maybe post some pic's of your outings?
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

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