Starting my small business: Scandinavian Travel

Ben Nyberg, owner and founder of Scandinavian Travel, shares his secrets to success after 16 years as a tour operator.

When did you start your business?

We started our business in 2000.

What does your business do?

We’re a tour operator. Scandinavian Travel is the legal entity and underneath that we operate a number of brands. We have four ski brands and one luxury all-year-round tailor made brand.

What drove you to start your business?

I love skiing and Scandinavia- it’s such a beautiful place, so I combined the two things I’m passionate about and started a business out of that.

What have been the key challenges to your business?

In the early days one of the key challenges was getting merchant services. The travel industry hasn’t had an easy time in recent years. We’ve had to be members of various organisations in order to get merchant services. This was key to our business as not being able to take credit or debit card is a major stumbling block.

How do you keep up with the competition?

We continuously innovate. We develop new products and new destinations, and work very closely with travel partners in those destinations to ensure we create the best experience for our customers.

What are your key business achievements?

In recent years, the development of new brands has been a major success. I would also say the development of the people who work within the company are our biggest achievement. We have a strong team who are equally passionate about winter sports as they are about Scandinavia. While we were nominated for best UK Tour operator at the World Snow Awards, for us a key achievement are the people behind our successful brands.

What are your growth plans for your business?

We’re on a huge growth path at the moment. Last year was our best year ever and we’ve introduced new brands like Ski Iceland. We want to keep innovating and integrating more technology in what we do and roll out more products via brands in the near future.

What advice would you give to other small businesses?

You have to be passionate about what you do and you have to be persistent. You have to recognise your successes and those could be small ones such as your first new member of staff or first sale. Pick small things that will show you that you’re on the right path of success.