Owner of Denver Tour Club
Generally, small businesses fall into one of two groups: businesses that were started out of a passion for entrepreneurship and businesses that were started out of a passion for the trade. Sam Blumenthal’s business, Denver Tour Club, falls into the latter.
Denver Tour Club is a boutique child-care company that specializes in indoor and outdoor excursions. Sam’s first business venture, however, had nothing to do with his love of field trips; he got his start in entrepreneurism by selling homemade granola.
The Pilot Project
More out of a desire for self-employment than a passion for granola, Sam borrowed his mom’s tried-and-true recipe to quickly build a successful business. This original business brought him to RMMFI, where he completed Business Launch Boot Camp.
As he started opening more and more accounts, though, he became overwhelmed by the administrative side of the business.
“I got a contract from Whole Foods, and that’s when my head started to spin,” he said. “It was super exciting to get the word, and then they then handed me the contract. It was I don’t even know how many pages of acronyms for policies that I’ve never heard of.”
Discouraged by his lack of knowledge in this arena, he started a second and stronger business venture – Denver Tour Company.
The Passion Project
Sam founded Denver Tour Company quite innocently out of a love for adventure. After working a summer for Denver Parks and Recreation, he discovered how fun chaperoning was.
“I asked myself, what’s the most fun you’ve had working?” Explains Sam, “And it was taking kids on field trips.”
Much like his first business, Denver Tour Club grew quickly. Because child care was an essential service, it continued to grow through 2020 and 2021, even as many small businesses were forced to close doors due to COVID-19.
As Sam’s business grew, he hit the same administrative roadblocks that his original business did. The only difference is that this time he pushed through to keep his passion project alive.
“For a while, I did not have a childcare license because someone at the Department of Revenue assured me I didn’t need to. And then I had a parent reach out from the governor’s appointed childcare licensing committee. I was in sheer panic. I called childcare licensing and they told me it’s a six-month licensing process. I crammed it into a month and a half.”
Partnering Passion & Skill
However romantic it may sound, no business can run on passion alone. As Sam encountered additional overhead such as the need for vehicles, employees, and certifications, he realized he could use some help. Thankfully, he heard about RMMFI’s new program designed for business owners at a similar stage, the Thrive Business Accelerator.
Participating in the TBA helped Sam out of a rut by providing the space and accountability to work on parts of his business that he might have preferred to neglect.
“The Thrive Business Accelerator helped demystify and take the anxiety out of the stuff that I’ve deemed to be not as much fun, but that still has to be done,” Sam says.
What keeps Sam going through the less-than-thrilling parts of being a business owner? He cites his determination and commitment to entrepreneurship.
“There have been a few instances where I’ve been like… I’m just gonna shut it down – which is what I did with granola,” He recalls. “At this point, with this many years devoted to [Denver Tour Club], determination is what keeps me going.”