When the coronavirus pandemic struck across the world, many businesses collapsed, with minority business owners, being the hardest hit. William Lee still recalls how the pandemic affected his startup company. Not only did COVID-19 affect his business, but it also had a toll on his mental health.
Lee badly needed a place to clear his mind, renew himself and have fun. Luckily for him, a friend had just returned from Tulum, Mexico, and told him how amazing the place was. He decided to spend some holidays at Tulum to experience the amazing tales told by his friend.
No sooner had Lee arrived in Tulum than he discovered money-making opportunities. A savvy entrepreneur by all standards, Lee was wowed by the city. He literally fell in love with Tulum by extending his stay.
He went yachting, booked a tour, and shared with his Instagram followers the amazing experience he was having in Mexico. His followers, mostly Black people, started making inquiries and that was how he decided to capitalize on the market gap to create a Black yacht experience.
He organized a meeting with owners of yachts to pitch his business idea to them. The idea was simple. He wanted to curate customized yacht experiences for people of color in Tulum. Fortunately for him, the yacht owners bought into the idea.
He subsequently co-founded Yacht Club Company in 2020 to offer customers top-notch, curated tours to anyone looking for a vibe. He modeled his business along the lines of Uber and Airbnb. Instead of owning yachts, he made a business decision to lease.
“I looked at Airbnb and Uber. They don’t take on the cost of a depreciating asset. It doesn’t make sense for us either. We don’t have to worry about maintenance, docking fees,” said Lee.
According to the 30-year-old Black entrepreneur, since he launched his firm, the feedback has been amazing. He notes that the company has grown so quickly by just word of mouth ever since he shared his hustle on Instagram. He has so far had celebrity clients like Megan Thee Stallion and Trey Songz.
“People continue to spread the news of our company, and we have grown so fast just from word of mouth,” Lee said about the growth of the nascent company. “In our first 30 days alone, we did 31 tours. We’ve even gotten a few celebs to book with us.”
Narrating how his company functions, he told Travel Noire that one has to book an initial consultation via the firm’s website (Yacht Club Company). This will then inform Lee and his team of the sort of customer experience one desires.
“I have really been able to make some amazing connections from being here, and I’ve been able to find some of the most amazing places for people to visit while here. Tulum is such a dope place, and people continue to come back.”