TMBA 343: A Look Inside Boutique Japan

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Last week Dan and Ian talked about how they hosted a couple hundred entrepreneurs in Barcelona for the DCBCN conference. During that event, some who were brave – and generous enough – shared their stories on stage: an intimidating task.

Andres Zuleta of Boutique Japan was one of them. About two and a half years ago, Andres started a company selling high-end  travel packages to Japan. Boutique Japan is aimed at those looking for a bespoke, carefully tailored and unique experience. To give you a bit of the back story: Andres actually called in to this podcast and left a voicemail not too long ago and so, in this episode, we’re delighted to be sharing his story of success.

Boutique Japan is on target to make $1.3 million in revenue in 2016. In this week’s episode Andres Zuleta talks about the ride he’s been on – and how preparing for his talk at the DC conference actually gave him a greater understanding of the business structures and resources that he’s been building.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Andres’ initial reaction when we asked him to share his story at our conference. (4:51)
  • How Andres got inspired to create his business by listening to this podcast. (11:04)
  • Andres’ strategy for getting great content on his website. (25:20)
  • Some of the things that Andres has struggled with in his business. (34:23)
  • Andres’ favorite parts about Japan. (40:25)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 06.30.16
  • Thanks again for having me, and for the chance to speak at DCBCN! Had a great time, and hope this is helpful to some people.

  • was a real pleasure to hear your story and to have you on the show! i’m sure others will get inspiration from it :D

  • @andreszuleta:disqus @TropicalMBA:disqus I’m really curious about this “Inside Out Marketing” reference–do you have a link? Also… what is an S.O.D.? Loved this episode, holy crap a trip with Boutique Japan is on my bucket list!

  • @mikeymioduski:disqus Of course @TropicalMBA:disqus will know better as it’s his show, but the 2 episodes I can refer you to are:

    * This episode ( on SOPs, and
    * This episode (, which includes a link to a sample SOD

    Within this second one, under Principles, you’ll see the concept of Inside Out Marketing.

  • that’s it thanks guys!

  • I felt podcast 343 was made specifically for me. A couple of years ago I started a travel business with exactly the same ethos (but different destination) than Andres’s. It seems he is a baller and I am struggling with growth, SOPs and all the little things @andreszuleta:disqus seems to have already cracked.

    Unfortunately I was travelling while DCBCN took place but luckily some DC members have shared Andres’s presentation. As I mention to @TropicalMBA:disqus at last May’s Junto meeting, SOP’s are my nemesis, specially when swamped by post-sale tasks. I need some help, soon.

    Thanks for a phenomenal podcast that kicked me in the derriere ;)

  • You can count me as totally inspired! Gracias!

  • great to hear Jordi glad you felt that way and got to see some of the preso as well, happy to keep crackin’ away at eps for ya :)

  • Adrian Edlington

    Great episode! Inspiring to hear Andres is making this work.

    Similarly to Dan, I’d had aspirations to form a boutique Cycle Tour company, though had long since written it off as unprofitable or unscalable. Incidentally, I’m planning my next adventure MTB trip in North Western Yunan, China; including DaLi, Lijiang & Tiger Leaping Gorge, all at the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

  • oh wow, amazing

    yeah i could see myself doing a tour with friends or close associates (say fellow entrepreneurs) but it’s probably not a smart business to put your best resources into for the scale reason. better to start something else that gives you enough time to cycle with your friends I think :)

  • Nadja Niffeler

    Really good episode. It was pretty inspiring for me. I am just starting my own business with travel organisation for swiss People for Israel.
    Andreas, do you have advices for me i should know before i go life? For example the paying of the customers. How youre doing it? I thought about payement in advance for customers, but what if they dont pay?
    I would really appreaciate your answer :)
    Cheers from Switzerland

  • Hi Nadja, every company does it differently, but the most common scenario is for travelers to pay a deposit at the time of booking, and the final balance at some pre-determined time before the trip itself.

    I think if you’re organized and work with good people, a scenario where someone doesn’t pay would be very rare!

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