Business Overview

Do you love exploring your home town or popular tourist destinations on your bike? Does it really make your day when you bring a friend along to see the sights? Operating a bike tour company may be right up your alley. Whether you are simply renting bicycles and maps for patrons to use on their own or providing week long personalized guided tours that include meals and lodging, this can be a rewarding business.

Who is this business right for?

If you are going to run a one-man show, you will need to be physically fit, have fantastic people skills, and enjoy managing the many facets of your business. If you are operating a large tourist attraction, the right owner will have a good background in business management with a focus on the service industry.

What happens during a typical day at a bike tour company?

From the time the sun rises, your bike tour company may:

  • Take reservations for future tours
  • Explore the nearby area to determine safe and accessible bike routes for your patrons
  • Maintain your fleet of bicycles
  • Size your guests for proper safety equipment such as helmets, knee, and elbow pads
  • Network with local restaurants, campgrounds, and B&B's who can accommodate and serve your customers who wish to do multi-day tours
  • Provide roadside assistance for self-guided tourists who encounter mechanical problems with their bicycles
  • Research the history of destinations to provide an insightful narrative during the tour
  • Standard business practices such as taking payments, balancing the books, processing payroll, etc.

What is the target market?

You will have two major age demographics to target. Young millenials and empty-nesters are free to explore the world at their own pace. If you are located on the seashore, you will be targeting families looking for a value bike rental for a couple hours. The millenials and baby-boomers have extra cash to spend and would like to invest in a complete experience that features a tour guide, picnics, and an insightful discussion of locations. They may be interested in overnight expeditions or more physically challenging tours.

How does a bike tour company make money?

Your services are for rent, even if you are simply renting a bicycle for a day-tourist to use on their own. They may pay you by the hour, day, or for a specified guided tour package that includes meals and lodging. You need to generate enough rentals to make a profit on the cost of the bicycles, their maintenance, and your payroll costs.

What is the growth potential for a bike tour company?

Most bike tour companies rely on the local sights and attractions to generate business, making expansion a more difficult endeavor unless you find a second market that needs your bike tours. Urban based companies are able to offer "party-bikes" which offer alcoholic beverages as the 10 to 15 people on board pedal their way through local streets. If you create a unique entertainment experience through use of comedy or music, it is possible to duplicate the business in more locations.