Starting a touring company.

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Starting a touring company.

I wonder how easy it would be and if i could make any money by starting a motorcycle touring company.

Im a qualified mechanic, speak A-level spanish and have toured quite a bit around Europe. Im pretty much skint at the moment and need to do something different with my life..

I was thinking maybe South America bike travel holidays.. Expensive but I havnt seen anywhere else offer it.

Any thoughts ??

tedmagnum wrote

I was thinking maybe South America bike travel holidays.. Expensive but I havnt seen anywhere else offer it.Any thoughts ??

There was a BIG article on exactly that in RiDE or BiKE last month.Also a competition to win one of the tours, wourth ten grand or so IIRC.Ant thet was on your own bike.

Abel wrote

There was a BIG article on exactly that in RiDE or BiKE last month.Also a competition to win one of the tours, wourth ten grand or so IIRC.Ant thet was on your own bike.

10k...Pooooooooping eck !!I planned a 6 month trip of all of South America on my own bike with all shipping and flights and staying in 2/3* hotels and it cost less than that, £7k infact.

tedmagnum wrote

10k...Pooooooooping eck !!I planned a 6 month trip of all of South America on my own bike with all shipping and flights and staying in 2/3* hotels and it cost less than that, £7k infact.

Aye.If you can organise it cheap and cheerful, yet proffesional and quality you could be on to a winner.

Abel was there not a topic about starting your own touring company before?I seem to remember me, you and a couple others talking about it?

On a simlar subject..when we boughtthis huse and opened a B&b I honestly thought noone would come..mainly due to the fact that at the time I had a full time job, and no intention of paying to advetise it.... having said that the motorpsort/biking world is Very small.. and words gets around.. . you do the right job, and give the punters what they expect/want.. you wil be fine..// but try to force a square peg into a round hole and you will be bankrupt within 3 yrs...

Abel wrote

There was a BIG article on exactly that in RiDE or BiKE last month................

I don't know what was in Ride but there was certainly a supplement in Bike mag.The March 06 issue.

SlidersGuethaus wrote

On a simlar subject..when we boughtthis huse and opened a B&b I honestly thought noone would come..mainly due to the fact that at the time I had a full time job, and no intention of paying to advetise it.... having said that the motorpsort/biking world is Very small.. and words gets around.. . you do the right job, and give the punters what they expect/want.. you wil be fine..// but try to force a square peg into a round hole and you will be bankrupt within 3 yrs...

Never been but only ever heard v.good things about Sliders GuestHouse... if I was doing a few days at the Ring, that's where I'd book in.

tedmagnum wrote

I wonder how easy it would be and if i could make any money by starting a motorcycle touring company.

It won't be easy, starting any new business is never easy. It might work, but for the first 2 years at least you will need to plough money into the business to build it up, so it won't make money for you. You need to work out a business plan.What is your market ? How big is it ?How are you going to reach them ?Why should they chose you ?How much will it cost to persuade them ?What percentage of leads will convert into cash paying orders ?How are you going to deliver, will you be the tour guide ?If so, who will run the office, do the advertising and book the next lot of puntersHow much will that cost ?How many bikes ?What will they cost ?Insurance costs ?Business insurance costs (employers liability etc)Bank charges ?etc etcThink it all out and WRITE IT ALL DOWN.Then work out how much you have to pay OUT, every month for the first 2 years. Work out how much you expect to get IN from punters every month. Be pesimistic, be VERY pesimistic. Now work out if you have enough money to cover the difference. If you haven't got enough don't go there, you will lose what money you do have. Most business that fail do so because they run out of cash. Often they are profitable, sometimes VERY profitable, but if you run out of cash you are dead.

I think the problem will be finding enough people who can/will do this year on year. As Bren says above, the motorcycling world is quite a small one, and the number of people in it who would be able to spend several thousand pounds each year would be a lot smaller.When you ask for 'interest' in your idea, be very specific. I would be 'interested', but it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip which isn't a lot of use for you next year. I doubt this would be an impulse buy (unlike a weekend at the Nurburgring) so in 3 years when everyone who can/wants to go has done, what then for you?(Best of luck)

Does anyone have that article they can scan & pdf?

tenbears wrote

Never been but only ever heard v.good things about Sliders GuestHouse... if I was doing a few days at the Ring, that's where I'd book in.

Why thank you sir..

There have been some very good points made here... especially on the repeat business front... and the sort of costs involved make it a once in a lifetime trip....If you have to go looking for new business every year.. it will make it very difficult.....Good luck to you if you go ahead with it....would be a welcome change to see M/C tours around SA as opposed to a trip to spain/France/switzerland advertised....

MC-R1 wrote

I think the problem will be finding enough people who can/will do this year on year. As Bren says above, the motorcycling world is quite a small one, and the number of people in it who would be able to spend several thousand pounds each year would be a lot smaller.When you ask for 'interest' in your idea, be very specific. I would be 'interested', but it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip which isn't a lot of use for you next year. I doubt this would be an impulse buy (unlike a weekend at the Nurburgring) so in 3 years when everyone who can/wants to go has done, what then for you?(Best of luck)

What he said ^^^. You need to be very clear in defining your market, are you offering a top-of-the-range experience, on nearly new bikes, with a back-up truck to carry luggage, spares and a spare bike, staying in decent hotels ? Or a cheap-n-cheerful, bring your own bike, carry all your own luggage and stay in cheap B&Bs type of experience. Nothing wrong with either one, but the market is very different. So will everything else, including the costs.

Cousin Jack wrote

What he said ^^^. You need to be very clear in defining your market, are you offering a top-of-the-range experience, on nearly new bikes, with a back-up truck to carry luggage, spares and a spare bike, staying in decent hotels ? Or a cheap-n-cheerful, bring your own bike, carry all your own luggage and stay in cheap B&Bs type of experience. Nothing wrong with either one, but the market is very different. So will everything else, including the costs.

I think for the biggest market base id have to go cheap and cheerful. I cant see many people wanted to spend 10k on a motorcycle holiday to stay in plush hotels.South America is a world away from blighty and i think people would prefer using their own bikes and equipemnt, especially if it costs 5k less. Also, if they use their own kit, i wont have to outlay that cost at the beginning making my actual business outlay quite small... Market myself more as a guide than anything else. If it takes off i could buy all the kit and have the company based in SA with people just having to get off there plane and onto a bike.. 20k in British pounds can buy you ALLOT in South America.Id try and sell my trips and hastle free..i do all the paperwork , arrange the shipping, guide the best routes, translate the language etc. I know allot of people who think a south america trip would be fantastic but think the hastle and stress of it all is too much. Its a very cheap continent to travel (once your there)

I went on one of those bike tours about 5/6 years ogo and it was the just fantastic, all hotels booked in advance with dinner and breakfast. 10 days throu france, germany, austria, italy(alps) cost just under a grand for two with one bike, ferry and AA cover was in this price. i would do it again but the company no longer exists. there was 7 bikes 9 people on our tour they were called freedom mcc tours based in wales.

tedmagnum wrote

I think for the biggest market base id have to go cheap and cheerful. I cant see many people wanted to spend 10k on a motorcycle holiday to stay in plush hotels.South America is a world away from blighty and i think people would prefer using their own bikes and equipemnt, especially if it costs 5k less. Also, if they use their own kit, i wont have to outlay that cost at the beginning making my actual business outlay quite small... Market myself more as a guide than anything else. If it takes off i could buy all the kit and have the company based in SA with people just having to get off there plane and onto a bike.. 20k in British pounds can buy you ALLOT in South America.Id try and sell my trips and hastle free..i do all the paperwork , arrange the shipping, guide the best routes, translate the language etc. I know allot of people who think a south america trip would be fantastic but think the hastle and stress of it all is too much. Its a very cheap continent to travel (once your there)

Maybe you ought to organise a few cheap, short trips a little closer to home first.You'd get the experience of organising things and it would be a lot easier and cheaper to plan and check out the routes before the trip.Just a suggestion like.

tedmagnum wrote

I think for the biggest market base id have to go cheap and cheerful. I cant see many people wanted to spend 10k on a motorcycle holiday to stay in plush hotels.South America is a world away from blighty and i think people would prefer using their own bikes and equipemnt, especially if it costs 5k less. Also, if they use their own kit, i wont have to outlay that cost at the beginning making my actual business outlay quite small... Market myself more as a guide than anything else. If it takes off i could buy all the kit and have the company based in SA with people just having to get off there plane and onto a bike.. 20k in British pounds can buy you ALLOT in South America.Id try and sell my trips and hastle free..i do all the paperwork , arrange the shipping, guide the best routes, translate the language etc. I know allot of people who think a south america trip would be fantastic but think the hastle and stress of it all is too much. Its a very cheap continent to travel (once your there)

I've just come back from four months bike touring in Central and South America. I think you'd have to offer a service where people wouldn't use their own kit - flying the bikes out & back was the main cost for us. Once you're out there, it's cheap. our budget was about 10k - but that included buying our bikes AND all the shipping AND our flights - more like a grand a month for EVERYTHING once we were out there. yes, we could have done it cheaper. blah blah blah. Time was the main constraint.If people are going to the expense & effort of flying their own bikes out there then I think a high % would have the motivation and attitude to want to explore the place for themselves...all the bike travellers we met out there were doing their own thing. Being on a tour when you have your own bike would be VERY restrictive, I think.I think there'd be more mileage in starting a guesthouse or hostel or something that was bike-friendly (not that any of them weren't) - what we struggled with were contacts for bike bits, spare tyres, etc. - maybe a load of local knowledge, contact with local bike clubs, knowledge of the good roads or offroad tracks etc. It's easy to find the (obvious) good roads, and even easier to find out what you "should" see whilst you're staying somewhere - a copy of the Lonely Bastard will tell you that.There's a guy in Cali in Colombia - runs a guesthouse, loves his bike touring...does a load of riding and employs a couple of locals to look after his place while he buggers off for weeks at a time. Now that's a lifestyle.

MattB wrote

I've just come back from four months bike touring in Central and South America. I think you'd have to offer a service where people wouldn't use their own kit - flying the bikes out & back was the main cost for us. Once you're out there, it's cheap. our budget was about 10k - but that included buying our bikes AND all the shipping AND our flights - more like a grand a month for EVERYTHING once we were out there. yes, we could have done it cheaper. blah blah blah. Time was the main constraint.If people are going to the expense & effort of flying their own bikes out there then I think a high % would have the motivation and attitude to want to explore the place for themselves...all the bike travellers we met out there were doing their own thing. Being on a tour when you have your own bike would be VERY restrictive, I think.I think there'd be more mileage in starting a guesthouse or hostel or something that was bike-friendly (not that any of them weren't) - what we struggled with were contacts for bike bits, spare tyres, etc. - maybe a load of local knowledge, contact with local bike clubs, knowledge of the good roads or offroad tracks etc. It's easy to find the (obvious) good roads, and even easier to find out what you "should" see whilst you're staying somewhere - a copy of the Lonely Bastard will tell you that.There's a guy in Cali in Colombia - runs a guesthouse, loves his bike touring...does a load of riding and employs a couple of locals to look after his place while he buggers off for weeks at a time. Now that's a lifestyle.

I was also thinking of an english owned/speaking bike workshop, guesthouse in SA or spain too.. It will take ALLOT more money to set up though

I wouldn't be so keen on taking my own bike.How about some sort of guaranteed buy-back scheme that you can run with a local bike shop? That way you don't have to buy bikes up front, people will look after the bikes more carefully as it will affect the value, and you have a local source of parts.

MC-R1 wrote

I wouldn't be so keen on taking my own bike.How about some sort of guaranteed buy-back scheme that you can run with a local bike shop? That way you don't have to buy bikes up front, people will look after the bikes more carefully as it will affect the value, and you have a local source of parts.

Godo idea but a legal/paperwork nightmare !!

Irn Bru Freak wrote

Abel was there not a topic about starting your own touring company before?I seem to remember me, you and a couple others talking about it?

There was sir, it was me www.visordown.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222233

Boons wrote

There was sir, it was me www.visordown.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222233

Well Sir... hows it going ?? did you get it going ? Do you still want to ?

tedmagnum wrote

Well Sir... hows it going ?? did you get it going ? Do you still want to ?

Unfortunatly Im still doing what I was back then, just thinking and dreaming of such a project.My problem was the fact that I had been in a new job for not very long and all my attention was turned to that. It is an office job that I do, which is a cushy one I have to add, but could still see myself doing this allbeit in a few years time.

tedmagnum wrote

Godo idea but a legal/paperwork nightmare !!

True.But if i was to pay you thousands of pounds for a holiday, i'd expect you to be doing more than booking hotel rooms for me - i can do that myself online. You'd be useful as a guide, but still expensive. What are you offering that is unique/that i need? (These are just things to think about and not supposed to sound as negative as they do, mate )

I'd say that starting your own tour company is a pretty good idea, but there are loads of other people who are also at it, so you should try and offer something that distinguishes what you offer from others I would say.World of BMW are making lots of money from this but they have the advantage of a massive marketing machine behind them. I would think the easiest way to get started might be to freelance and work for some of the more successful agancies for a while, then once you see how they are doing it, to try yourself.But that's just my opinion . . . David

I've been on holiday in India and Nepal riding Enfields.Organised by John of Asian Experience. Aimed at the cheaper end of the market. It costs way less than what you are looking at. £10K no way I'd even consider that!

My 2p-worth: I've known loads of people over the years try this kind of business. I've never heard of anyone doing it for long.

senseofdoubt wrote

My 2p-worth: I've known loads of people over the years try this kind of business. I've never heard of anyone doing it for long.

I see what you mean... I dont think i could live my life doing this for someone else as the missis wont be happy with me being away most of the time plus the risks etc.I still want to give it a go though

Well running just such a company it's very interesting to see the take up on tours from a long weekend in the Dales to the trip we are planning to Nepal in 2015 (14 days with Enfield's).  It's a hard sell as quite a lot of people think they can do better alone.  Which after nearly 31 years of travelling all over Europe and the States by bike I'd have to say they are wrong.  You just can't find the best roads and experiences by chance and using a GPS really is more likely to ensure you do miss a lot. As an aside Sliders is the best, Brendan you are a star and I was hoping to bring some punters to you this year on our way to the Hartz but sadly I feel it will be nxt year now.  Still, lock up your Frau's as we will be there in 2015.

I run just such a company.  Not South america tho europe and in 2015 Nepal. On another note Sliders is fantastic and Brendan is a star. I was hoping that we would bring some punters there this year on the way to the Hartz  but now looks like we will be going straight there. But Brendan if you seen this-lock up your Frau's as we will be returning in 2015.

Oh, plus we hire bikes if people want 1066motorcycletours.co.uk Also on Facebook

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