Quitting My Day Job


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
  • Sponsored Links
User avatar
djolesiak
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:06 pm
Location: Upland, CA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi
Contact:

Quitting My Day Job

Postby djolesiak » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:25 am



I've been thinking about quitting my day job and becoming a full time motorcycle tour guide. Not sure if it's a good idea or not but it seems like a huge global business. I'm planning on starting out doing road tours here in the US and maybe later adding some international tours. Not sure if I should go work for someone to learn the ropes or just dive right in and start my own company. I'm good at building websites and marketing. I'm a mechanic by trade. I already know the back roads of this country very well as I've been touring them for 27 years now. My brother in law is a contract lawyer specializing in insurance so I'm sure he'll be useful and he's German as well which may come in handy. My wife is Peruvian and speaks perfect Spanish and English and has a degree in Business & Finance so she should be able to handle the business side of it. My son speaks 5 languages so he'll be good at translating the websites into different languages. It seems with my skills and resources available, it's time to take the plunge. Anyone have any thoughts on this idea?



jacksprat54
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:06 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby jacksprat54 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:57 am

djolesiak wrote:I've been thinking about quitting my day job and becoming a full time motorcycle tour guide. Not sure if it's a good idea or not but it seems like a huge global business. I'm planning on starting out doing road tours here in the US and maybe later adding some international tours. Not sure if I should go work for someone to learn the ropes or just dive right in and start my own company. I'm good at building websites and marketing. I'm a mechanic by trade. I already know the back roads of this country very well as I've been touring them for 27 years now. My brother in law is a contract lawyer specializing in insurance so I'm sure he'll be useful and he's German as well which may come in handy. My wife is Peruvian and speaks perfect Spanish and English and has a degree in Business & Finance so she should be able to handle the business side of it. My son speaks 5 languages so he'll be good at translating the websites into different languages. It seems with my skills and resources available, it's time to take the plunge. Anyone have any thoughts on this idea?


Sounds like your ducks are lining up real nice like & also sounds like you have passion for this, I say; "Go forth and conquer sir"!!

User avatar
golden highway
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:23 am
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Motorcycle: 1987 Interstate
1998 Aspencade

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby golden highway » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:26 pm

Start small do weekend trips and use your vacation to do longer trips. This will give you an idea of how well things will go and if it is what you really want to do. Sounds like a great way to make money.

harvey01
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 7:14 pm
Location: Henrico, Virginia
Motorcycle: 2004 GL1800

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby harvey01 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:34 pm

I would recommend you do a lot more research before quitting your day job. I admire your enthusiasm but hard work and contacts are what is required. A friend tried to get started in the business once and learned quickly that you need contacts in the hotel/motel/restaurant businesses as well as with the local tourists attractions.

You also need to have contacts for rental units so I can fly to CA and get a bike and join your tour. And for these folks to deal with you they have to be confident that you have the capital to pay the bills even when there is no income. And make sure you have enough capital to support you and your family till money starts coming in, this can take a while as it does with any small business.

It would help to have an identified demographic that you will appeal to so those folks will sign up.

I have been on one paid tour in my life in Europe and it was a great trip more because of the Alps and Europe than the tour guides. I have chatted with tour guides in the USA, gotten their route plans and then ridden them on my own.

I urge you to continue your research and try to talk with folks in the business such as Fred Rau with Mototcycle Consumer News at: http://www.mcnews.com
harvey
Ride Safe and Ride Often

User avatar
djolesiak
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:06 pm
Location: Upland, CA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby djolesiak » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:53 pm

Starting slow is what I had in mind. I was planning on using Eagle Rider for the rentals and perhaps Enterprise. There's also a Harley dealer nearby that does rentals as well. My first step is building the website. Then I was gonna go to Kinko's and get some pamphlets printed up. My next step was to start visiting the travel agents in and around my area to start building my network of contacts. Weekend day tours to start and then a summer cross country using my vacation time.

I get 50 paid days off per year with my current job so I will have some time available. I used to work in the hotel industry and already have some contacts to start with. I also know all the owners of all the popular biker destinations in and around California. I have most of their personal cell phone numbers. I've even built websites for a few of them.

Capital is another thing. Could always use more money. But on the plus side, the tours are pre paid so at least there's no waiting for the money.

User avatar
djolesiak
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:06 pm
Location: Upland, CA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby djolesiak » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:25 am

I emailed Fred. He's off on a tour in New Zealand at the moment and said he would get back to me when he gets back at the end of the month.

User avatar
Iaustin
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:31 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200 interstate

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby Iaustin » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:27 pm

Sounds like a plan does eagle riders or others do cruises .we rented a harly from them in Cozumel was next to new no wing ride but it was nice blast around island

User avatar
djolesiak
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:06 pm
Location: Upland, CA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby djolesiak » Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:33 pm

As far as I know Eagle Rider rents bikes and also offers guided or self drive tours. The bikes available vary with location as they are franchised. Each owner selects their own fleet. Most offer Goldwings, Harleys, BMW's, and a few other brands.

User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby redial » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:16 pm

You sound like you have a nagging of an idea. The first step is to build a business plan. You have to be meticulous, and conservative, when doing your estimations. The business plan should project for about five years, so you will have to put your thinking cap on. Insurance is going to be a biggie, so start getting into insurers' ears to find out the costs and benefits. Most small businesses fail in the first three years, so a five year plan should get you through. There are often Route 66 tours done from Australia, and they ride from Chicago through to the West Coast, and there is a "dream" to ride a Harley (cough, spit, choke :twisted: ) on the old Route 66.

There are software packages that help you develop a Business Plan, and I would use them. They may even have a template for a tourist venture already in their arsenal.

Renting out motorcycles is always risky, as you are never sure of the skills of the people. If you are leading them, then you may become the de facto one responsible - so make sure these are covered both by insurance and indemnity waivers.

Let me know if you think I can assist.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

User avatar
roadwanderer2
Posts: 4105
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:03 am
Location: sweetwater, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 83 GL1100A aspencade, previously owned, 1981 honda GL500i silverwing interstate, 1974 yamaha xs400, 1974 Honda cb450 twin cam, 1983 honda vt30, 1982 honda 700 shadow, 1972 cb750four, and my first bike, a brand new 1982 honda CM400e. and a new to me 1986 GL1200 aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby roadwanderer2 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:22 pm

personally, if I were to be renting out motorcycles, I would make sure they have a VALID motorcycle license AND at LEAST 5 years experience riding one. but that's my personal opinion. as redial says, insurance WILL be costly.

stuart.

User avatar
djolesiak
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:06 pm
Location: Upland, CA
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby djolesiak » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:43 pm

I started up and ran my own air conditioning business for 13 years. I have a little business know how. My wife works for a CPA and I'm sure she will be helpful with setting up the accounting. I've been busy working on the website for a couple of weeks now. It's almost ready for publishing. I'm going to buy a new van next week for a support vehicle (I need a new vehicle anyways). I'm going to install a CB for communication with the motorcycles. Planning on buying a Ford Transit with the turbo diesel engine since we'll be racking up a lot of miles. So far so good...

User avatar
roadwanderer2
Posts: 4105
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:03 am
Location: sweetwater, Tennessee
Motorcycle: 83 GL1100A aspencade, previously owned, 1981 honda GL500i silverwing interstate, 1974 yamaha xs400, 1974 Honda cb450 twin cam, 1983 honda vt30, 1982 honda 700 shadow, 1972 cb750four, and my first bike, a brand new 1982 honda CM400e. and a new to me 1986 GL1200 aspencade SEi
Contact:

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby roadwanderer2 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:01 am

sounds like a plan in the makings.

stuart.

User avatar
Big Blue UK
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Staffordshire UK
Motorcycle: GL1800 Monarch

Re: Quitting My Day Job

Postby Big Blue UK » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:27 am

I know a few who do UK tours, done it a few times myself for fun when mates come over from Western Europe. For how long do you want to work 7 day a week. There may come a point where you have too much to do your full time job, not enough to quit your full time job, and may be anxious about it going **** up. I would employ a temp rider, increasing the hours as the work hopefully increases, using your job to aid funding. When you can fill a full time schedule for the rider and have weekend work, quit your job, and keep the rider on if you can.


If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.


Return to “Trip Info, Reports & Gatherings”




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests