Starting a business involves practical steps to conduct business legally and to plan for the business itself. If you want to start your own bike tour business, you need to complete some practical registration steps along with preparing your biking tours. When you are planning your biking tour business, you need to make it appealing to bikers and tourists, so people not only get exercise on your tours but also get a piece of history.
Write a business plan for your bike tour business. Include information regarding your goals for providing a specific amount of biking tours per week, how you plan on funding the necessary biking equipment needed for the tours--such as repair equipment and rental bikes--and how you plan on marketing the biking tours in your local community. It should also include ways to attract tourists to your biking tours. You should also create name for the biking tour business that captivates you as a biker and the facts people will learn on the tours. Examples include "Bob's Historical Biking Tours" or "Bike through History with Gwen."
Contact the Chamber of Commerce office in your area to register your business and inquire about the proper licences and permits needed in your state to operate a service business (see Resources). Examples of permits can be the production of products in the home, such as fixing your bikes and doing marketing materials, if you plan on running the business out of your home. Registering usually requires a fee that can range between $60 and $80, depending on the state.
Inquire about business insurance for your biking tours, while at the chamber of commerce. As a biking tour business, you will need basic customer satisfaction insurance if a customer is injured and decides to sue you for it. The price can vary depending on the insurance company you choose.
Contact the IRS and fill out the SS-4 form to obtain a tax ID for your bike tour business. The form will ask you for basic information regarding your biking business, such as its location, whether you have had an EIN before and if you plan on hiring employees in the future. The tax ID, an EIN as it is also known, is required for your business taxes.
Purchase the necessary equipment for your business. This includes biking helmets, extra bikes for tourists, air pumps, tire gear in case of broken tires and storage facility. You should not assume that all of your customers have their own bikes, as people may come as tourists to your business. If you purchase used bikes, you may be able to save some money but ensure the bikes are usable. Depending on where you purchase the bikes and equipment and whether they are new or used, you could be looking at spending between $200 and $700.
Plan your biking tours. You could plan tours that are in the forest or wooded areas for people who want to see the area and get some exercise. You could also create tours that show or highlight the historical sites within your town. If you do, create a document of the historical facts that you can share with fellow bikers on your tours.
Market your business by targeting people who enjoy biking or history. You should ask to have the brochures placed in biking or sporting stores, as well as by tourist locations or offices and history museums, if you are planning on showing historical sites on the tours. You can also create a website for people who want to know more about your business.