What It's About
A Canadian wine tour on bikes!
Words of Wisdom
Erin took action on her idea because she believed that if she didn’t launch something, someone else would.
As she put it, “If your idea keeps you up at night because you know you'll be annoyed if someone else does it before you, it's a good sign that you should pursue it.”
Erin’s favorite tour so far was a private tour with her friends and family. While she was expecting a fun weekend with her friends, her boyfriend had other plans in mind and proposed at the last stop. Needless to say, both the bubbly and the excitement were plentiful.
Notes from Chris
Erin Bury didn’t think she had time for a side hustle. As Managing Director and a partner in a creative communications agency, she had a lot on her plate. But there was also an idea that wouldn’t go away. Erin grew up visiting Prince Edward County, an up and coming wine region about two hours outside of Toronto. As she got older and of drinking age, her dad moved there and she would visit every summer with friends. They all loved touring the wineries but noticed that while there were limo tours available, unlike other wine regions there were no bicycle tours available. Erin knew this was a popular activity offered elsewhere. She also believed that if she didn’t launch something, someone else would. As she put it, “If your idea keeps you up at night because you know you'll be annoyed if someone else does it before you, it's a good sign that you should pursue it.” After a lot of planning on weekends and evenings, The County Wine Tours launched in May of this year. Their website is built on WordPress so they can easily maintain it, with online scheduling and payments processed by Checkfront. The tours are priced at $95 per person and so far they’ve been completely booked up on weekend days with anywhere from 2 to 10 people on a tour. With anywhere from 5 to 10 inquiries coming in daily, Erin and her co-founders are excited that their great idea has gotten so much traction, so quickly. Their biggest problem at this point is managing demand on popular days. With the framework in place for public tours, they’ve also created private tours so people can book for a birthday party or bachelorette party, as well as corporate tours that companies can use as part of a retreat. While it’s clear that there’s lots of room for expansion, they plan to ride out this season with their current bikes and then decide how many to add for next season.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- The County Wine Tours: Learn more about Erin's niche bike tour side hustle on her website!
- Giant Bicycles: The bicycle manufacturer that Erin worked with to select a fun cruiser bike with custom accessories for her bike tours
- Keyword Planner: This tool helps you reach the right customers with the right keywords and helps you to better build your SEO and ad campaigns
- TripAdvisor: Setting up their TripAdvisor profile helped The County Wine Tours capture those “word of mouth” recommendations online
- Checkfront: The online booking system and reservation software that Erin used
- SEO 101: If you're looking to launch your own online presence, here's a Beginner's Guide to SEO
- The Guardian | How to start a tour operator business: Interested in starting your own urban touring company? Get started, here
- EzTix: An online ticketing service that makes it easier for you to schedule tours
- Sagenda: A free, online booking option if you're looking to cut costs
- Chocolate Ecstacy Tours: Indulge in your chocolate obsession with the assistance of Jennifer's website
- Renegade Museum Tour Guide Earns $2 Million: A man in New York City proves that with enough passion and innovation a side hustle can thrive in museums
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