Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruno Rony.
Bruno, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a European, from Paris, France a long time and experienced motorcycle rider. Southern California is a dreamland for us bikers! Three summers ago, I invited a few good friends from the old continent to come visit LA and Southern California under my supervision ;-). During 5 days, I provide them with motorcycles and they followed me on itineraries that they had no idea about! They literally couldn’t believe that there was so much to see outside of Los Angeles. They said that I should definitely start organizing local & private motorcycle guided tours, a format not yet popular but very promising considering the number of people traveling to LA for pleasure or business all throughout the year.
Los Angeles Bikers LLC was born after the summer of 2014. I spent quite some time documenting my itineraries and working on a commercial offer. Our website came to life after a few months with plenty of photos, videos and descriptions of places for those curious minds out there.
Today, our most popular format is the “From L.A. and back in 1 day” that is available all year round for a flat fee and offers the best of SoCal: 5 counties and a selection of over twenty 1-day rides and mini-tours that bear the footprints of regional geography, history and of the diverse culture that ties all things together.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a smooth road considering that I was and still am in no rush of generating the kind of income that would help sustain a strong turnover. At this stage Los Angeles Bikers is still a side gig for me and my other guides, but a gig that is a priority whenever our service is requested, which is now happening every month throughout the year.
I still run a web design business and my knowledge in this field helps me maintain a very good referencing on search engines. Being active on Social Media helps too and little by little, people spread the good news and this summer of 2017 has been more active than previous ones.
Of course, a decent marketing and advertising budget would have certainly boost our reservations, and bring the kind of notoriety we are looking form in the mid-term, but we are doing without and this young business is growing at a very manageable pace.
Please tell us about Los Angeles Bikers.
First of all, there is very limited offer in the local private motorcycle guided tour field. In and out of Los Angeles I believe that we are one out of…two companies offering such service.
It is definitely a niche that can be developed. Motorcycle riders usually relies on GPS and maps to find their way, but then they are usually on the road for the long haul. We offer the exact opposite: leave LA in the early morning and return to the comfort of your hotel in the evening with a full load of emotions and images to dream about when going back home!
All of our existing clients were only in LA for a few days and being avid riders, they looked specifically for what we offer and they found us: a female police officer from Sydney, Australia, a computer developer from Singapore or a motorcycle tour guide from New-Delhi, India… all of them had one, two or three days to spend and decided to get a private guide to show them around. The smart call indeed!
Our rides are not only taking advantage of a wonderful region, but they add peace of mind, safety and knowledge to the discovery. We ride at a leisurely pace and we keep very good care of our customers and make sure their experience is easy, fun and relaxed. Many stops along the way allow for picture shots and the occasional video sequence. Because it is also about making memories and sharing them!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I really do not see any other alternate road so to speak. This is a totally new and not yet popular concept. I believe we did a good job presenting our services and rides: we know our turf and we love to share!
More money to invest into advertising is certainly something that would help but attracting investors or partners has a cost, both financial and psychological. Above all, I value independence and another motto for Los Angeles Bikers could very well be “Small is beautiful.”