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Report to Prospects, Customers and Clients
Thank you to customers and clients for your support over the past two years. It has
been most encouraging and as I put together the tour schedule for 2011, I am pleased
that I have been able to meet so many people in the last 18 months. To those who
have written glowing accounts in our evaluations, thank you and tell your friends.
I call someone who visits my website or emails or phones making an inquiry a 'prospect'.
Many of these prospects book a tour and become a customer.
2010 was a challenging year
Now many are regularly booking and these people are clients. It is my goal this year
to make more customers and clients my advocates', someone who through positive word-of-mouth
promotes my business. You can pay for advertising, but you can't pay someone to say
something nice about you.
2010 started out as a very challenging year. In March, I took a spill and although
I didn't realize it straight away, I broke my right wrist. Recovery was slow and
I had to cancel several city and brewery tours. I was well enough to do my Germany
"Romantic Road" tour and I am pleased to offer a refined version of it again next
year as "Best of Germany's Romantic Road"as a private tour for 2012.
Toronto hosted the G20 summit in late June and I was again forced to cancel 3 tours
to the downtown areas because they were inside the security zone. Sadly, I didn't
pick up any private tours from the summit participants. It seems they were all business,
I've made a few changes to my Free Tour Program to allow people who organize tours
of 6 to 8 people to travel free (including bike rental). I also continue to promote
my independent contractor tours to those of my clients who feel they are ready to
run tours themselves. If this sounds like something you would like to do, please
contact me for more details.
I was again happy to participate in Toronto's Bike Month. I ran a Scarborough Commute
and a 1840s City Tour in June.
With the advent of BIXIbike rentals in Toronto, there are now 100 spots in the downtown
area to pick up a rental bike. I expect this will improve my city tour numbers this
year especially amongst tourist from out of town. I'm adding 3 tours a weekend and
several mid-week tours during the high season in anticipation of a busy summer 2011.
I have several bicycles I use for rentals and will offer them as an alternative to
BIXIs. One of them is a tandem and I intend to continue offering the tandem rental
and combine it with an accessible tour. I also have a bike with a front mounted baby
carrier as well as a beach cruiser I offer for rental.
I have also standardized the difficulty ratings for tours so each customer knows
how easy or hard a tour will be including approximate speeds of the tour and the
number and steepness of hills. I also have factored in the exposure to vehicular
traffic in these numbers.
This year's signature tour will be the Ancient Ridgeway Trail in southwest England
tour which includes Stonehenge, and Avebury as well as Reading, Salisbury and much
more. This will be my first, all inclusive and partially supported tour. No SAG wagon,
but relief from dragging around heavy panniers from place to place. I will also be
offering this service on other multi-day tours in the future.
For several years I have volunteered at the Toronto Nuit Blancheprogram. In 2010
I had the pleasure to be a docent for the first time. In 2011 I will be offering
a tutored Nuit Blanche Tour. We will be able to cycle to all 3 zones and I will choose
the sites based on interest and importance.