With a microloan from Accion and a little bit of the entrepreneurial spirit, San Diego Fly Rides became the city’s number one tour operator in just under a year. This husband and wife team turned their life's’ passion into a market success through offering a range of exhilarating tour packages that allow customers to enjoy beautiful San Diego on two wheels.
San Diego Fly Rides, started by husband and wife Ike and Megan Fazzio, offers something really unique to the San Diego community—hybrid electric bike tours. These battery-powered bikes make for an exciting and comfortable way to explore the city. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but the adjustable pedaling power makes it compatible for all types of riders. San Diego Fly Rides offers an expansive variety of tour options including rides through Balboa Park, Coronado Island, La Jolla, Little Italy, Mission Bay, Old Town, Torrey Pines, and many more!
The inspirational start of Ike and Megan's business was spurred by the state of the recession. Ike and Megan decided to take six months off work and bike through Italy and France. Rooted in their passion for the sport, they came back to the United States knowing that they wanted to start a biking business here in San Diego. After considering various financing options, they decided to apply for their first loan with Accion San Diego because of their responsive service. Ike explained, "With microfinancing, the interest rates are a little bit higher, but at the same time the restrictions are a little more flexible. They made it easier for us to get going. I think what's great about Accion is that they keep the steam rollin'."
Upon receiving their loan, Ike and Megan were able to buy their first set of bikes. The extra capital also gave them the opportunity to partner with manufacturers to attain dealer exclusivity for up to 25 miles from downtown.
Ike adds, "That's something cool about having a little extra cash infusion. It gives you a little leverage to work with, especially if you're a new business. If you're just surviving and bootstrapping with minimal leverage, it leaves you with the handouts that people give you.”
San Diego Fly Rides started out of a house, but now it is ranked #1 for San Diego Tours on TripAdvisor. Receiving a loan from Accion made it possible for Ike and Megan to get their location downtown, which has allowed them to integrate into the community. From showing people around the city to offering tours for fundraising events, Ike and Megan's passion for both biking and the city has brought a positive impact to San Diego.
Are you a small business owner or someone considering a startup? Ike and Megan recommend that having different sources of income can be very beneficial. With San Diego Fly Rides, they offer a range of other services such as: electric bike sales, electric bike rentals, and electric bike conversions. Megan advises entrepreneurs to "find different ways to use what you have and make your customer database more profitable for you."
Summer is right around the corner. What better time is there to treat yourself to a leisurely ride around one of San Diego's most beautiful attractions? For the coming months, Ike recommends the Waterfront Tour which takes you from Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, to Harbor Island for breathtaking views of the city skyline. Or for a more intimate ride away from busy roads, Ike recommends the SoCal Riviera Tour which takes you through the mountains, overlooking gorgeous views of the ocean and beautiful neighborhoods.
Check out San Diego Fly Rides and for the month of June receive a 15% discount off any tour or full day rental when you mention Accion. For more info about their tours check out: www.sandiegoflyrides.com.