The day starts at 7:30 a.m. for Wayne du Pied, when he arrives at his Salt Lake City EagleRiderlocation. The first order of business is inspecting his Harley-Davidsons, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats to make sure they're ready for renters.
When du Pied took over the franchise in 2006, he decided to move closer to the airport to make it easier for him to pick up his customers. After transporting them from the airport to EagleRider, he rents them their bikes and they go on their way--whether for just a few hours or a few weeks.
Then the real work begins. Du Pied, 40, gets calls about flat tires, breakdowns and bikes that customers have mistakenly filled up with diesel instead of gasoline. But all the mishaps seem worth it when the customers return at the end of the day. "It's the type of business that puts smiles on people's faces," du Pied says. "They come back and say, 'We had the best ride!'"
As an EagleRider franchisee, du Pied also offers tours, and customers who want to take a spin on their own can drop bikes off at any EagleRider location instead of returning them to his store. But the benefits of the franchise don't stop at his customers: Du Pied earned revenue of $250,000 in 2006 and projects a $100,000 increase this year. "The learning curve's a lot shorter," he says, "when you've got people [behind you] who've done it for years."
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