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World On Wheels-Segway Tours & Bike Rentals – The Birth of a Business – BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT By Jannise Bush

World On Wheels Segway Tours and Bike Rental (WOW) is owned and operated by Lynnette Lee, her husband, Ronnie, their two sons and two grandchildren. Most businesses have vision and mission statements, but WOW is grounded in scripture.

The Just Live by Faith

2Then the Lord answered me and said:

Write the vision

And make it plain on tablets,

That he may run who reads it.

3For the vision is yet for an appointed time;

But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.

Though it tarries, wait for it;

Because it will surely come,

It will not tarry.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NKJV)

 

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTJannise Bush20160216WOW offers tours and recreational equipment rental and sales. The equipment available includes Segways, Quadracycles, and Tandem Bikes. The Segway is the first of its kind–a motorized, self-balancing, personal transportation device designed to operate in any pedestrian environment. A quadracycle is a 2 or 4-seater, pedal-powered device. Tandem bikes are 2-seater bicycles. Lynnette says the business developed in three phases.

Phase I – The Plan: Lynnette worked for a company that closed its Peoria branch. She accepted a transfer to Chicago where she worked during the week and came home on the weekends. While in Chicago all week with no family there, she hung out at a recreational facility. It occurred to her that it would be a great idea to bring the recreational facility idea to Peoria, and a business plan was born.

She enrolled in a small business workshop at ICC, and she attended expos in Las Vegas and Florida where they taught courses specific to the entertainment industry and customer attraction. In addition, she and her husband traveled a lot. So, as a way to research the industry, she would have her husband take her to entertainment facilities everywhere they went. Then a friend introduced her to a group with a similar idea. They had the money but no plan, and she had a plan but no money.

Phase II – The Bikes: September 11 happened, and the group she was introduced to lost their funding. So, Lynnette sought a part-time job as a backup plan.

While she worked her plan, there was talk going on in Peoria about redeveloping the riverfront. She ran across an old photo of a quadracycle taken in Galvaston, Texas, and her plans for an entertainment facility started transforming. She researched quadracycle sources and found a private gentleman who made them in his welding shop, and her business plan came to life. She and her husband operated those “bikes” for two years until her business idea transformed again.

Phase III – The Segway: Lynnette and Ronnie traveled to a Detroit auto show where they saw the first electric car, which would be great to use for doing tours. But, on their way back, they passed through Chicago, where they saw people in Grant Park riding these “funny things.” Lynnette thought they could do tours on those instead of in electric cars. “I didn’t even know what they were at the time,” she says. She researched all the Segway dealers she could in an effort to bring them to Peoria, and she was able to merge the Segways into her “bike” business.

Starting a business is never easy. To be successful you just have to take the first step and have faith, commitment, and know your limitations. I know my limitations, and I’ve learned to find people who know how to do what I don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do. So to be successful, be willing to ask for and accept help (not a handout). There are people who have been more than willing to help us along the way and continue to help us.

Now, the biggest hurdle for WOW to overcome is the misconception people have that all we do is rent equipment to ride around the riverfront. We are about a lot more than that. We consider ourselves ambassadors for Peoria. We are available for tours, neighborhood block parties, team-building events, family reunions, lock-ins, church anniversaries, youth days, and more. Guided tours are available along the riverfront, through downtown, through the historic wine district, and along Moss Avenue. Demos are available as well,” she says.

WOW Segway Tours and Bike Rentals will be out and about along the riverfront during this summer season beginning Memorial Day weekend. You can also see them in the Fourth of July parade in West Peoria. Be sure to stop by and say hello or take a tour or bike ride. All Segway tours are by appointment only.

For more information, visit their website at www.worldonwheelspeoria.com, World On Wheels-Segway on Facebook or call (309) 453-0916.

Would you like your business featured in the Business Spotlight? Contact Jannise Bush at (309) 550-5184 or jannise@jabservices.org.