Harold Cecil's experience with the COCC Small Business Management Program
In 2008, Giant Loop started as an opportunity to combine life-long passions: the adventure of the outdoors plus the excitement of motorcycling. Owner Harold Cecil has been hooked on dirt bikes since he was a kid, and over the years has developed products designed for riding.
Giant Loop manufactures and sells one of the world’s best soft luggage systems for motorcycles. Their unique styling combines saddlebags (panniers) and a tail bag into a functional design that has been road tested by real bike lovers.
After successfully navigating its four-year startup, Giant Loop is on the road to sustaining continued growth. The company recently secured its first injection of working capital and co-founder Harold Cecil has taken full ownership. "Giant Loop's future is wide open now," says Cecil. "To remain vital and competitive in the long-term, we have to accelerate the pace of innovation and brand penetration. With design director, Brian Frankle, leading new product development, and with the financial stability provided by securing funds through a Small Business Administration-backed working capital loan from Columbia State Bank, we are ready to take Giant Loop to the next level."
Cecil will introduce an updated and expanded Giant Loop product line at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy in November, followed by the Dealer Expo show in Indianapolis in 2013.
Partnership with the SBDC at COCC
According to Cecil, "The Small Business Development Center at COCC has been instrumental in helping us learn the fundamentals of business and how to become better owners and managers. One-on-one advising every month at our shop is like getting personalized coaching and a fresh, objective perspective on challenges and problems.
"There is a vast chasm between having an idea and turning that idea into a business. As our business grew and the opportunity and potential for growth became clear, we knew we needed help creating a viable, sustainable business — and that it would require more than a single product and positive word-of-mouth buzz on the Internet.
"The Small Business Management program is like a real world MBA."
Owner: Harold Cecil