2019 is a year which has seen tremendous growth in the economy. People are innovating and moving out of the service industry to be independent, to be their own boss, so to speak.
And to do this, they are capitalizing on changes in trends at an early stage. One such trend that has been gaining popularity is the e-bike rental business.
This is likely because people are choosing to go environmental-friendly, and also because of genius engineering.
Electric bikes top the list.
In this article, I will break down an e-bike business and more importantly, talk about how to start an e-bike business from scratch.
Hold up! Why start an E-bike Rental Business?
You can choose this as either a part-time or a full-time venture. The costs for starting up a bike rental business are relatively low, and you will need to hire very few employees to get your business up and running.
E-bikes have even been accepted by the nation’s rapidly expanding bike-sharing systems. Starting an e-bike rental business gives you many tax benefits and also if you play your cards right, you can get many exemptions.
Every business motive is to make profits. Hence having lower fixed costs and overheads is beneficial for your balance sheet.
With high demand and lean operation, success is a guarantee.
So, what are the factors to be considered for starting an e-bike business?
e-bikes business will have good demand mainly at tourist attractions, populated beach towns, hill stations, and dense trafficked cities.
Most of the states and municipalities require a business license to operate. You may need to apply for a city license in some areas. Ensure that you meet all of your city and state licensing requirements before starting your bike business.
In the beginning, a few bikes might be sufficient. If you are not sure how many e-bikes you should buy, start small and be prepared to increase your inventory as per the requirement. Purchasing in a pack will be beneficial.
The potential injury for bikes is very high; you need to get business and liability insurance for your bike business. It costs on the size and location of the operations.
Once you ensured that everything is in place, promote your brand new bike rental business. Place prominent signs, distribute brochures, and advertise in tourist publications. Go online; people need to find you. You could lose a lot of customers if you don’t put your business online
An e-bike is appealing to those who are looking to replace short trips typically made by car and motorbikes. Do not be in a rush for profits. Get customers first and build your brand.
Charge as customers feel proud for opting e-bikes to replace short trips typically made by car justifying the reduced cost of car maintenance and fuel.
Just like any regular cycle, your e-bike is going to need routine maintenance to get the most extended life. Keep checking your e-bike every time you give it on rent. Such practices will let you know the condition, performance, and if any damages need repair.
We have seen what factors to consider for e-bike business.
Steps on how to start an e-bike rental business.
Step 1: Location and plans
Starting up with the location, choose a place where there is a possibility of large crowds or where there is a need for low-cost transportation.
As mentioned before, most suggested places are any tourist spots, downtown areas, financial or educational hubs. E-bike business can be set-up in cities/localities, which experiences high traffic so that people can reach their destinations without getting stuck in traffic.
If you plan to make branches, say several pick-ups and drop points at hotspots for your business.
Where customers can pick from one place and can return in another convenient location, your business will see a boost in the number of users.
Step 2: Licensing and Documentation
Every state and municipality have their regulations for giving license to any business. Know all the regulations of your locations and apply license for your e-bike business.
Make sure you follow all the norms so that you can avoid any legal charges due to negligence. You need to pay a license fee to the local authority after submitting all the necessary documents.
Once you get the license, you can start your e-bike rental business in the location(s) you mentioned in the documents submitted to the local authority.
The legal aspect of this business might get a little tricky, so I suggest you seek external counsel to be sure.
Also, most of the countries governments are promoting environmentally friendly alternatives and giving tax benefits. Make sure you grab all your benefits.
Step 3: Inventory and assets
Purchasing or leasing a few e-bikes in the initial stage will be an excellent way to start. This way, we can see how the public demand is and make corrections if necessary, without losing out on a lot of investment.
Once the business takes flight, you can purchase as per demand. Purchasing in packs (10 or 15 at a time) will be beneficial where you can get a good discount (economies of scale)
Also, you might need to set up docks at points of pick up and drop which should be handled by your electric bike manufacturer.
Step 4: Security and insurance
You can expect some of your properties to get damaged in this business. But you can avoid loss by insuring you e-bikes and any tangible asset that comes under contact with your clients.
In case of damage, theft, or accident, insurance will cover the loss.
To have added security, you can have GPS trackers and CCTV at the hubs. Better be safe than sorry.
Step 5: Promotion and branding
Spreading news about your business can be done in many ways. Share brochures, social media posts, website links, etc. having all the details about your business focusing on benefits like saving nature and time, avoiding traffic and low cost.
Advertise in popular tourist magazines, news daily, and most importantly, go online. Roll out advisement campaigns online, create a page/group/community where customers can find about your e-bike business.
I suggest you skip the print media as the costs run high and the penetration is low.
You can also offer promo codes and benefits to people who share your ads and help you acquire more loyal customers.
Winding up on starting an e-bike rental business.
You have to decide on your budget first. This is a business which will require a significant amount of initial investment. Your plan of action is wholly based on your budget. After that, you can go ahead planning and selecting the location, which is step 1 of the process.
Also, make sure you are selecting the right kind of bike for your location. You want to have a sturdy bike which can handle a significant amount of abuse at a reasonable cost. Nothing too fancy as it is not for personal use.
I have other articles which guide you on buying the best products for your business, do check them out for some more intricate details of this business.
I wish you all the best with your new endeavor, and I hope you kiss a positive cash flow soon.