Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : December 2012

Naperville Scooters: Why Scooters? Why Naperville? Why Now? Why me?

 

My Kymco Agility 125

I purchased my first scooter this fall.  I bought the bike as a cheap and desperately needed form of transportation, which became a hobby, then an obsession.  

It is now a business plan.  I hope to open Naperville Scooters, a dealership, by May of 2013.

In short, buying a scooter is one of the best things I have ever done, and I hope to share that joy...


 
Naperville Scooters.  Why Scooters?  Why Naperville?  Why Now?  Why Me?
 
 
Why Scooters? 
  1. Scooters are inexpensive 
    I bought my bike, a 2009 Kymco Agility 125, used with low miles.  It cost me $1100, roughly the cost of a new set of tires for an automobile.  It is the best money I have ever spent.
    You can buy a nice scooter new for about $2,000.
     
  2. Low Maintainence Costs
    Insurance for a scooter costs about $10/month. 
    Most basic maintenance issues can be handled by the owner.  
    Need to fill up the tank?  It costs about $4...
     
  3. Fun
    I have never ridden or driven anything that gives me the pleasure riding this bike does.  I have owned Porsche, Mercedes, and Audi.  None are as fun.  I often catch myself grinning ear to ear when cruising down the road...
     
  4. Function
    I am blown away by the amount of travel I can do on a bike.  I go everywhere.  With storage under the seat, and a top case as an optional accessory, one can carry everything they need for the typical day.  If you add a backpack, you can even take a scooter camping.
    Yes, it isn't much fun in the rain, and I won't drive it in the snow.  However, when dressed appropriately, riding in cold temperatures is not an issue...
     
  5. Green Transportation
    Whatever side of the political scene, we all love the environment.  Scooters get between 50 and 100 miles per gallon of gas.  Their are also several electric options.  So if you are worried about the environment, scooters are for you...


 
 
Why Naperville? 
 
Naperville, Illinois is a perfect town for small businesses, especially a scooter dealership...
 
  1. Population
    With a population of 141,857, Naperville is the 5th largest city in lllinois.  With Joliet to the south and Aurora to the west, there are almost 1 million people living a short ride from Naperville...
     
  2. Wealth
    The median household income in Naperville is $101,457, making Naperville the wealthiest city in the Midwest (population>75,000). 



    Naperville Train Station-Scooter Parking Lot

  3. Commuters
    The Naperville Train Station near downtown has a 10 year waiting list for automobile parking.  There is no waiting list for motorcycles and scooters, making a scooter a very attractive option for commuters.



    North Central College
     
  4. North Central College
    North Central College, a private college located immediately to the east of downtown, has an enrollment of over 3000.  College kids, who are often on a tight budget, love scooters.
     
  5. Local High Schools
    There are 5 area high schools serving Naperville students.  Most of those kids take the bus to school.  Some own cars.  I believe many would love to own scooters.
     
  6. Lack of Competition
    There is virtually no competition in the scooter business in Naperville.  If you google "Naperville scooters".  You will come up with a few results:

    -Fox Valley Cycles, a company that sells a few models of scooters but is primarily a motorcycle     dealership, is located in Aurora, about 10 miles from downtown Naperville.
    -Naperville Motorsports, on Naperville's far western edge, is a motorcycle repair shop that does sell a few accesories...
    -Mirror Look, a company that specializes in painting bikes...

    You will also find a whole bunch of posts about me, my dream, and my vision...

    As a scooter enthusiast in a town of almost 150,000, I find it amazing I need to ride 20 minutes to buy a motorcycle helmet.


 
Why Now?

I believe a Naperville Scooter Dealership would prosper in any economy, good or bad.

  1. Gas prices
    At $4/gallon, driving one an automobile can be very expensive.  A scooter, however, gets up to 100 miles per gallon...
     
  2. Single car families
    I know many families that are functioning with only one car.  Many can't afford the money that a decent used car might cost, or the additional costs of maintenance. 
    However, buying a scooter for $2,000 can be manageable, even on a tight budget.




    Naperville Scooters Location
     
  3. Low commercial rental rates
    As a Naperville Realtor with over seven years of experience in residential sales, I have been steadily increasing my involvement on the commercial side.  I plan on using my experience to negotiate aggressively and expect to sign very favorable lease terms.
    In Naperville alone, there is a mind boggling amount of commercial real estate sitting vacant.  This is a great time to rent commercial space...
     
 
 
Why me?
  1. Financial Experience
    With over 15 years in the financial services industry, I am well versed in various potential financial issues, such as insurance, interest costs, margin rates, returns on investment, etc. 

  2. Track Record of Sales and Marketing Success
    With over 20+ years of sales and marketing experience, I have had success at every level selling a variety of products, and believe I am what is called "A born salesman".

  3. Small Business Experience 
    With over 7 years experience running my own small business as a Realtor, I am well aware of both the challenges and requirements involved in running a small business.

  4. Passion
    I strongly believe passion is the number one asset of any small business.  I wake up thinking about the joy of riding scooters, and talk about that joy to everyone I meet.    I can't wait to get started with Naperville Scooters.

 

 

Suppliers
 

           Kymco People 300 GTi        The Bintelli Edge
 
 
I am looking at several potential distributors, and my two leading suppliers are Kymco USA and Bintelli Scooters.  Both offer a nice range of scooters, ranging from smaller bikes to mid and maxi sized scooters.  Both have reputations for quality, reasonable pricing, and great customer and dealership support.
 
 
 
 
Sources of Revenue:
I plan on revenue coming from four main sources.
  1. Scooter sales
    The average Bintelli Dealership sells 150 scooters per year.  Given the demographics of Naperville and in spite of the cold weather we experience a few months of the year, I anticipate Naperville Scooters to be far more than an average dealership.  More active dealerships are currently selling 300+ scooters per year, and this would be my target volume in the second year.

  2. Accessories sales
    Helmets, goggles, visors, t shirts, jackets, and scooter skirts.  As a scooter owner, my Christmas list is filled with scooter accessories.

  3. Scooter rentals, both short and long term leases
    I believe the market for short term rentals (less than a week) as well as month or season long leases would be strong.

  4. The Service Center
    The average Bintelli dealership does about $50K in revenues per year in the service center.  The larger ones do more than double those numbers.  Again, I don't expect Naperville Scooters to be an average dealership.



 
 
Expenses
 
I plan to keep a close eye on expenses.
 
  1. Commercial Lease
    I am looking for a small space, perhaps 1000 square feet or so.  I hope to keep rent around $1500 per month originally, and believe I can achieve this with the vacant space currently available in Naperville.
    I estimate first year costs of the lease to be $18,000.

  2. Inventory
    I anticipate an original inventory of 20 bikes.  Enough for the showroom and some inventory to meet sales needs.  I expect costs per bike to average slightly over $1000 per bike.
    I estimate original inventory to be $24,000.

  3. Employee Wages
    I anticipate being the main employee, handling sales, book keeping, marketing, as well as community engagement.
    I will need to hire a mechanic immediately, but hope to hire one on a part time basis until demand dictates full time or additional mechanics...
    I estimate initial wages of approximately $48,000/year.

  4. Miscellaneous Expenses
    There are always additional expenses, and I know my business will have them too.  Insurance, Marketing, Utilities, costs of incorporation/legal fees, just to name a few. 
    I estimate these costs in the neighborhood of $35,000 in the first year.

I expect total costs in the first year to be approximately $125,000.




Marketing

I would market through various means, traditional as well as new age.
  1. Customers
    I believe my number one marketing tool would be satisfied customers.  I plan on giving my customers a great shopping experience, whether they are buying a new bike, getting an old one fixed, shopping for accessories, or just browsing for fun.  I want my customers to tell their friends...

  2. Traditional Marketing
    My costs directed toward more traditional marketing will be kept fairly modest.  I believe there are better ways to market a business.  However...
    I will be joining the Naperville Chamber of Commerce in January 2013 to introduce myself and my business to the community.  I plan on hosting several high profile events, grand openings, clubs, rides, as well as high visibility signage outside of the dealership.

  3. New Age Marketing
    As the owner of Tracy Social Media Solutitions, I consider myself very adept at leveraging social media and its applications in business. I will be focusing much of my marketing efforts here.
    I am currently designing my website, www.NapervilleILScooters.com.
    I already have pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Google Places for Naperville Scooters, and have been developing a good deal of interest for a business that won't open for another 6 months.
    I anticipate dominant page one position on Google.

 
With anticipated first year expenses to be $125,000, I would be extremely pleased breaking even in the first year.  I clearly have lots of work to do.  
 
But that doesn't deter me from my goal.  Opening Naperville Scooters in May, 2013.
 
Ken
 
 
Comment balloon 9 commentsKen Tracy • December 05 2012 09:10AM
Naperville Scooters: Why Scooters? Why Naperville? Why Now? Why me?
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I purchased my first scooter this fall. I bought the bike as a cheap and desperately needed form of transportation, which became a hobby, then an obsession. It is now a business plan I hope to open Naperville Scooters a… more