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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
The median household income in Naperville is $101,457, making Naperville the wealthiest city in the Midwest (population>75,000).
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
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.
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.
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.
I believe a Naperville Scooter Dealership would prosper in any economy, good or bad.
At $4/gallon, driving one an automobile can be very expensive. A scooter, however, gets up to 100 miles per gallon...
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.
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...
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.
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".
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.
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.
I plan on revenue coming from four main sources.
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.
Helmets, goggles, visors, t shirts, jackets, and scooter skirts. As a scooter owner, my Christmas list is filled with scooter accessories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.