Electric bicycles, more commonly known as e-bikes, are becoming more and more popular recently. These bikes are powered by electricity and run noticeably faster than traditional bikes.
Because of this, many people are becoming more and more interested in knowing how to start an e-bike business.
Just like with starting any business, setting up an e-bike business involves lots of steps. It’s also important that you are familiar with the bike itself, making it easier for you to share with others the joys of riding an e-bike.
And just like with opening any business, you need to have an entrepreneurial mindset.
Here are some things to consider when launching an e-bike business.
1. Location, Location
Choosing the location for your e-bike business is not something you do on a whim. In fact, it is a crucial step to opening a business. Make sure you choose the location where e-bikes will be in high demand.
Also, look for a site with a gap and try to fill that in. Shopping malls, business parks, and commercial districts are some of the best places to consider since these places often have heavy consumer traffic.
If you operate a manufacturing and distribution business for e-bikes, you will need a bigger space. Given the nature of your business, you will be better off operating from industrial sites or those places that can accommodate large amounts of warehouse space and have easy access to transportation routes.
Depending on the location of your business, you will be dictated by the local zoning ordinances in that community.
Your budget is an important factor to consider when deciding on your business location. Aside from the monthly rent, you need to pay several other location-specific costs, such as renovation costs, taxes, utility bills, etc.
Try to speak with other business owners in the area to see if they are happy with the location and if the business is profitable. Gather their thoughts about your decision to open an e-bike business and see if they can offer advice for new entrepreneurs like you.
2. Cost Research
Money is the bloodline of any business. So, before you put up an e-bike business, it’s important to know how much it will cost you. Of course, there will be some up-front costs to consider, which will vary depending on the nature of your business.
If you are going to open an e-bike rental business, you need to have enough money to purchase several units of e-bikes. Each bike will cost around $1,000 to $1,499.
So, if you need a dozen e-bikes for a start, you should have around $18,000 for your starting capital. Aside from the bike, you also need to purchase some tools and equipment, so that’s something you need to consider.
Aside from buying the e-bike units, there are miscellaneous upfront costs that you need to be aware of. First is business insurance, which ensures that you are safe from any liability in case of injury.
Next, you need to pay for the business incorporation costs, depending on how you set up your business. You also need to pay for the license to operate and other related costs.
And if you plan to build a website, you need to consider the cost of setting it up as well. To ensure your e-bike business will run smoothly, make sure you have enough funds to pay for the initial costs.
It’s difficult for your e-bike business to succeed if you do not have the right staff to help you. Therefore, another thing to consider when launching your business is hiring and onboarding the right employees.
You need to be very careful with choosing employees because hiring the wrong ones can be costly for your business. A high turnover rate can pose serious financial problems for your e-bike business.
But first, you need to assess the hiring needs of your business. You may need to hire those with electronic engineering backgrounds who will be responsible for maintaining the e-bikes and resolving any technical issues.
Determine the exact skills or talent that your business will need to be successful. This will give you an idea of the type of people to hire and for what positions.
You also need to decide how many employees you need to hire when launching your business. Remember, the more employees you have, the more money you need for their salaries. Not only that, but you also need to spend for recruiting, hiring, and training them.
Hiring fun-time staff can cost more since you also need to pay for their benefits. Hiring independent contractors will be cheaper since they don’t need benefits.
Marketing is another crucial aspect to consider when launching your new e-bike business. Decide whether you need to have a website or get out there to reach out to your target audience.
But having a strong online presence is important. Research shows that customers will usually learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else.
Marketing aims to raise brand awareness and create a pipeline of qualified leads that can turn into sales. When it comes to small businesses, getting the word out can be challenging because of less visibility and the lack of resources.
But, there are ways to scale your marketing efforts and attract the right audience.
First, know your target audience. Find out who you think will be buying or renting e-bikes and focus your marketing efforts on them. When marketing your business, emphasize your value proposition or things that differentiate you from your competitors.
Once you have your marketing initiatives running, pay close attention to the data, as this will give you an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Take advantage of free promotional tools, and pay only for those tools that are effective for your business.
Don’t hesitate to invest in a professional-looking website. Your website is very important. This is where potential customers can get to know you better and get in touch with you if they find your products interesting.