Thinking of starting your own motorcycle business? Here are 10 tips for your start-up motorcycle business along with some numbers to help you succeed.
Part 1: Before you get started
Tip #1: Get experience
Learn the business.
A motorcycle aficionado doesn’t always make the best motorcycle business owner. A passion for motorcycling is only half of the winning recipe. Learning the business can be expensive and time consuming, and business savvy comes from experience. Be sure to reap the benefits of learning from someone else who’s paid their dues by getting some industry experience working for others before branching out and going solo. You’ll get a guaranteed salary and a first class education of what to do (or not do) and how the industry works.
Don’t believe it? This table, adapted from StatisticsBrain features the top reasons start-up businesses fail.
Part 2: Setting up shop
Tip #2: It costs less to keep a customer than it does to get a new one
Meet Mark, he’s your first customer.
Customer acquisition is expensive and can be challenging for even the most established business. As the new player in the game your first instinct might be to dedicate all of your marketing budget towards outreach to bring new customers. Not so fast. What about Mark? Building relationships and forming a core customer base can be much more beneficial and cost effective to your start-up motorcycle business.
Don’t believe it? Check out these numbers from Forbes:
Tip #3: Create a system for gathering your customers’ information
You’ve decided you want to keep in touch with Mark, he’s a good guy.
So you made some sales your opening week, that’s great. Now what? How will you keep Mark and the rest of your customers coming back? How will you let them know about that next big thing you’ve got? How will you bring them in for their next “WOW!” experience at your shop? Create a plan of action: ask for email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses. Make this a process all of your staff follows.
Tip #4: Invest in a CRM platform
Take Mark’s info to heart.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s a software platform that can capture your customers’ personal information (name, email address, mailing address), vehicle information (year, make, model, service history), and transactional information (products purchased, service history). Some CRMs can be set up to reach out to your customers automatically, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
How does it work? Today Mark comes in for an oil change. The system recognizes the service as a periodic one, and it automatically sends Mark an email inviting him to come in for an oil change three months later. Some systems can also learn Mark’s oil change habits, so as to predict when he will need to come back for service next, for maximum efficiency.
Don’t believe it? Check out this 2014 research report from Nucleus Research:
See next page for Tips #5 through #10 and the thrilling conclusion.