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10 Tips for Your Start-up Motorcycle Business

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.

Major Causes of Start-up Failures

5 Tips New Motorcycle Businesses Must Follow

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:

Customer Retention

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:

CRM ROI

See next page for Tips #5 through #10 and the thrilling conclusion.

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

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  1. RT @YouMotorcycle: 10 Tips for Your Start-up Motorcycle Business
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