Opening up a motorcycle shop can be a very financially rewarding experience. Bikers love shops where they feel comfortable and welcome and which have the overall feel of a family. However, creating that kind of atmosphere can be a challenge. The following tips will help make this process easier and give you the help you need to thrive.
Know Your Costs
Motorcycle shops have unique costs and expenditures that you must consider before starting. For example, you’ll need to buy various engine parts, motorcycles, display equipment, multiple types of accessories, and more. All of these items are essential if you want to thrive as a business.
Remember: just because on-road motorcycles doubled from 4.2 million to 8.3 million between 2002-2018 doesn’t mean that you’re automatically assured success. Your shop needs to be the kind of place that bikers love visiting, with a comprehensive level of gear and equipment.
Find Manufacturers You Like
Bike manufacturers all have different reputations and potential buyers – more so than any other vehicle market. For example, Harley Davidson has a reputation with more rebellious bikers, while Yamaha is usually associated with a friendlier lifestyle. Many a parent rides a Yamaha to and from their office job.
Which of these reputations would you like for your company? Research the different manufacturers and find those that you genuinely appreciate and which seem to fit your personality. Doing so will help focus other elements of your bike shop and make it more effective for your needs.
Understand Your Branding
The target market for most bike shops is usually men between 18-25 and 40-65. They account for about 80% of all motorcycle sales on the market today. So why is there an age gap between the two? Well, younger bikers are usually more rebellious teens or young adults.
And the older market is usually men who may be having a midlife rethink of their lifestyle. Whatever market you pick, you need to choose branding that makes sense for your needs. For example, if you want to appeal to older riders with more cash, focus on comfort, dependability, and adaptability over rebelliousness and pure power.
Find Partners You Can Trust
It’s a sad truth that finding business partners is never an easy step. For example, it has been found that up to 70% of all business partnerships inevitably fail. This problem is serious because it indicates a significant problem with trust. That’s why it is critical to find partners who you know will have your back.
Usually, it is best to focus on people who love bikes instead of those with more money. While courting money-rich investors is a wise choice, you want partners who genuinely love the biking lifestyle. In this way, you should be more likely to see eye-to-eye and minimize any working issues you may have experienced otherwise.
Appeal to Bikers
Lastly, you must know how to appeal directly to bikers to ensure that your shop is busy. Bikers are a savvy group and know when shops are faking it. They crave authenticity and will react poorly if they think that you are condescending or pandering to them as a company.
If you’re not sure how to appeal to true motorcycle enthusiasts, you may need to talk to a few who you know understand your needs. They can give you a few tips and insights into the biker mentality. For example, they can tell you what kind of logos and signs are likely to stand out and what kind of slogans will appeal to the average biker.
Follow these simple steps, and you’ll give your shop the best chance of success. Don’t hesitate to work directly with business experts who can help you with the more in-depth legal planning steps. Otherwise, focus on doing things that make sense for your new bike shop.