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Old 11-21-2012, 06:40 PM   #24
jeffgrig's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Illinois
Oddometer: 46
Kenny, I have had the same dream as you about a scooter store - and as irony would have it - I live near and work in Naperville.

Unlike you though, I decided not to pull the trigger on it. So let me share with you how I envisioned my scooter store and the business model I had that you may ....or may not...want to use.

Eerily like you as well, I was a realtor and broker/manager before I left RE, so i think we are on the same page. I am also a scooter enthusiast and have had a plethora of scooters in my riding life....and always looking for more of them.

So, with a conservative business sense and scooter knowledge, let me share my thoughts.

I would look for the smallest retail space possible - as close to walk in traffic - in an effort to reduce cost. It would be a 'boutique' scooter store focusing on sales, service and rentals with high, personal customer residents in Naperville expect and demand.

My small showroom would have a few models....and I would endeavor to either have a Vespa dealership, or carry used Vespas scoots and accessories to cater to upscale scooter enthusiasts. I imagine residents buying (or leasing) scooters for their kids in college. I would also deliver and pickup those college-bound scooters and store them if needed during summer breaks (all part of a service contract in advance).

I would only sell quality scoots.... meaning, no cheap Chinese models. Easier to work on and get parts for quality Italian and Japanese scoots. Kymco would be an exception as they have a pretty good reputation. I would build a scooter culture in downtown Naperville: host scoot-ins, develop a scooter club with the store being the sponsor, etc.

My premium new scooters would be at every social event in Naperville for promotions; at the River Walk, Rib Fest, Park District events, wine tastings, etc..I have many marketing and promotional ideas involving local Naperville dignitaries.....which I know. I would have a a huge presence at North Central University as well.

Rentals during warmer weather is also a segment of the business. Self-guided tours of River Walk, some of the better blocks for nice houses, etc. These would involve classic rentals, such as 50 cc Yamahas and Honda Metro's. Good reputation for taking abuse. With logos on the scoots, this is a great marketing tool as well and the rental scoots traverse the downtown area.

The business plan is to establish a 'proof of concept' by making the project cost effective and profitable in the first year. Ergo, reduce cost and labor cost and maximize sales, service, rentals and accessories. Used and restored scooters would also be a segment of the sales department. I would also offer winter storage of scooters (for a fee of course) even if i had to rent a storage site for that purpose. Our one van could pick up and deliver the scoots at the start and end of the riding seasons.

I worked some numbers and it is feasable...although not easy. The key is to keep overhead as low as possible and hustle, hustle, hustle sales.

Good luck to you and if you need any local help, let me know. Jeff
"Get busy living, or get busy dying."
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