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st3v3
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PostPosted: 00:24 - 24 Oct 2021    Post subject: Storage while working/shopping Reply with quote

Just looking for feedback and ideas.

I'm in the middle of using my company to build out a secure bike storage venture, park your (e)bike in a specially kitted out shop for a tenner a day sort of thing.

I keep getting asked (mostly by landlords) what are the negatives I expect from doing this, but I really can't think of any and it always leaves the conversation a bit awkward, naturally i'm full of energy and optimism for a plan we've spent 9 months scribbling down and typing up, seeing bad bits - or as you'd say 'in hindsight'; but i'm not there yet.

How could/would you abuse a staffed parking facility?
Only asking because I expect it could benefit LOTS of hard working people and provide many jobs if it goes on to launch and grow properly, harsh experience shows me having a blindspot around a new idea isn't pretty.

(I'm aware it isn't *new*, there's a few brilliant subsidised versions coming along but commercially?)

Also i'm really struggling with business rates, anyone have experience in this area?
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 08:40 - 24 Oct 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

People leaving their bike there and not picking it up for ages but expecting it back immediately when they want it back.

People not paying.

Someones e-bike catching fire in your shop.

Disputes over ownership of a bike in your posession.

People trying to steal bikes and how are you going to stop them.

Someone leaves their bike with you then claims damage was caused while in your posession.

Comes back and finds their tyre has gone flat/bike has discharged and expects you to sort it out.

Dealing with the general public who can be utter dicks.

Then there are the usual bickering and gripes of industrial premesis of parking disputes, access niggles, building and site maintainance hassles, noise complaints...

EDIT: I think a couple of days visit to Amsterdam for genuine business research rather than weed and hookers would be a very useful thing to do. Nobody does bicycles like the Dutch.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 10:14 - 24 Oct 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I think we can summarise Mr. Stinkwheel's excellent post in one word: "liability."

Just to expand on the "abandoned bikes" point, in the City such a facility would see a lot of action on a Friday where ppl have far too many after work drinks and end up taking the train so maybe a special weekend rate. Also I wonder whether £10 a day is optimistic. I'd consider also offering discounted monthly and yearly plans in the same vein as ppl purchasing seasonal travel passes.

Staffed you say? Maybe you could leverage a higher price if you trained them in basic bicycle maintenance and they kept a selection of tools, inner tubes and a pump on hand. Credit card machine at the ready to overcharge for quick repairs for some bonus money.
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st3v3
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PostPosted: 13:00 - 24 Oct 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

The catching fire thing is an issue, admittedly, we have no specialists round here so I have to tinker with my own eBikes myself and i'm no electrician.. I have blown a few parts and forked out for replacements. Not in any rush to see a battery go up.

stinkwheel wrote:


EDIT: I think a couple of days visit to Amsterdam for genuine business research rather than weed and hookers would be a very useful thing to do.
What madness is this you speak of? Shocked Laughing who am I to break cultural tradition? Twisted Evil

Easy-X wrote:

Staffed you say? Maybe you could leverage a higher price if you trained them in basic bicycle maintenance and they kept a selection of tools, inner tubes and a pump on hand. Credit card machine at the ready to overcharge for quick repairs for some bonus money.
That's part of the plan, there's bigger things to grow into but establishing the idea as viable is the hardest step.

Rates have been the 1 struggle.
Our council are sticking to the script on "we must collect rates regardless" because I haven't exactly been graceful on other topics - gotta love politics.
They have quoted this but i'm reading a snippet of that here, as a loophole?
Linky 2 wrote:
(3)A relevant leasehold interest is an interest under a lease or underlease which was granted for a term of 6 months or more and conferred the right to exclusive possession throughout the term.
If you took a 4 month lease, isn't that too short to lawfully count as collectable? Naturally, they have gone quiet when I've asked them directly, haven't had much luck finding any kind of solicitor to check.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 16:42 - 24 Oct 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a spate of short term leases for empty shops. The pattern: shop closes, 3 month lease, new guy fills the place with cheap tat, sales cash only, bugger off before the bills are due.

I don't see so many of those shops these days so I can only assume councils have shut down that loophole Thinking
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 15:45 - 25 Oct 2021    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just trying to get my head around the business model; is this for people to store bikes who don't have the facility to do so otherwise (e.g. those without a garage), or as a "docking place" for people who work in a city centre but don't want to chain their bike to the railings (and find it, or bits of it, missing later)?

Either way, security is going to be a big thing; if it's deemed a hotspot for high value bikes then it'll become a target. Thieves are so brazen these days CCTV etc.. won't put them off and your potential customers are going to want either a massively impressive security system, an insurance arrangement where if it gets nicked they are covered, or both.

Edit: other thing is pricing needs to be competitive. I realise it was a figure probably plucked from the air, but I can't see many people willing to spend even a tenner a week, let alone a day, to park even a high end bike.
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