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Thread: An introduction... Does anyone start this small?

  1. #1
    Woebegone's Avatar
    Woebegone Guest

    Default An introduction... Does anyone start this small?

    Greetings All:

    I'm an avid cyclist who, after 25 years working in warehousing & distribution, am ready to start doing something I love.

    My first exposure to pedicabs was in Seattle a few years ago where several cabs would troll the streets in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, just south of downtown. Due to the weather, however, these cabs spent many months locked up in an EXPENSIVE storefront under the viaduct. I remember thinking then that SOMEONE must be making pretty good money for those few weeks a year to be able to afford the storage costs alone.

    I've recently relocated back in Long Beach California, which boasts a very vibrant downtown scene, all condensed into an area of perhaps one square mile. I occured to me that this might be a prime area for a pedicab service. I've been making some notes as to the possible pros and cons of this idea:


    Pros:

    1. A dense concentration of shops, theaters, night clubs, and restaurants within a 1 square mile area. Small enough to cycle, big enough to discourage walking.

    2. With the exception of one very short hill between downtown and The Pike, completely flat terrain.

    3. A regional public transportation hub, The Long Beach Transit Mall, buses and rail, water taxi.

    4. A busy convention center.

    5. Upscale hotels.

    6. A nearby cruise ship terminal with free shuttle bus service.

    7. Slow traffic, busy streets, many traffic lights, few parking places, to discourage driving.

    8. Famous Southern California weather... Year-round operation.

    9. Possible expansion of business as bike messenger service, take-out delivery service, bike rentals.

    10. Possible area expansion to Belmont Shore/ Naples, with free bus shuttle between.

    11. Young and affluent demographics.

    12. California eco/health-consciousness.

    13. Lots of international tourists.



    Cons:

    1. Storage, shop, office space may be expensive.

    2. Insurance may be expensive.

    3. All those unknowns.

    4. I'm no expert on Long Beach, though I'm learning.

    5. I have no idea what regulations, if any, may be imposed by the city or state.



    Possible Marketing Ideas:

    1. Flyers in shop windows and handed out by drivers, others.

    2. Business cards given to shop keepers, bartenders, hotel desk clerks.

    3. Self advertising on cabs and driver's jerseys.

    4. Trolling, word of mouth.

    5. Bench ads.

    6. Get on the news, in the papers.

    7. Tri-fold brochures in tourist racks.

    8. Ad exchange. (Give free cab ads in exchange for promotion.)

    9. Free ride gift cards.

    10. Web site.


    Ideas:
    (So Far)

    1. A MetroRail passenger could call from the train, and be met at a downtown station. Our driver could then deliver the passenger to their destination. The reverse process is also true.

    2. Beach cruises along the bike path Between Shoreline Village and The Belmont Pier/Belmont Shore. Especially nice at sunset!



    At this point I've very little money to invest into a business that I'm not certain will go anywhere, and am thinking I'll start with just one cab and see how it goes.

    Does ANYONE start this small? Given the list of pros and cons, what do you think of my prospects?

    I'm going to look at an imported Indian cab tomorrow and may start trolling the streets in a week or two.

    I'll continue to read the posts here, and look forward to interacting and learning as much as possible from the other members.

    Wish me luck.

    Thanx,
    Woebegone

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Thumbs up First of all a welcome

    Nice to see another convert to pedicabs, most of the questions will be answered in the talk talk section of this forum. It may be at times hard to work through long posts, so I susspect it might be better to break up any questions you have.

    Most of the guys & girls who kick off in the UK work from 5x, as this does give a better group feel and it helps with spreading the load. Thing for you is cost, so on pedicab would fit into a garage or yard but a bunch might not.

    One thing that will give you all the clue is to actualy do it, some planning helps but many things are learned on the road, so good luck.

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