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Thread: Bicycle cab service in the south of The Netherlands

  1. #1
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    Dec 2016
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    Default Bicycle cab service in the south of The Netherlands


    My name is Theo. Since september 2014 I am working with my own bicycle cabservice in Tilburg, the 6 big city in the Netherlands.
    I started with one (used) bike, a Citycruiser 1, this year I have had the opportunity to buy a second one, also used. This bike was sponsored by our local City Marketing team, after some smart talks. In retur they may use the promotional area on the bike (for two years).
    During summer we have some big events, therefore I used to hire two extra bikes form my colleague in Rotterdam.
    I have been extremely lucky in having this second bike, because the first had some problems this year.

    As I work normal alone, it is a question of many hours on the street, and gaining bits by bits my income. Helpful is the advertisement, although this must certainly grow... As I have seen lots of pictures on the Internet... I can only dream of that kind of advertisement! I think it would be helpful to have someone experienced with advertisement.

    As I also am interested in cargo and international orientated, I have been asked to organice an meeting in june next year. This meeting should be held for al companies/persons riding/using/owning a pedicab. The idea is to exchange ideas, learning from each other. I have done this kind of meeting also for my Dutch colleagues, so it interesting to see if this will work out.

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    TikkiTikki (14-12-2016)

  3. #2
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    Oct 2009
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    Hi Theo, that sounds great. I wish I could make the meet up! I think if you have been a pedicab driver for a couple of years, it's best to get on the other side of the business. I have never lost the love of fixing and riding pedicabs but as I get older, I have lost the desire to ride them with passengers!

    Businesses that have the kind of budget to advertise on pedicabs, generally use advertising agencies for their creative, design and execution. You would simply be a middle man. It might be worth finding out the names of all those advertising agencies in your area and emailing them with some creative ideas. Find out which agencies have which clients, and pitch it to the agencies directly. Try to get on their books as a go to outdoor option, they will charge their client a huge amount to advertise on your cabs and pay you 10%. Remember, McDonald's doesn't want to talk to you; you are a guy who owns a tricycle, but their Netherlands agency might. Who is currently advertising on billboards in your town? Who has advertising on the sides of the bus/subway/taxi, and who sells the media for them? Digital marketing is all the rage now but traditional advertising still has it's place - how can you integrate the two? Simple - ask your customers to upload photos to social media of themselves next to the branded cab in exchange for discounts or freebies.

    You could also try scoring advertising with smaller businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants, however they don't have the enormous budgets of the multinational companies, and outdoor advertising is scary. Think about it. If you had a small budget would you pay google for PPC, or would you pay Theo who has some tricycles? It might be worth offering some kind of cross marketing promotion with them. You could give them a free advert wrap of the bike and bring them customers in return for payment per customer. You may think about offering hotels a branded cab that offers complimentary rides to their guests in return for an hourly wage for you and a driver. What about a customer appreciation day for your local supermarket - spend $30 on groceries - get a free ride outta here on a supermarket branded cab! It's great you have already worked for your city council as you will appear more trustworthy - use it to your advantage and don't forget - a pedicab business is about renting out pedicabs, many people think they can just set it up to make money from advertising - these people are fools.

    As for expansion, you can use pedicabs as green delivery cargo bikes. Organic grocers, on-demand delivery services, dry cleaners, restaurants, couriers, hotel linen services, office supply companies all need down town delivery. A trike can do it faster and greener than any truck, and offering free advertising on the side could be the way to get the contract! Even better - start one of these businesses yourself, you already own an advertising company right!

    All the best and remember nothing worth having comes easily.

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