Chatham Massachusetts is located on the “elbow” of Cape Cod and is a quiet New England town with some of the most breathtaking beaches in the country. This has created a very seasonal tourism market from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Beach tourism is synonymous with bike rentals; tourists like to rent bikes to explore the local beaches. Compounding the seasonal demand for bikes is the Cape Cod Rail Trail which is a length of 22 miles of paved bike trail which connects to the Old Colony Rail Trail which runs through Chatham. There is a large biking community already in Chatham with its only bike shop closing its doors close to two years ago due to increasing storefront real estate costs. All of this paints the picture of there being very high demand for rental bikes and no local shop to fill it.
Chatham Hood Bikes has already procured a bay for operation in an industrial park located a block from the Old Colony Rail Trail parking lot. This is not a walk-in storefront but the base of operations for the full-service mechanic shop. All rental and bike servicing will be done at the location of the client. If someone wants to rent a bike they just need to call or email Chatham Hood Bikes and make an appointment and we will meet them at their location to meet their needs. This eliminates client-side headaches of bike transport as well as the high overhead cost of running a walk-in bike shop in downtown Chatham. We also already have the Square Reader device allowing us to accept credit card payments wherever our clients want to do business.
Marketing will primarily be limited to fliers and business cards given to local hotels and bed and breakfasts. The target market for us are the tourists and enabling the lodging establishments to indirectly provide a wanted service is a value-add for all parties involved. There is also our website and word-of-mouth with the local biking community.
Chatham Hood Bikes already has the backing of KHS Bikes for all bikes and equipment at dealer rates. The funds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to purchase twenty bikes from KHS to be used as the bike rental fleet. We will be purchasing helmets, bike tubes, bike chains, and many other basic inventory stock items that are needed to run a simple bike rental company.
The goal is to stay small the first year with as little overhead as possible while we proof out the market, hone our business process, and build relationships with the local hotels and bed and breakfasts who will help us build our client-base.
Risks and challenges
The weather is always going to be something that can potentially pose a risk. We can't control it and if we get rained out for a month then there won't be many bike rentals. We are supplementing our rental business with a full service bike shop so if we get rained out we can focus on tune-ups.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)