Electric scooter sharing is a business that needs to be done and has high margins.
In this article, you will learn how to start your own electric scooter-sharing business in 5 steps.
Many people think that electric scooter rental is an easy business, but that’s not quite true. In reality, it is a complicated project to run. It is a high marginal business, but only those who put together all the necessary components of a business model can achieve it.
So, to successfully start your electric scooter-sharing business, you need to take five steps.
Step #1: choose a model of an electric scooter
This is the most important step — it is necessary to choose a model of an electric scooter.
By selecting a good, quality electric scooter model, you reduce your costs for maintaining, repairing, and recharging it. For instance, electric scooters with a replaceable battery greatly reduce recharging costs because you don’t have to constantly take them to your warehouse and recharge them. You can change the battery right in the city, immediately making the electric scooter available for use.
There are many manufacturers of scooters in China that are designed specifically for sharing. You can order them, and when they arrive, all you have to do is insert a SIM card, and they are ready to be used. However, the significant thing here is to decide on a reliable Chinese supplier, to see how well the scooter is made. Ideally, it is advisable to fly to the Chinese manufacturer. They are happy to show you their factories and products. There you can choose a particular model, and try it in action. When you are 100% sure of the quality of the product, then you can already order.
Step #2: Negotiate with local authorities
By agreeing with the local authorities, you insure your project against the risk of being shut down or banned for whatever reason. Since electric scooter shoring operates in the public space, you have to negotiate with municipalities or with private business owners if you are planning a B2B model, where you provide scooters to a business. There are different business models, which we will write about separately.
Step #3 Choose a software vendor
When you choose a software vendor, you need to pay attention to whether it allows you to run your brand. This is called WHITE LABEL.
If the vendor does not let you run your brand but wants you to operate under their name, that’s franchising. It’s not good because when you sell your business, you’re only selling scooters that are attached to someone else’s platform.
If you run your brand on software that you license, you sell your brand along with the customers and the scooters, and it’s already worth a lot more. In doing so, you get the freedom to make your own decisions in the market because you know it better.
Consider the options of companies that offer white-label solutions. You can easily find them, and one of such companies is ours. In this article, we will answer the most frequent questions that customers ask about how to properly open an electric scooter sharing business.
Step #4 Assemble the team
It’s a complicated business, and it’s very difficult to run it alone. If you have a team, it is easier and more efficient. You will move faster, and the workload will be distributed to the whole team, not just you.
What are the key players you need on your team?
- A strong technician who understands electrics. This is the person who will repair and keep the fleet in good condition.
- A safety person. The risks of vandalism and theft are possible, so there has to be a person who will deal with vandals and thieves, go to court, collect money from troublemakers and take care to keep it to a minimum.
- A marketer who promotes the brand and makes it strong. That’s what sets you apart from the other players. This niche in the market is still more or less free, but over time it will be filled with players. Your survival will depend on how strong your brand is and how loyal users in your city and your country are to it.
Step #5 Work out a marketing strategy
The marketing strategy is substantial. Once at a conference in Istanbul, I asked several players in the field what distinguishes a successful shoring operator from an unsuccessful one. They all told me in one voice that it’s marketing, and the budget spent on it. The unsuccessful ones invest everything in technology, and scooters, leave nothing for marketing, and then their business dies.
The successful ones spend money on technology but leave a good chunk for marketing — at least 30% of the total budget. In doing so, they make their brand strong, and that’s what will allow you to survive in the future when the competition starts.