Do you want to start a bike sharing business and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample bike sharing business plan template & feasibility report.

Bicycles are predominantly used as a means of transportation, for sports and for leisure, and smart entrepreneurs know how to build a business venture around it.

Why Start a Bike Sharing Business?

Business opportunities concerned with bicycles can be cheap as well as capital intensive. For example, it is quite cheap to start a mobile bicycle repair business and it is very expensive to set up a bicycle manufacturing/assembling plant, a wholesale bicycle dealership, bicycle importation and/or exportation business.

In essence, there are a whole lot of business opportunities for everybody interested in doing business with bicycles no matter their financial status and one of such businesses is to start a bicycle sharing service. Establishing a bike sharing business can be expensive for a small scale business owner because the start-up costs, maintenance costs and even operational costs are on the high side.

The bottom line is that if you are determined to explore the entrepreneurial world by starting a bike sharing business, then you should consider going through the business plan below. Below is a sample bike sharing business plan template that can help you write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Bike Sharing Business Plan Template

Industry Overview

A bicycle sharing system, public bicycle system, or bike share scheme, is a service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short – term basis for a price or fee. Many bike sharing systems allow people to borrow a bike from a “dock” and return it to another dock belonging to the same system.

Docks are special bike racks that lock the bike, and only release it by computer control. The user enters payment information, and the computer unlocks a bike. The user returns the bike by placing it on the dock, which locks it in place.

Other systems are dock – less. For many systems, smartphone mapping apps show nearby available bikes and open docks. Bicycle sharing systems are an economic good, and are generally classified as private good due to their excludable and rivalrous nature.

In as much as some bicycle-sharing systems are free, most require some user fee or subscription, hence excluding the good to paying consumers. Bicycle sharing systems also provide a discrete and limited number of bikes, whose distribution can vary throughout a city. One person’s usage of the good diminishes the ability of others to use the same good.

Nonetheless, the hope of many cities is to partner with bike-share companies to provide something close to a public good. Public good status may be achieved if the service is free to consumers and there are a sufficient number of bicycles such that one person’s usage does not encroach upon another’s use of the good.

Most large scale urban bike sharing programs make use of several bike check-out stations, and operate much like public transit systems, catering to tourists and visitors as well as local residents. Their central concept is to provide free or affordable access to bicycles for short-distance trips as an alternative to motorized public transport or private vehicles, thereby reducing congestion, noise, and air pollution.

Bicycle sharing systems have also been cited as a way to solve the “last mile” problem and connect users to public transit networks. People use bike share for various reasons.

Some who would otherwise use their own bicycles have concerns about theft or vandalism, parking or storage, and maintenance. However, dock systems serving only stations, resemble public transit, and have therefore been criticized as less convenient than a privately owned bicycle used door-to-door.

A recent report published shows that over the years, bike sharing has experienced moderate growth. Industry revenue has increased at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent to reach $371.1 million, including an anticipated 2.4 percent.

In recent time, the Bike Sharing Industry has managed to untangle from its early post – recessionary bumps. Rising consumer sentiment and per capita disposable income have boosted industry growth over the five years to 2020. This has also led to increased demand for services provided by operators in the industry.

In coming years, the industry is forecast to exhibit continued growth. Per capita disposable income and consumer confidence will keep rising as the unemployment rate continues to decline, providing consumers with more discretionary income to spend on bike sharing perhaps just for the fun of it.

The industry is growing only marginally slower than the economy as a whole, which suggests that the industry is mature. Additionally, the industry exhibits characteristics of mature industries, such as stable long-term demand and minimum product innovation.

In summary, the bike sharing business is very open to any aspiring entrepreneur who has the capacity to open and run his or her own business. Just ensure that your bike sharing docks are located along routes mostly used by tourists and visitors and of course in an environment with the right demography and you will be fine.

Executive Summary

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is a licensed and US registered bike sharing company. We have been able to secure a standard and well – positioned facility as our operational head office in Portland – Maine. Portland happens to be one of the most visited tourist locations in the United States.

As a matter of fact, tourism and outdoor recreation play a major and increasingly important role in Maine’s economy. The state is a popular destination for sport hunting (particularly deer, moose and bear), sport fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, boating, camping and hiking, among other activities.

We are set to compete in the fast growing and fragmented Bike sharing industry not only in Portland – Maine, but also throughout the United States market because we intend opening our bike sharing company in key communities all across the coastal line of the United States.

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. will run a standard bike sharing company that will provide reliable and latest bicycles for individuals. Our business goal is to become one of the leading bike sharing services in the United States and we will make sure that we do all we can to compete favorably with leaders in the industry.

Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of hardworking, creative and highly experienced workers in and around Portland – Maine. We will make sure that we take all our workforce through the required trainings that will position them to meet the expectation of the company.

At Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc., our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is owned by Jack Williams a Mexican – American with hands – on experience when it comes to running a bike sharing company. The business is a family business therefore he will be managing it alongside his immediate family members.

Our Product and Services Offering

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. was established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Bike sharing industry. We want to compete favorably with the leading bike sharing companies in the United States which is why we have put in place a competent team that will ensure that all our bikes, docking and payment system meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.

We will work hard to ensure that Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is not just accepted in Portland – Maine, but also in other cities in the United States of America where we intend extending our bike sharing services.

Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision of starting our bicycle sharing business is first to help reduce traffic congestion, particularly in large urban areas and of course to make profits.
  • We want to become the leading bike sharing company in the whole Portland – Maine.
  • Our mission is to provide a standard and world – class bike sharing service that can attract a wide range of clientele in and around the United States of America and also aim to reduce air pollution through decreased automobile usage, and indirectly through the reduction of congestion.
  • We want to build a bike sharing service that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the industry.

Our Business Structure

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. intends starting small in Portland – Maine, but hopes to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading bike sharing services companies in the industry in the United States. We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the kind of world class business we want to own.

At Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc., we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. As a means of maximizing operational cost, we will contract the maintenance of all our bicycles to a service provider, we don’t intend to maintain a very large overhead from the onset.

But as soon as the business grows and stabilizes, we will assemble our own professional in-house maintenance team. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Bike Sharing/Rental Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Accountant/Cashier
  • Client Service Executive

Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Answerable to fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Accountable for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Bike Sharing/Rental Manager:

  • Develops strategic plan by studying the trends in the bike sharing industry and financial opportunities; presenting assumptions; recommending objectives.
  • Accomplishes subsidiary objectives by establishing plans, budgets, and results measurements; allocating resources; reviewing progress; making mid-course corrections.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Makes certain that the organization perform efficiently, coordinate employee efforts, and facilitate communications between management and the workforce
  • Supervises multi-disciplinary teams of staff including cleaning, maintenance, grounds and security
  • Advises businesses on increasing energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • Ensures that the organization work in line with international best practices.

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Creates new markets cum businesses for the organization
  • Empowers and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets

Accountant/Cashier:

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the organization
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Welcomes clients and potential clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the Manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries

SWOT Analysis

Because we want to become the leader in our line of business, Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured bike sharing company that can favorably compete in the highly competitive industry in the United States.

Part of what the team of business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis for Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc.;

  • Strength:

We can boast of having some of the latest bicycles under our fleets. Our services will be guided by best practices in the industry. Another strength that counts for us in the location of our bike sharing company, and our payment platforms are seamlessly operated.

  • Weakness:

As a new bike sharing company in Portland – Maine, it might take some time for our company to break into the market and gain acceptance especially as it relates to partnering with key public facility operators; that is perhaps our major weakness. Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to pump into promoting our business the way we would want to especially as it relates to placing adverts in mainstream media.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available to us are unlimited because bike share programs generate a number of economic externalities, both positive and negative. The positive externalities include reduction of traffic congestion and pollution, while the negative externalities can include degradation of urban aesthetic environment and reduction of parking.

Furthermore, bike-share programs have pecuniary effects. Some of these economic externalities (e.g. reduced congestion) can be systematically evaluated using empirical data, and therefore may be internalized through government subsidy.

  • Threat:

Unfavorable government policies, bad press and lack of acceptability is a major threat to a business like ours. In some cities, the many dockless bike share bicycles have cluttered streets and sidewalks, degrading the urban aesthetic environment and blocking pedestrian traffic.

Cycles on Chinese city streets have created sections of clogged sidewalks no longer walkable, and piles of illegally parked bicycles. Dockless cycles left randomly on public footpaths may impede access for wheelchair users and others who use mobility aids, and may be dangerous to people with visual impairments.

MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

In recent time, some empirical evidence indicates that this goal has been achieved to varying degrees in different cities. A 2015 article in Transport Reviews examined bike-share systems in five cities, including Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis.

The article found that in D.C., individuals substituted bike-share rides for automobile trips 8 percent of the time, and almost 20 percent of the time in Minneapolis. A separate study on Washington, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare found that the bike-share program contributed a 2 to 3 percent reduction in traffic congestion within the evaluated neighborhood.

2017 studies in Beijing and Shanghai have linked the massive increase of dockless bike shares to the decrease in the number of private automobile trips that are less than five kilometers. In Guangzhou, the arrival of dockless bike shares had a positive impact in the growth of cycling mode share.

Another advantage of bike-sharing systems is that the smart-cards allow the bicycles to be returned to any station in the system, which facilitates one-way rides to work, education or shopping centers. Thus, one bike may take 10–15 rides a day with different users and can be ridden up to 10,000 km (6,200 mi) a year (citing Lyon, France).

Each bike has at least one of these rides with one unique user per day which indicates that in 2014 there were a minimum of at least 294 million unique bike share cyclists worldwide (806,200 bicycles x 365) although common sense indicates that this figure may be a very small estimate of the true number of bike share users.

Interestingly, in the United States, bike sharing is still a male-dominated space where male users make up for more than 80 percent of total trips made in 2017.

A study published in 2015 in the journal Transportation concludes that bike sharing systems can be grouped into behaviorally similar categories based upon their size. Cluster analysis shows that larger systems display greater behavioral heterogeneity amongst their stations, and smaller systems generally have stations which all behave similarly in terms of their daily utilization patterns.

Our Target Market

One thing about a Bike sharing company is that you only require less effort to market your service especially if your dockyard is located in an area that is attracts visitors and tourists. Although it is still important for you to create some form of advertisement to tell people what you do and it will pay you to partner with any hotel and resort that is close to your docking facility.

Even though Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. will initially serve small to medium sized business, but that does not in any way stop us from scaling up our revenue and growing to be able to compete with the leading bike sharing service in the United States.

Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically design our products and services for;

  • Potential Couples/Young Adults
  • Tourist
  • Households / Families
  • Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
  • Sport Organizations (For cycling Competitions)
  • Event Planners
  • Tour Guides

Our Competitive Advantage

Because of the competitive nature of the bike sharing business, there is an increasing degree of related business activities, with big players dominating the market.

We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the industry means that you are not only expected to be able to make available safe bicycles and safety gadgets, but your price model must be flexible.

Our competitive advantage is anchored on the reliable bicycles and payment platforms that we have. So also, we have a team of hardworking, creative and highly trained and experience workers. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, our services will be guided by best practices in the industry.

Another strength that counts for us in the location of our bike sharing docking facilities; it is located in one of busiest tourist communities highly suitable for such business in Portland – Maine.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives.

SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

Our marketing strategies will be directed towards achieving specific objectives that will support the strategic goals of the organization. The truth is that all that we do will be geared towards creating new market channels, increasing sales and increases our market share.

Our unique selling proposition is that we are well positioned, we offer brand new and easy to ride bicycles including electric – powered bicycles and docking facility, people can easily access our facility, and our various payment platforms are highly reliable.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in Bike sharing industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall business goal of Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc.

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Enter into partnership with car park operators
  • Enter into partnership with car-share operations
  • Enter into partnership with public transport sector
  • Advertise our bike sharing company on national dailies, local TV and radio stations
  • Promote our bike sharing company online via our official website and all available social media platforms
  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to households, businesses and key stake holders in Portland – Maine
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, sport facilities, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Making our first impression count positively to those that patronize our services for the first time
  • Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our bike sharing facility
  • Adopt direct mailing coupon marketing approach
  • Position our signage/flexi banners at strategic places in and around Portland – Maine

Sources of Income

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Bike sharing industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to meet and surpass the expectations of all our clients.

Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be fun loving people and tourists who would want to go cycling especially during summer holidays hence the need to rent bikes from bike sharing docking facilities.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in the industry in Portland – Maine and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six month of operation and grow our bike sharing company to enviable heights.

We have been able to examine the bike sharing market and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. It is based on the location of our bike sharing company facility and of course our target market;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $230,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $320,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $575,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Our Pricing Strategy

User rent fees may range from the equivalent of US$0.50 to 30.00 per day, rent fees for 15- or 20-minute intervals can range from a few cents to 1.00. Many bike share systems offer subscriptions that make the first 30 to 45 minutes of use either free or very inexpensive.

This allows each bike to serve several users per day but reduces revenue. Monthly or yearly membership subscriptions and initial registration fees may apply. To reduce losses from theft often users are required to commit to temporary deposit via a credit card or debit card.

If the bike is not returned within the subscription period, or returned with significant damage, the bike sharing operator keeps the deposit or withdraws money from the user’s credit card account. Studies shows that New York rental rates are among the highest in the world. The cost of annual membership in the US varies between $100 and $160.

Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the industry, we don’t intend to charge more (except for premium and customized services) and we don’t intend to charge less than what our competitors are charging their clients in Portland – Maine and throughout the United States.

Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us or when they introduce their friends and family members to our business.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.

Here are the payment options that Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with card/cash
  • Payment via Point of Sale Machine (POS)
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for renting our bicycles without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.

Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to become the number one choice for tourist and cycling fun lovers in the whole of Portland – Maine which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our business.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, micro blogging sites, Google + et al to promote our bike sharing services
  • Install our Billboards in strategic locations all around Portland – Maine
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List our bike sharing company in local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise our bike sharing company in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our bicycles, docking facilities are well branded with our company logo et al.

Financial Projections and Costing

Having done our due diligence, this is what it would cost us to set up Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. in the United States of America;

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $10,000.
  • The total cost for hiring Business Consultant – $5,000.
  • The amount needed for the purchase of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
  • The total cost for the purchase of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • The total cost for leasing facility for the business – $60,000.
  • The total cost for facility remodeling to fit into the type of bike sharing docking facility – $50,000
  • The total coats for financing the purchase of different sizes of bicycles and safety gadgets – $300,000
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets – $4,000.
  • The cost of launching a Website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard bike sharing company in the United States of America.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc.

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Mr. Jack Williams and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from the bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $250,000 (Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $100,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $500,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

BUSINESS GROWTH: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. is to ensure that we continue to make available a wide range of bicycles and deliver quality services. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

Jack Williams® Bike Sharing Company, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.

We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Securing a standard facility and reconstructing the facility to fit into the kind of bike sharing company we want to manage: Competed
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founders: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of Logo for the business: Completed
  • Purchase of bicycle docking tools and equipment and software: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed bicycles, furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating official website for the business: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players such as partnering with car park operators, partnering with car-share operations and partnering with the public transport sector: In Progress
Joy Nwokoro