Bike rental business
Hey folks, I live in a small rural community with a fairly steady flow of tourists in the summer. I am getting ready to open up a bike rental shop out of the back of my house. I plan to start out with about a dozen or so older model mountain bikes that are in decent shape. There are definetly challenging trails to be ridden in the area, but for starters I am focusing on just making bikes available to the folks who might want to explore the area along some of the many quite gravel and dirt roads outside their cars. Does anyone have experience renting bikes or working for this type of business? I'm wondering what kind of insurance I should have ( Is a simple waiver good enough)? How would i go about acquiring a fleet of newer brand name bikes? Any input or ideas about this would be appreciated.! Thanks.
I can't give you direct answers, but I suggest that you search on the web and contact some bike rental places that are not in competition with you. Ask them.
Here's a link to Orange County, CA beach concessions. In my town, Huntington Beach, there are concessions, and that's the main category of business you're thinking about. Your sub category is bike rentals. In the following link, you will find all the bike concession names and phone numbers. Lots of them.
I rented a bike for a week once in Vancouver because the company would not pay for a rental car (the B&B was close to the training facility so.....) I can't remember everything I exactly signed but there was a waiver and an agreement/credit card charge in case something happened or I stole the bike. I don't remember if they had insurance I could purchase or not but I want to say that they did.
Unfortunately you probably need to get a Lawyer involved to write the waivers as a minimum (Or check the ones you write with local statutes) and a have a way to collect in case someone steals/breaks a bike (flats are to be expected also and you might want to have a rescue plan in place for stranded renters as a service or add-on service). Later you could probably talk to/partner with some insurance to get that in place (or even just automatically include it in your pricing structure so it isn't an option)
As your business grows and you figure out your profit margin and average sizes of customers coming in you can add new bikes and figure out your primary customer needs.