Bicycle Renting Business

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Posted by on Wednesday July 16, 2014 at 12:37:44:

There is small shop located close to where I live and I've noticed on thing about that shop - Apart from the normal retail business it does, they also do rent out bicycles to people they know personally for about N20 per minute.

There is a growing number of Nigerians now riding bicycles in cities like Lagos. Most of these people are not necessarily riding bicycles because they are too poor to pay for bus fares or charter commercial motorcyles. In fact, some of the young people I know that ride bicycles nowadays are people who just want to keep fit, avoid the risky transportation system or just don't have any space at home to keep their own bicycles. Some people who also rent bicycles do so because of the rising cost of transportation within local government areas and these are mostly dominated by commercial motorcycles and tricycles.

The market for a bicycle rental business in growing cities across Nigeria is a huge one and it's not just only for children who just want to play but also for young adults who just want to go for a quick short trips without having to walk.

I think the hardest problems a service provider might face in a bicycle rental business are bicycle purchase and theft cost but I think they can be mitigated by buying in bulk and also ensuring that you have some form of insurance on the bicycles.

Small bicycle rental providers in Lagos tend to only rent out their bicycles to regular customers they already know that patronize their shop and so hardly rent it out to outsiders and so it's mostly on a familiarity ground. You might also insure your bicycles by only renting it out to people who have signed up for a bicycle club membership in which they might first have to pay a substantial registration fee to serve as some form of insurance in case the bike gets stolen or damaged. Members or your familiar clients can then pay a fee each time they want to rent the bicycle and it's mostly on a time used basis such as N20 per minute or N100 per 3 minutes.

There are people who prefer riding bicycles during the weekdays and there are some who prefer using it only during the week and even if they have to rent it out for hours, it's ultimately cheaper than if they were to pay for transport fare since the cost of transport in most places in Lagos for instance is at least N50 as of today.

During the weekends, people from the richer class might also rent out bicycles just to do some exercise and site seeing by riding across the city and on roads that don't get too much traffic.

The market for bicycle rental business is not just focused on the poor or middle class people but even the rich people who can afford to buy or already have cards but just want to rent a bicycle without having to own one. It's a growing business in growing cities like Lagos and Abuja and it's one cool service related business one can do in Nigeria to make money.

I even watched a recent documentary on BBC featuring an Electric bike rental business. In the report, those guys were even using advanced high tech bikes that run with an internal battery an GPS that allows people to ride and rest while the bicycle rides itself with the already generated electricity stored in the battery. The GPS allows for the rider to have access to maps and also for the provider to track down bicycles. It was a good documentary and showed that the business was profitable even in the UK and so there's no reason why it won't be same for Nigeria.

What it really takes to offer a bicycle rental business is having something like a mini bicycle park, having many bicycles, establishing renting rates and terms as well as renting out to registered people.


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