Winter is traditionally considered a rough time for bike shops – understandable, really, as even the National Bike Dealers Association describes the industry as a “seasonal business.”
But while fewer riders might seem like a detriment to your shop’s success, a pause in the action actually provides a perfect opportunity to evaluate your business strategy and take stock of what’s working – and what isn’t.
Case in point: bike rentals.
Whether you’re just diving into the rental revenue stream or already have next year’s fleet of rental bikes on order, you’re going to need the right software to manage your inventory. Discovering just what that “right software” is, however, can get a little tricky.
Which brings us to why those slower off-season months can prove to be so beneficial.
Like any industry, the world of rental software is continually expanding, bringing with it the kind of technology that can give your shop a leg up on the competition. Just this winter, Spinlister released its Spinlister Pro platform, delivering bike shops a state of the art rental management system and tying it into their global community of cyclists.
Learning about new developments in the field, and which ones you should take seriously, takes time – time which gets considerably harder to come by once the snow melts.
Whether you’re updating from your current rental software or setting things up for the first time, you’re going to need to make some changes. Before you start panicking, consider this: Blazing Saddles, the largest bike rental fleet in California, saw a 1-minute reduction in customer sign-up times after switching to Spinlister Pro. In other words, not all change has to be painful.
Still, as the adage goes, “change will come slowly…because old beliefs die hard.” Winter gives you the perfect time for trial and error, to see just how your new bike rental software will affect your business.
PROTECTING YOUR INVENTORY
Unless you’re content to use your rental fleet as window decorations during the winter months, you’ll have to accept the fact that inclement weather tends to result in more wear and tear on your bikes. We’re talking everything from salt corrosion to increased accidents per miles traveled. So what’s a shop owner to do?
While supplemental insurance is a viable option, it’s handy to know that Spinlister Pro comes with $10k USD theft and damage protection on every bike. That’s a guarantee that lasts year round, even when the snow’s flying.
REACHING A WIDER AUDIENCE
Being content to hunker down during the winter months means you’re missing out on a great opportunity to increase your shop’s marketing outreach. This can be done through seasonal service specials, after-holiday promotional discounts, and a host of other creative initiatives.
Spinlister Pro offers another way to broaden your audience scope. By instantly connecting your shop to their worldwide community of cyclists, accessible from web, iOS, and Android, they give you access to a perpetually growing supply of potential customers. Their Community Highlights feature also means you’ll gain exposure through organic SEO and Social Media engagement as well.
That’s a holiday present that just keeps on giving.