Quite a number of fleet sharing startups have sprung up in the last few years – and many more are on the way. While the rise of sustainable transportation is exciting, for entrepreneurs looking to get into the business, this growth means that the competition can be quite fierce.
In order to navigate your launch into the mobility market, we’ve compiled a list of risks associated with starting a fleet company and how to overcome them. If you get informed ahead of time, you’ll be better situated to recognize and overcome hurdles long before they happen.
Risk 1: Vehicle Theft & Damages
As in any other vehicle market, theft and damages are unfortunately part of the game for fleet sharing companies as well. Especially kickscooters get damaged in creative ways, like being thrown into rivers or onto roofs of buildings. Cars often have their windows broken into, and bikes are easy to steal because they’re so lightweight.
So how do you manage vehicle theft and damages? One simple answer is to upgrade your locks and alarm systems. Retrofit locks, for example, significantly reduce theft in kickscooters. In fact, in some cities, it’s already a requirement for kickscooters to be fitted with locks so that riders can lock them up when they’ve finished their ride.
Make sure to research the alarms and locks that make the most sense for your business type – and don’t cut corners when buying them. Cheap locks and security systems that are easy to hack are a waste of money since you’ll end buying twice. Also, it’s always a good idea to have software that includes theft and damage reports as part of the analytics. It’s easier for you to manage your fleet if you have an overview, and being able to predict damages that accrue due to regular wear and tear will save you time and money in the long run.
Risk 2: Mobility Market Saturation
Bike, car, moped and kickscooter sharing companies currently dominate the mobility landscape of many cities. If you live in an urban center in Europe, you probably pass multiple mobility providers on your way to work every day.
In order to stand out in the competitive shared mobility market, you’re going to need to follow two rules.
- The first is to make sure you have a customer-first approach. Here are a few examples of what that means: Many companies make the mistake of asking their customers to set up an extra payment account instead of offering a prepaid e-wallet system. Others only let customers pay via credit card. Others still require their users to take an image of where they parked the vehicle, which is a problem if the rider’s smartphone camera is broken. Think about everything from your customer’s perspective, and you’re already well ahead of the game.
- The second rule is to understand why it pays to buy high-quality vehicles. Not only does it reduce damage costs in the long run, but it also helps increase customer satisfaction dramatically. In a city full of shared vehicles, the vehicles that run smoothly and have a longer battery life will dominate the mobility scene. Because who wants to ride a kickscooter with broken brakes, or e-bikes with spokes that are bent out of shape? Nobody. Everyone will avoid a company with low-quality vehicles after one bad experience.
Risk 3: Choosing the Wrong Software Provider
High-quality vehicles aren’t the only crucial component of your vehicle sharing company. Your software needs to be just as robust and reliable.
An app with a poor user experience will only confuse and frustrate your customers. Similarly, having faulty or unusable hardware destabilizes the entire foundation upon which your company is built.
One of the key things to look for in a mobility software provider is analytics and reporting that are part of the software package. A good software provider will always include reporting as part of the deal.