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How Do I Get Into the Party Bike/ Pedal Bar Business?

If you’ve been thinking about investing in a great side hustle with a unique “spin,” the party bike business might be the perfect fit for your hometown. But where do you even begin? Joe Steinmetz, owner of BG Pedal in Bowling Green, Ohio, has some advice for those who are just starting out. 

Steinmetz runs one party bike in Bowling Green with plans to start a second bike in Findlay this summer. His party bike tours in Bowling Green start and end at Arlyn’s Good Beer, which has turned into a sweet partnership for both the bar and for BG Pedal. Steinmetz started out driving bikes for Tiffin Pedal about three or four years ago. “It was extra money and fun to do. I thought this type of business could do well in another city.” So Steinmetz decided to take a bike up to Bowling Green and see what happened. 

“Really I just did it for the extra income, but now it’s kind of a side hustle,” Steinmetz said. “My drivers make pretty good money doing it, and it’s an all around fun adventure as well.”

Like anything else, it can be hard to get public support for something new and different in a city, and generating public buy-in for party bikes in BG and Findlay both was a little challenging at first. 

“There’s always someone who is going to disagree with something new – especially if people think party bikes are just a bunch of people getting sloppy drunk,” Steinmetz said with a laugh. To counteract the public’s misperception about party bikes, Steinmetz recommends engaging in as many one-on-one conversations as possible and spreading the word about all of the different ways people have found to enjoy party bikes. Besides the traditional types of parties you might imagine, like bachelorette parties, “We’ve had little league softball teams, retirement parties, coffee tours, and more,” Steinmetz said. The more you’re able to direct conversations toward all of the options available for bike rentals, the quicker the community will open up to the idea of a party bike in their town.

And once people see the benefits, the excitement is contagious.

“When you bring a new venture to a town, overcoming all of the hurdles, and then get people on it and having a great time, both riders and drivers, it’s a blast,” said Steinmetz. People don’t expect to have as much fun as they end up experiencing and then spread the word to their friends and neighbors. Steinmetz also finds it rewarding to be a part of the community, contributing in greater ways to what’s happening in his town. 

“We try to give back as much as we can to charitable organizations,” he shared. “We’ve given away 10-15 rides to charity events where they auction them off.”

Since you’re already eager to get the party started with a party bike business, you’re probably ready to get started. Steinmetz said the most challenging part of the business has been the mundane, little things you just don’t think about at first, like setting up a business checking account, figuring out where to store your bike, determining the start and end locations for your business… all of these details are the pieces and parts that are necessary to do but not necessarily as fun as inviting people for a ride.

The partnership with Arlyn’s turned out to be a big win for Steinmetz. “More than anything, we were really happy when we could connect with Arlyn’s as the start and stopping point,” he said. “They loved the idea and were all in on it.” This could prove to be a useful strategy for others who are interested in starting a party bike business in their hometown, too. When two businesses are able to collaborate together for the good of the town, everybody wins.

If you’re ready to get started with your party bike venture, “Begin with your local government entities and local city council to get city buy-in,” Steinmetz said. “Once they’re on board, it’s all about purchasing a bike and getting into the production schedule. Figure out where you are going to store your bike and start your tours, then start to promote sponsorship opportunities and begin marketing your business.” Sarka Party Bikes are uniquely designed to feature space for sponsors to advertise, giving an added source of revenue to your bike business.

And if you have other questions that Google (or Sarka) can’t answer for you, don’t be afraid to talk to other bike owners in other cities. “Most are really willing to share information, like how do you pay owner-operators, drivers, and so on,” said Steinmetz. “Reach out to people who have a business already.” They, like you, are in the business of making good times happen for people.

Now is the time to take the leap and make something unique and fun happen in your city. Connect with Sarka Party Bike to learn more and discover the advantages of our equipment for your new party bike business.

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