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Looking for a safe parking space can be a problem in highly populated cities. Sometimes, you end up going round and round, just looking for a place to park your car.
Parking lots are heaven sent in places where street parking is limited. A parking lot business is also a great idea since the population of car owners is increasing every year. Lower down payments and flexible payment options have made acquiring a car easier for everyone.
If you are thinking of starting a parking lot business, know that there are more matters involved than simply opening up an empty and unused lot for business. From looking for the right location, paving the asphalt to choosing the right road marking primer for your parking lot markings, there are many things that you must consider for your business.
Start with a Business Plan
A business plan will help serve as your guide on how your business will operate. It must include an overview of your business, your operations plan, a market analysis, your products and services, your sales and marketing, as well as your financial plan and projections. A business plan will come in handy when you apply for a business loan. Moreover, it will also help you stay on track with what your business is about.
Look for Funding
This is probably one of the most important things you should establish before carrying on with your plan. Research on the average selling price of lots in your area. Look for small business loans with low-interest rates that you are qualified to avail of so that you can begin your business venture.
Look for the Right Real Estate
Of course, before you can start your parking business, you will need to find a location. Unless you have a large unused lot somewhere near business districts, you will need to talk with a real estate agent.
Here are things to consider when looking for the right location.
- Is traffic enough for your business to thrive?
- Is it close to office buildings, shopping centers, schools, and other public places?
- Is it safe and convenient?
- Do zoning laws allow for a parking lot?
- Does the area need more parking spaces?
- Should you buy or lease a lot?
- Will you opt for an open parking lot or a parking garage? Of course, a parking garage is more costly but can give you more parking spaces.
Your trusted real estate agent can help you look for empty lots or lots with abandoned buildings in your chosen area.
Prepare Your Parking Lot
If there is an abandoned building in your lot, you must first spend on its demolition. Next, you will need to talk with an asphalt paving contractor. Make sure to hire only professionals who have worked for repairs and installation of asphalt for parking lots.
Make sure to comply with the standards for parking lot construction in your location. Comply with the documentation and permit requirements so that your project will not encounter any disruptions.
You must consider what type of vehicles you will have in your parking lot. For cars and light vehicles, a 4-inch thick pavement is enough.
You must also have a properly working drainage and gutter so that your parking lot will not flood or have puddles. Puddles can be damaging to your asphalt and can weaken it over time.
Design Your Parking Lot
An architect can help with the layout of your parking lot. Spacing is important between parking slots to ensure the safety of everyone. Once you have finalized the layout and design of your parking lot, paint the lines that divide each parking space. You can use a primer to protect your asphalt and to extend the life of the paint.
You must paint parking space numbers if you plan to rent them out on a monthly or yearly basis. You should also mark the entrance, exit, and traffic flow to avoid accidents.
Secure Your Parking Lot
When your patrons park their cars in your lot, they are entrusting the safety of one of their most important properties to you. Secure your parking lot with a durable chain-link fence and a gate. People will feel more confident to park their cars in your parking lot when they see it secured. Fencing keeps vandals and malicious people at bay, as well as stray animals.
Your gate should be operated by a security guard and a collector to collect the parking fees unless you plan to go automated with the parking fee collection. You can also install a CCTV system for added security.
Get Liability Insurance
Accidents can happen anytime. Insurance can help protect your business from paying for costly damages that your customer’s car incurred while using your parking facilities.
Starting a parking business may look simple at first, but it involves many steps before starting one. As with any business venture, it is important to do your research first on your target market. Doing your due diligence will reduce your risks and increase your chance of success.