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Sell my business, take along or just let it die?

  • Sell it for what you can. Take the truck with you and tow bikes under another name.

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • Take the business to KY. The CA. calls for tows will eventually dwindle down as the word gets out.

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Sell the biz to your competitor. Sell the truck to someone else. Make corn cob pipes.

    Votes: 3 33.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

You may know that I own and operate Bike Tow a dedicated motorcycle towing service here in the San Diego, CA. area.

Well, in one month, I will move to Kentucky! :D I'll settle in a small town called Franklin, south of Bowling Green, KY. and north of Nashville, TN. I'll be about 3 miles east of route I-65.

So I am trying to sell my business here. At least I'd like to sell the name and numbers, the websites and the basic equipment since they come with all of the business I have established here in 13 years. Lots of So. California motorcyclists either have my card in their wallets, or my number in their cell phones.

I could take the truck with me though, and do the same thing there, under a new name.

So my question is, would a 24-hour specialized motorcycle towing service have enough business THERE to warrant taking my truck with me?

The truck can move bikes, trikes, sidecar-equipped bikes, "mules and rhinos," gators, quads, rangers, riding mowers, golf carts, snowmobiles and other small vehicles, but it cannot tow cars, trucks or vans since the loading ramp and bed are not designed for that load capacity.

Should I sell the business name here to a competitor who wants to buy the business name and all of the calls that come with it, (but doesn't need the truck,) and take my truck with me, or should I sell the truck separately and forget about making myself available for tows in Kentucky? :rolleyes:
 

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If you can't find a good buyer, can you at least find a quality competitor who would be willing to pay you a referral fee per quality towing customer? Keep the website and the phone numbers and when you get a call from someone, call your trusted competitor and extract a referral fee. Once he sees how much business he can obtain from you on this basis, they might be willing to just buy it from you.

Note: Using Voice over IP telephone service, you can have your California telephone number ringing in Washington DC area and the caller would not be the wiser.
 

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You need to think about the winter weather(re, riding season) in Kentucky vs. southern California:(
I do not think there will be enough calls for your service with the shorter season to warrant such a service in Kentucky.
Just one opinion.
 

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I own some property in south Central kentucky. Some of the nicest people you will meet will be in Kentucky, but there doesn't seem to be as many motorcycles down there as I thought should be there. I see more motorcycles in Northern Indiana than I do in Kentucky. It may make better sense to sell your business. Move to Kentucky and do a study to determine if there is a need for this type of service to justify costs.

Good Luck.
Indy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your responses. That is sort of what I concluded, given the amount of rain, snow, and other motorcycle-unfriendly climate changes.
 

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The weather is a definite factor plus the ownership of utility trailers in this area of the States is phenominal . I don't think you would glean very much business where two out of three individuals have family or friends to help them out ! I was talking to a Honda dealer in Bama about this and they don't do pick-up for customers because of this ! Good luck !
 

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I live in the eastern part of KY and we have several members in our GWRRA Chapter and I know and or work with a lot of Harley riders. But, as mentioned already, the season in KY is shorter and to add to that most "Hillbillies" are a resilant bunch. Most riders I know have or have access to flatbed or box trailers and would probably arrange towing theirself. While I feel any new business would be welcome espically, in today's economy, I still would not like to see anyone struggle to make it. This is only my humble opinion. Things may be a little different in the Western part of the state but I still feel that business could be fairly slow for you.
 

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I would expect business in Cal. to dwindle if i wasn't there to answer the calls . I don't understand why a competitor would buy a business from someone who is not gonna be in the state , hence would not be a competitor any longer ! I also would think that if your truck is paid for and you can't sell it then take it with you to Ky. and see what business is available . I don't see that you would incur a huge expense to slowly advertise or get the word out that you offer a service and see where it goes ! I personally don't understand the purpose for the posting unless you are trying to test the waters for potential customers from Kentucky that may be on this site !
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
No, I'm not fishing for potential customers. I just don't know anything about the Kentucky motorcycling community. For all I know, there might be some guy ... "Bob" ... living down the street from my new home in Franklin ... who is retired and comfortable, and just gets a kick out of going out to rescue stranded motorcyclists. Old 'Bob' has been doing it for 30 years now! He never accepts a penny for his services. Everyone knows Bob! ...

In a situation like that I would be foolish to try to charge for a service that the whole county is accustomed to receiving free of charge.

As others have stated (and I suspected), the folks in Ky. probably step up to help others in need, such as coming out with a pickup truck and a trailer to move a stranded bike. I'm FINE with that. It is just unheard of here in CommieFornia! People here will let you rot on the side of the road before they'll think about possibly interrupting their plans to stop and help someone. It is going to take a major adjustment on my part, to rid myself of 38 years of Commiefornia conditioning!

Since I'd be able to move riding mowers, snowmobiles and such, I just thought maybe I wouldn't have to re-invent the wheel. Maybe I could start advertising, and see if I could actually make a living being Johnny-on-the-Spot! I only asked here, because I believe a few of you have a better finger on the pulse of Ky. motorcyclists.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't understand why a competitor would buy a business from someone who is not gonna be in the state , hence would not be a competitor any longer.
It is because I am the 800 pound gorilla in the motorcycle towing field, at least in the San Diego area :cool:. The three competitors who remain here AND the three competitors up in Orange county don't tow as many bikes combined, as I do alone. They would naturally each get some of my customers when I don't answer the phone, but the person who proactively takes over my toll-free numbers, slaps my (locally) well recognized and copyrighted logo on their truck doors, and assumes ownership of the website, etc. would get ALL of them. That is an instant client base of some 10,000 customers who insist that their bikes be handled by Bike Tow. Although I would no longer be a competitor, at least the buyer would have first turn down on all calls to my numbers, and pass anything he couldn't or wouldn't do to the others.

If my business doesn't sell, they'll all obviously experience an increase in the number of tows they eventually get, but no one person will have any advantage over the others. By buying my biz, combined with their own client base, they instantly become #1 :D
 

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Okay, here is my opinion for what it's worth. I would sell the business to someone in CA and take the truck to Ky. I think it gives you more options when you get to KY.

You don't mention how old you are and whether you can retire or need employment. If you need to work then why not do what you like if it's towing m/c's. If you find that there is not sufficient business then you can get into another field of endevor. You may want to consider teaming up with some local m/c shops to provide your service to their customers. I'm sure they would welcome the opportunity to increase their service business by offering such a valueable service to their customers..

JMHO on the whole thing...
 

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I know of a guy in Kentucky that started a Sea-Tow business on one of the large lakes in Kentucky about 5 years ago and he is doing pretty well with it. He sells an annual insurance type plan that is extremely resonable. People on the lake always helped one another out by towing each other in when something went wrong, but now they just call marine assist. It may be the same thing with the motorcycle business in Kentucky. You just have to try it and see. Good Luck with whatever you do.

Indy
 
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