I was obsessed with my pedicab business - no matter what I was doing or what was going on in my life, I was always thinking about it.
But I never truly paused to take a step back and examine what was working and what wasn't working, so that I could make bold decisions that were necessary to move my business away from failure and toward long term success.
Don't make the same mistake I did.
Before I go on, here is a glimpse of my background, and my motivation for Neighborhood Pedicab Works...
The purpose of Neighborhood Pedicab Works is to engage, equip, and encourage pedicab operators in your pursuit and growth of a sustainable pedicab business.
When I started my business Chariots of Philly as the first pedicab business in Philadelphia in 2003, I didn't think too much about my long term goals or where I was heading. I just copied what I had done for a year in West Palm Beach Florida where I leased a bike taxi and worked as a driver for my full time income, and pasted it into my new venture after I bought a cab and moved to Philly.
I worked evenings and late nights in a neighborhood called Manayunk, shuttling couples and families to and from dinner, and then the bar crowd until after last call. Actually on my business card for "hours", I had printed "happy hour through last call".
This worked for about 3 years after which I had 3 cabs. Then I saw an opportunity ride sporting events at the stadiums. We were shut down almost immediately and had a cab impounded by the city.
After a few years of fighting for regulation, riding many late nights rogue in the city and summers at the Jersey Shore, my brother joined forces with me and we finally got legit operating permits from the city in May 2010.
We had taken a business plan writing class at the University of Pennsylvania and were excited about the buckets of money we would soon be collecting if all went according to plan.
Do you think everything went according to plan?
Nope. We faced a ton of challenges after that. Here is where we failed to examine our business.
We kept pursuing this late night bar crowd that had worked for us before, but was not working after we were regulated and operating under different conditions. I could make a long list of failures but it all came down to failing to examine closely what was working, what was not working, then making bold decisions as the result of what we found.
That is part of my motivation for NPW - I want to help others avoid the mistake of failing to examine their business, then make bold decisions that are necessary for success.
Don't fail to examine your business. Pausing to examine it now will lead you toward success and away from failure.
If you want some help improving your business, comment below to let me know what is working in your business, and what is not working.
Don't think too much about it- just let me know one or two things so we can start a conversation about how to grow your sustainable pedicab business, beginning today.
Have you been leading an unexamined life? ... Do you understand why you think the things you think, say the things you say, and do the things you do?
Author, Man in the Mirror