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“I was going to close the business down” – a commercial parking case study.

“I was going to close the business down” – a commercial parking case study.

“I was going to close the business down” – a commercial parking case study.

In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, neighbourhood and tourist parking owners are facing numerous challenges. The business, which was previously somewhat predictable, has now in many cases turned unprofitable. The costs are rising, customers want more mobile and secure solutions, which parking administrators see as further investments, on which there may be no return in the current situation.

Is this really the case? Is stagnation and going out of business really the only way? Read more to learn about the history of the parking lot of Mr Ludomir in Lublin.

Covid-19, a new reality, customers leaving, chaos, and no earning capacity

According to Verne Harnish's Scaling Up (a repeatedly acclaimed business development manual), ParkCash organises regular meetings with clients to procure feedback. The most recent one was a pleasant surprise. Mr Ludomir from Lublin, our first subscription parking management client, told us his story. He had nothing to hide, but – as our conversation showed – we changed more in his life than we expected.

When the first restrictions dictated by the sanitary regime started, when we were attacked from everywhere by alarming statistics, he started experiencing a staff shortage at his parking lot. “Older men were afraid for their health,” he told us. He also lost a few of his regular clients. Lockdown meant home office. The business was no longer profitable, the costs outweighed the revenues. Most costs in this business are generated by the staff...

Online subscriptions, mobile remote, remote access control, and everything in order...

Do you want to be like Mr Ludomir? In May, we informed potential clients that we are developing a new product and looking for volunteers to test the initial implementations. Mr Ludomir, who is a great enthusiast of new technologies, took a liking to our online subscription and mobile access control concept.

The parking manager never had a payment collection tool and his customers paid as they liked, often after 2-3 months. He had verbal subscription agreements (as it turned out – diverse ones) in place with everyone and quite a mess in his documents.

He was worried mainly about the customers who choose or are forced to avoid electronic payments. How would they cope? Not everyone has access to electronic payments, not everyone has a computer with internet access. But Mr Ludomir decided to trust us and operate his business for a few weeks on his own, without any staff or extra personnel costs. From the business perspective, it was the only way. In the meantime, we added an online subscription sales model to our office and neighbourhood parking management system, which had the option of granting mobile access to the barrier only when the subscription is paid.

Another level of earning capacity, less stress, and much more free time

So what does Mr Ludomir’s business look like today? “Net monthly profits of PLN 8000” – this is what his parking lot of just over 100 spaces makes monthly. He never expected to make this much. After all, he almost shut the business down just six months ago. Specifics? Customers pay on time, he no longer needs to beg them for payment because they know that they will not leave the parking lot without it. Out of over 100 clients, only four people couldn’t figure out how to purchase the subscription online so… they give the cash to Mr Ludomir, who purchases their subscriptions in our system (digitalisation of the 60+ generation?). He gave us excellent feedback in scope of the expectations towards the system and new clients receive a product, which is even better than it was just a few months ago. In development of the product, we focused on the most important features to this business and added more desired solutions. One of them will be the parking space selection map, which will be released in January.

So what does Mr Ludomir do now? “I go to the lot every day,” he smiles. When asked what for since everything is now automatic, he says, “True, I don’t have to be there, but I go there anyway because I like to talk to the customers”. He likes our product so much that he asked us if he could become our sales rep – we came to terms very quickly.

So do happy endings happen only in movies? You can see that it’s not the case...

Author

Piotr Nizio
Parkcash CEO
Social activist and entrepreneur. Enthusiast of new technologies improving life in the big city. Co-founder of the ParkCash start-up. Specialises in marketing and building sales channels. Was socially involved in the projects of the WIOSNA Association. Enthusiast of change, team building, and supporting people in their development. Graduate of the Cracow University of Economics, Chartered Institute of Marketing, and Family Theology Academy.

Do you want to be like Mr Ludomir?

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