More lifts, service techs being considered
Chris Peters, Contributing Writer
December 26, 2011
Filed under Features
Dealership: NoHo Scooters
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Catching up on: Continue to increase sales of pre-owned scooters and be the go-to destination for scooter service.
In 2012, Mike Frankovich will celebrate his 10th year of operating NoHo Scooters in North Hollywood, Calif. In those 10 years, the business has grown and Frankovich hopes for more of the same in the coming year.
NoHo Scooters carries a wide variety of scooter brands, both new and pre-owned. However, the pre-owned side has seen the most growth and Frankovich expects that to continue next year.
“Pre-owned has definitely been increasing every year,” he said. “We sold a lot of bikes this year. I think next year it’s going to increase even more.”
In addition to the increase in pre-owned sales, the demand for service has grown at NoHo Scooters.
“Service has been a really big increase for us because of the economy,” he said. “Everybody’s bringing the old bikes out of the garage and getting them back on the road.”
It’s not just the customers’ bikes that keep the service department busy, either.
“People that don’t have the money to buy a new bike will buy a pre-owned bike, which means we’ll still need a few people in the service department to refurbish these older bikes that we’re getting,” Frankovich said.
“We’re talking about adding a couple more lifts and changing around the service department to make it a lot easier for our guys to get to stuff and maybe hire one or two extra mechanics next year,” he said.
The revamping of the service department and addition of a pair of mechanics will also make the department more efficient and, in turn, potentially more profitable.
Though the pre-owned side has really taken off, Frankovich has high hopes for an increase in new unit sales in 2012.
“I think sales could increase on new,” he said. “There’s not much pre-owned out there for scooters. We’ve only seen a boom probably in the last five years in scooters.”
“Gas is still high. As long as gas is high, we’ll be selling scooters,” Frankovich said. “I’m hoping some of the consumer confidence comes back. They start spending a little more and we can sell more new bikes.”
Frankovich has seen more credit applications getting approved in recent months, and hopes the trend continues.
“I’ve been seeing more of the financers starting to finance people again, so that’ll increase and that will definitely help us out,” he said.
To keep the business moving forward, Frankovich has been using social media to supplement advertising.
“We already do Facebook, Twitter and all of that,” he said. “I’d probably like to do a little bit more of it as time allows, to come up with more special deals. We’re on Foursquare. We have deals on Foursquare. We do Google ads. A lot of out marketing is really focused online now.”
Frankovich has found that the social media and other online advertising have proven more effective than using more traditional methods.
“In the past we’ve done newspaper, but that didn’t really get us much,” he said. “Most people are on the Internet now.”
Despite the unpredictability of the scooter business, the recent past leaves Frankovich encouraged.
“With this business, you don’t know what to expect,” he said. “A lot of our sales depend on gasoline prices and you cannot predict that. I can see service increasing. I’ve seen other shops close in the last few years, so we’ll definitely grab a lot of that service business. I think that took us by surprise, all that extra service business this year.”
From new, to pre-owned, to service, it is looking like NoHo’s 10th year of operation could be one of its best.