Can Businesses Earn Money From Their Car Park Without Incurring Any Upfront Costs?
The old saying goes that you have to speculate to accumulate, but businesses generally don’t tend to have wads of spare cash lying around to spend on improving their car park. However, what if we told you there was a way to earn more money from your car park without needing to spend a penny in advance? This may sound too good to be true, but it actually is possible for businesses to earn money from their car parks without splashing out any, or very little, money upfront. In fact, there can be a lot of profit to be made from empty or under-utilised car parking space. This profitable line of revenue can also increase the value of your property and deliver an improved service to customers.
But what does a business need to do to start benefiting from additional income from their car parking spaces? There are several ways in which to do this. Read on to find out more.
Start earning money with your car park
The first thing to consider is whether your car park is currently bringing in any money at all. If it is not, then this is a wasted opportunity and something that you can change straight away. There are several relatively simple ideas that you can implement quickly in order to open up this new revenue stream.
For example, you may want to think about whether you could rent your car parking space out outside of business hours. This could be extremely profitable if your business is located in an area where there is a high demand for parking spaces, such as in the city centre or near a popular shopping area. At the weekend, shoppers, families, and tourists who are visiting the area around your business would welcome the opportunity to find a convenient and affordable parking space. In the evenings, diners and theatre goers would be happy to know that there is a handy parking space available for them nearby. You may find that your parking spaces are particularly in demand during local events, such as music festivals.
You could consider listing your parking spaces on YourParkingSpace. We offer a quick and simple online platform for space owners to list their available parking spaces and for motorists to easily search and book the perfect parking spot.
Another quick way to kick start earning money from your car park is to introduce parking permits for those who are eligible to park in your space for free, such as key employees. You can then implement parking payments for non-permit customers. Any motorists who are outside of your authorised group would be required to pay to park in your car park. Free or validated parking permits could be offered for customers, alongside permits being issued to staff. Ad-hoc visitors or those wanting to park in your space to head to the nearby shops or restaurants, could be offered pay on foot options to pay for their parking.
You may be thinking that installing pay on foot machines would be an initial expense. But there are some providers who can actually offer a cost-neutral commercial model. Another thing to bear in mind is that pay on foot machines can begin generating revenue as soon as they are installed, therefore offsetting any upfront costs.
Introducing such a scheme would also be a good way to discourage car park abuse. This is where people unconnected to your business use your car park as a free place to park their car when going elsewhere. This can be a particular problem if your business is based in a desirable location such as the city centre. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology can help to enforce such a scheme. This technology can be used to keep track of vehicles entering and exiting your car park. This is an effective way to ensure that any unauthorised motorists are brought to your attention so that you can take measures to prevent this continuing.
Earn more with a few easy steps
Perhaps your car park is already bringing in some existing revenue. In that case, there are steps that you can take to extend this and bolster profits. This takes just a little creativity. For example, you could consider changing the layout of your car park to maximise capacity. By ensuring that there is no space going to waste, you immediately increase your revenue potential. As well as increasing capacity, an improved car park layout can create a more positive parking experience for motorists. Making parking an easy and enjoyable occurrence for customers means that they are more likely to bring repeat business to your car park.
Consider different payment options
To further increase the positive parking vibe for motorists frequenting your car parking space, you could also consider improving the payment options that are available. In busy areas, providing an efficient payment process is vital. Drivers will often have a choice of several different places to park and they will make their decision about which to use based, not only on location and price, but also on ease of use. Motorists who have to battle with unreliable payment machines or wait in long queues to pay on old slow machines, are not likely to be repeat customers. But if you can provide swift and easy payment methods, this is a great way of increasing customer loyalty.
Cashless technologies are a fantastic way of helping customers leave the days of scrabbling for cash firmly in the past. Technologies like this can create instantaneous savings and reduce operational costs. They also offer the chance for you to easily implement dynamic parking fees. This is where parking charges can be amended to reflect demand. When there is low demand for parking spaces, prices can be lowered to make your car park more attractive to paying customers. However, when there is high demand for parking space in your area, you can raise your parking fees to benefit from the increased revenue opportunity.
Reach out to new audiences
Finally, perhaps there are new audiences that you could reach. There may be those who you have not considered before but may be ready to take advantage of the convenient parking spaces that you have available. One option could be to rent parking spaces to food trucks over lunch time. Traders are likely to be eager to be in close proximity to many hungry workers and therefore would be willing to pay a premium for this space. An added bonus is that your employees will thank you for ensuring that there are plenty of tasty options available for lunch without much of a walk.
If your car park is not in use overnight and sits empty, you could think about opening your car park to campervans to pitch up overnight. This would be minimal work and have no upfront cost but could bring in extra revenue. Depending on your location, though, you may wish to consider whether there would be any security implications of having your site open overnight.
Another option could be to consider using your car park for something other than parking vehicles. If there are local events that take place in your area, such as food markets or craft fairs, then you could offer your car park to host the event. This would have several benefits. Firstly, potential new customers would learn the location of your car park and may consider it for future parking use or even renting the space for their own event. Secondly, renting out the car park for the event would bring in upfront revenue. Thirdly, it may be possible to broker a deal with the organisers of the event to allow you to receive a percentage of sales taken. Finally, it is a great opportunity to take the chance to promote your business to a new audience with posters, flyers or even your own stall during the event.
Help other local businesses out
If your business is located in close proximity to other businesses, then you could explore whether it would be feasible for you to help other local businesses out. If neighbouring companies are struggling to meet the parking demands of their customers and visitors, and you have a car park sitting fairly empty, then you could offer your available parking spaces for their customers to use. Pairing this with a validated ticket system is an effective way of making sure that your customers continue to benefit from free or discounted parking, whilst customers of nearby businesses pay full price parking fees. This is a win-win situation. Your business gets increased revenue without having to spend anything upfront. The other businesses are able to attract customers in with the offer of parking availability. Customers are able to park in a convenient spot rather than wasting time driving around looking for a space. An added bonus may be that customers of other businesses may also decide to patronise your business while they are there.
These are just a few suggestions of way in which your business can earn money from your car park without incurring any upfront costs. Hopefully these will get you started on the way to increasing your revenue stream through more efficient use of your car parking space.