Everybody with a car will need somewhere to park from time to time, so if you own or are thinking of buying some land, then starting a parking lot business can be an ideal way to make an income. A parking lot business can be a quite low-maintenance way of making money, as once you have prepared the area to make it safe for parking and put payment methods in place for drivers who want to use it, there’s not much else to do other than ensuring it’s kept in good condition. You don’t have to visit your parking lot every day for it to bring in an income for you. But before you decide if this is the right business idea for you, let’s take a look at some of the specifics.
Choosing an Area
The first thing to think about when starting your business is where your parking lot is going to be. If you already own a suitable plot of land, then think about how popular it would be as a parking lot. If it’s close to a tourist attraction, offices, restaurants, or shops, then chances are it could make a lot of money, especially if parking prices are competitive compared to others in the area. On the other hand, if your land is in the middle of nowhere, it might not be such a profitable business idea. If you are looking for land to buy to use as a parking lot, then the location is everything. Look for a location that has nearby places that people will drive to, without a great amount of parking in the area so that your new lot can fulfil a need.
Preparing the Parking Lot
The next step involves thinking about how you are going to turn a patch of land into a useable parking lot. You will need to think about laying suitable ground for car parking and protecting it. South Central Sealing and Paving provide quality sealcoating to prolong the life of the asphalt. You will also need to think about marking out car parking spaces and providing directions for drivers to get into and out of the parking lot safely.
Parking Lot Security
It is no secret that a lot of car crashes, damage, and even thefts go on in parking lots. Parking lots are often a top choice for criminals if there is no security on-site. People may be reluctant to park their car in your parking lot if they don’t trust that their vehicle or the contents in it are going to be secure during the stay. It’s a good idea to have CCTV installed in the parking lot and make this clear to deter any would-be criminals and provide your potential customers with peace of mind. Along with CCTV, you may want to add further security by hiring patrol staff to work on the parking lot.
There are several options to consider when it comes to how you will take payments from your customers when they use your parking lot. Automatic barrier gate installation is a popular choice as this deters drivers from using your parking lot without paying, as they will need to make the payment in order to exit. Pay and display machines, where customers print a ticket to show in their windshield are another option to consider, or you could have a human employee manning the lot and taking payments from customers for their stay as they enter or leave.
Sadly, there are always going to be drivers who will try and get away with parking on your land without paying for the convenience. In order to ensure that you are not losing money with your parking lot, you will need to consider how you are going to enforce payments. A popular way to do this is to have patrol staff or a parking warden checking for pay and display tickets in cars and issuing tickets to those that have not paid. A more modern option, that doesn’t require paying staff a wage, is to have cameras on the car park that pick up registration plates that will record any cars coming and going into the parking lot without paying for a ticket.
Aside from needing somewhere to park, there are many other reasons why some drivers might choose a certain parking lot over others. If you are setting up your parking lot in an area that has a lot of nearby competing parking options, then you may want to consider adding further amenities that drivers want. For example, with more and more electric cars on the road these days, parking lots that have plug-in options for EVs so drivers can charge while they are shopping and working are in increasing demand.
While a parking lot business isn’t a huge amount of work once you have everything set up, there will still be some ongoing maintenance you’ll need to do. You will need to ensure that the ground is safe to drive on and that any necessary repairs are made quickly to avoid damage to the cars coming through. If the parking lot is underground or otherwise covered, you will need to make sure that there is adequate lighting. Signs should be checked, cleaned, and repaired if needed on a regular basis, and all barriers should be tested for safety regularly too. Parking spaces and directions painted onto the ground will fade over time, so you will need to ensure that these are redone as needed.
If you own or are planning to buy a plot of land and want to use it to start a business, a parking lot business can be a profitable option. With more cars on the road than ever before and all drivers needing somewhere to park, a lot that is located close to offices, shops, and other places that get a high footfall is always going to be a good way to bring in money, especially if it is secure and competitively priced.