Necessity is the mother of invention, according to Plato. And most good businesses are born that way.
John Churchman, 21, and Navid Mazloom, age 20, were working in Ocean City and needed to get around town quickly during the busy summer tourist season. So they began looking for alternative forms of transportation, and quickly discovered nothing affordable in town.
Looking around the state and online they found over-priced products, unfriendly staff and below standard customer service. Seeing the great opportunity in this market and viewing the great potential of the virtually untapped college student market, College Scooters was created.
The College Scooters concept started as an e-commerce idea, where the scooter sales were only fulfilled through an online portal. As the business concept developed, John and Navid realized the potential of real locations in combination with the website and their model changed. Their first physical location was a warehouse in Ocean City, MD in 2011. In August 2011, College Scooters expanded to two full-time locations in Salisbury and College Park, MD. And this past August, John and Navid moved their operations to larger and more visible locations.
College Scooters is a full service shop where you can buy, rent and also repair your scooter. John and Navid offer affordable scooters with outstanding in-house warranty and customer service. They carry a very diverse scooter line up, stocking everything from retro models to ones that are more modern and sporty. The price range on their scooters varies from $750 to $1599.
All of College Scooters inventory have the best cost-to-quality ratio in the industry. Currently they carry two brands – Peace Sports and Keeway, but plan on offering a new flagship line called SYM. In addition to convenience getting around town, scooters offer amazing gas mileage of up to 90 miles per gallon.
College Scooters also offers the longest and the best warranty in the industry. They work on their scooters in house and have full time mechanics performing maintenance and repair.
John and Navid are still students, and plan to graduate in May 2013. John is working on his Marketing and Information Systems major at Salisbury University and Navid is majoring in Supply Chain Management with International Business minor at the University of Maryland in College Park. The partnership between two students has proven to be a strong one. Navid handles development of the company in Washington D.C. area, while John manages Salisbury and the Eastern Shore. The company also operates a satellite location in Ocean City to meet extreme seasonal demand for scooters in the summer months.
Both shops are located very close to Universities, which is a convenience factor for students, their target market. “Every year this market is renewed with potential customers as the next class year enters college, creating a stable and expanding market to build upon,” John said.
However, the partners see a larger market for scooters beyond students. The hope to sell to urban professionals disenchanted by high gas prices, who are seeking an alternative means of getting to work.
“By strategically placing our locations close to college campuses we aim to capture a large market share and attract the attention of the surrounding community in order to pull in customers not affiliated with the campus,” John explained.
In the next year, College Scooters plans to expand to Towson, MD and later they want to enter the national market, adding one location per year.
College Scooters truly seeks to change the way scooters are purchased, serviced and used in the United States. “We strive to provide a simple, informative and quality scooter buying experience for all,” John said.