About this idea
This idea came about through an immediate family need. When my parents needed stripes in their business parking lot, they decided to invest in the equipment to do it themselves. I took the initiative to learn about what needed to be done, and my sister and I completed the project. I soon realized that this could be a service that I could offer throughout Greater Grand Rapids. As I go to different places throughout the city, I’ve noticed numerous parking lots that would benefit from striping services. While there may be businesses that currently exist that offer this service, I do not know of any Black-owned, teenage businesses offering this service.
Proper parking lot striping offers curb appeal which I believe is an important aspect of running a business. It also addresses safety–clear striping will allow customers to know exactly where they should park and where they are going and ensures that businesses are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All around, it is a win-win situation for businesses who will receive our services and for their customers. I see this as an opportunity to begin the journey of developing my entrepreneur skills, building a viable company, and serving the community.
What I'll do with $5,000
We've already won $5,000 from Demo Day, but we would use this additional $5,000 to take more steps toward completing the goals we set for ourselves.
Equipment: I plan to invest in additional equipment that will allow me to do future jobs more effectively. This includes, paint, stencils, better quality machinery, and a trailer to transport equipment. By the way, my dad will be driving.
There are many paint striping machine options. Through our research, we have determined that our goal is to purchase the PowerLiner PL3500 machine to maximize our efficiency. The vendor also includes a business success pack that includes a role-playing pitch video, customizable proposal template, social media templates, and more items to help us launch successfully. If we win this $5K to add to the $5K we've already won, we will use the $10,000 to purchase that machine as well as paint, an enclosed trailer, marketing materials, and uniforms. The total cost for this plan is $15,496, which means that will include my own money saved from other jobs and chores as well as additional investment from family and others.
Training: $500 dollars will be used to ensure that I receive proper training so that I can train others that I may hire to help me. We have identified a business that provides training and resources for paint striping start-ups, and we are exploring their options.
Marketing: We plan to have an active marketing plan where we go get customers directly as well as intentionally seeking referral partners. We will do direct marketing to businesses in our target area that we see need Stripes Again - churches, office buildings, health centers, small restaurants, gas stations, small apartment buildings, and more. We will introduce ourselves, make our pitch, and get the business. (We have one new client already waiting on us to start to provide them with services.) We will also be prepared to leave behind marketing materials for those who don’t take action immediately. For this, we will need flyers, business cards, and our website.
We will also pursue Micro Local Business Enterprise Certification through the City of Grand Rapids in order to be qualified to do paint striping for the City and its partners. Can’t you imagine a GRPS student doing the paint striping for GRPS schools?!
We will offer annual maintenance subscriptions as we have learned that parking lots should be repainted yearly in Michigan.