Given the severe stress many people are under thanks to poor vehicle efficiency, high gas prices and long commutes I'm wondering if anyone has considered trying coaching wannabe hypermilers in proper driving techniques as a business opportunity?
How would you reach potential customers?
How would you convince them that your services could meet a need of theirs?
it is so funny that you said something about this. my wife was poking fun at me in her workplace and said something about me working on my gas mileage. the funny thing was that her boss (director over the program) asked if I would be willing to do a workshop on it. at her workplace, they routinely do some sort of workshop for team building activities. I didn't take them up on it because of the shortcomings of some of the things I do.
I don't want to be liable for some woman whose car has overheated trying to get better gas mileage or has damaged her vehicle by cutting off the engine and her transmission melts out of her minivan because they didn't do their research first to see if it would work for their vehicle. I could see a lot of shortcomings to trying to do something like that.
if someone were interested in doing something like that, they would have to pull up specs on most cars so that they could say that each individuals car could or could not do certain things. I think the difficulty would be in the detail. you would have to be prepared for all the questions and have a huge disclaimer for such a program.
I also have a hard time charging people for advice and I know that people do it all the time.
*edit* the poking fun stopped when she told them I was getting 10MPG over EPA.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
I was thinking of something along the lines of a two hour session in the customer's own car with something like a scangauge.. Let them drive say a ten mile loop while recording the average mileage then you do it with basic hypermiling techniques.. If the customer is sufficiently impressed with the demo then you go ahead and give them the course for say $50 or whatever.
I wouldn't encourage anyone to do anything that might hurt their vehicle, like EOC, I'm not convinced the potential benefits of turning the engine off to save idle fuel is worth the possible risks involved.
Aerodynamic mods might be another opportunity, particularly if you have instrumentation that can determine relative drag easily and quickly (something like a USB accelerometer).. Air dam, virtual boattail and so on.
I tend to give advice as a "favor" that may some day be repaid and maybe not. I talked one guy into getting a scangauge. I need an extra cable for mine so he may order me one. I intend to pay him for it but it will save me on shipping. also, another guy saw my WAI and wanted to put one on his car to get better FE.
I find that if you charge someone for something (a set amount) they tend to want more from you or want you to fix every little thing about it. the first guy with the scangauge, his vehicle was throwing a code. I plugged up the scangauge and reset it. he got back some power and it ran good for a week or so. now it is throwing a code again. not sure if it is the same one as my cable is routed through my car pretty good and I don't want to take it out again. if I had charged him to read the code, he may have expected me to re-read the code for him. also, it was on him to find out what the code meant as well.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
That's why I'll never touch other peoples cars or computers... change their plugs and it's your fault their brakes squeal, install a virus checker and it's your fault their PSU dies...
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
I made my living for many years by "fixing the unfixable", I've always done better in times of economic downturn because that's when people fix stuff rather than just buying another one.
The thing is people don't appreciate that which they do not pay for. I've seen it time and time again that when I give "free" advice people ignore what I say.. If I charge them $50 an hour on the other hand, they listen very carefully..
After a while it finally dawned on me that people used my services more when I charged more.. People have a hard time judging the quality of many things and a lot of folks just figure that the more expensive something is the higher the quality.