The main idea stems from the fact that a lot of people like to walk, run, or ride their bikes to work. However, their work may not provide a place to shower. Or perhaps you just want a better shower and bathing experience that isn't provided elsewhere.
I would take most opinions with a grain of salt. A lot of people try to find faults in an idea to show they are providing value. You can find faults or values in anything.
This is directly from Steve Jobs:
“Some people say, "Give the customers what they want." But that's not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they're going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!'" People don't know what they want until you show it to them. That's why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
I think your idea has legs since it's different and something that provides value to others. The only way to really find out is to execute your idea on a small scale. You can execute a lot of ideas with very little to no money. Some people spend a lot of money because they feel they have to but in reality most ideas and products can be proven on a small scale.
You may need to protect your idea so nobody steals it. The important part is proving the idea which can be done and is really the only way to know if your idea is worth doing.
Best of luck with your business! It sounds very interesting!
I have owned and operated (for 6.5 years) a successful math tutoring franchise called Mathnasium. My center has ranked in the top 10 (in terms of revenue) for each of the past four years (out of 900 centers). I have has consulted dozens of franchises and small businesses since 2013. Prior to this I worked on wall street for 13 years as a bond trader.
It's important to consider a variety of factors when thinking about a business idea like this. Because the target demographic here is likely going to have little time between their commute and the start of their working day, having to travel extra distance to shower probably won't fit into their schedules. However, differentiating your service to offer something more than just a normal (or even a luxury) shower could help mitigate this--consider partnering with companies to provide discounts or offering bundles that incentivize using your service combined with another differentiating aspect.
Please feel free to contact me and discuss further--I'd love to get a sense of your thoughts and the direction you'd like to take this service!
It’s an interesting concept and the next step is to qualify it further with some market research.
Where will you find your potential customers for services? My initial assumption would be in a relatively dense urban setting where people want to commute to work or school by biking, or otherwise on their feet, and they need access to a shower and a place to change clothes. I recommend surveying the nearest metro area (New York, San Francisco, et cetera) which is close to you and look for a traffic pattern that would support providing the services. Maybe there is a neighborhood of office buildings or a university where there are inadequate showering options for commuters. I think you could do a site survey for a few places, to see what you learn. You might also consider spending some time at the bike racks and talking with bicyclists to see how they are dealing with the issue today. Is there a need for what you would like to provide? How much would they be willing to pay?
You can also scout out the real estate to determine the costs of creating a facility with the tenant improvements necessary to serve your customers. Conversely, maybe the business is brokering existing shower or bathroom facilities at businesses or at residences with your customers in a manner similar to Airbnb. Maybe the business is providing portable showering facilities by converting RVs so they 2-3 sets of showers, then you can serve weekday commuters but also provide services at local festivals where there are no services.
It’s hard to say what the results will be but I believe doing some market research will give you a better sense of the viability of the concept. You may well uncover other unmet needs that you could serve better than your original concept. If you can identify a basic value proposition to get started, then you can iterate from there.