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bicycle shop/ small business advice please

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by Bmxcast00, May 26, 2011.

  1. May 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM
    #1
    Bmxcast00

    Bmxcast00 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Raymond
    Exeter Ca
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner Reg. cab.
    Black headlight mod, powdercoated stocks, leveling kit, debadged
    I am a bicycle mechanic that has been in the industry for the past 10 years and now I'm wanting to open a shop of my own. After working for 3 previous bike shops I think I have enough experience to sell, maintain, and repair bicycles and bike accessories.
    Now I just need to know how to go about opening the new shop. I've started on my buisness plan and looked for locations already.
    Anyone have there own bike shop or has opened a small retail store? Need some advice on steps to take. Thank you.
     
  2. May 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM
    #2
    Bmxcast00

    Bmxcast00 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Raymond
    Exeter Ca
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner Reg. cab.
    Black headlight mod, powdercoated stocks, leveling kit, debadged
    anybody?
     
  3. May 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    #3
    Bmxcast00

    Bmxcast00 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Member:
    #34818
    Messages:
    363
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Raymond
    Exeter Ca
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner Reg. cab.
    Black headlight mod, powdercoated stocks, leveling kit, debadged
  4. May 27, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    #4
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Joined:
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    <----------------->
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    1st, act like you are not a citizen of this country so you can get all the small business loans and perks that seem to be unavailable to actual citizens. I have been wrenching on bikes for about 42 yrs for myself and for friends but just haven't gone in business due to having to deal with john Q retard public. I just go to work every day and get paid and let others deal with the administrative and customer relations and sales promotion nonsense. Just not cut out for that and I know it will hamper my efforts to ever be financially independent but oh well, at least I didn't stress out and die from health issues and I have time to ride instead of fixing everyone's busted ass silly rigged junk. No offense intended there, I'm sure you know what I meant by that, the way all this crazy shit comes through there for you to work on and you're just amazed at some of the dumb stuff people will do thinking it was a good idea. Good luck with it tho, I do feel the only way to truly break through to the next level of becoming more financially robust is to run your own business and somehow deal with the masses.
     
  5. May 27, 2011 at 10:53 AM
    #5
    colinb17

    colinb17 If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    Colin
    Lusby, MD
    Vehicle:
    '07 TRD Sport 4x4
    Build thread in sig...
    I don't own my own bike shop, but like you have worked as a mechanic for them for a long time. when I’m in Florida for school, I work at a small shop, co-owned by two guys who own that one and another small one up the road about 5 miles. One does the high end road and mountain ($3000 to about $15000), and the other store does the more entry level stuff and beach bikes, since we're across the street from the beach. I have been working for them for 3 years, and learned a ton about owning and operating a bike shop from them.

    I’ll start out by saying that both of them have other jobs. As you know, markup on bikes is extremely low compared to other forms of retail (like clothing). So make sure you put lots of thought into the lines of accessories you will carry, since that's more than likely where the biggest chunk of your profits will come from. The other thing I have learned from them is that labor will make or break you. If you have 3 mechanics in at a given time working for you and there is only one bike being worked on, even if it only takes 2 hours to fix and the bill is $200, you still have to pay 3 people for their time. Depending on their skill level, and therefore, their wage, that could just about kill the money you just brought in. On the other hand, if there is a steady flow of labor and it is being properly completed in a timely manner, you can potentially make more from labor than parts and accessories.

    Brand selection is also important. First you have to choose what brands you want to carry. Giant makes great bikes, but they have a habit of getting dropped from stores because they require you to stock your store with too high or a percentage of their stuff. you also don't want to carry the same brand as the bike shop down the road unless you are positive you can make sales over them, either based on customer service (which you haven't built the reputation for yet), or price (which is how you might have to start)

    The other potential killer is overhead. There are costs to keep the business running that you never think of.

    Bottom line is that you will need more money to start up than you think, so get your loans a little high if anything, and you will have to invest more time at the beginning than you think.

    I would look for an assistant manager to hire that understands what's going on, and is ok with putting in long hours for slightly less pay at the beginning, knowing that when things are settled in and pick up, you will appropriately take care of him for the work he's put in (or her). Weather that's a bonus, back pay, or whatever, it will help greatly to have someone to split the start-up work with.

    I apologize that I haven't really actually given you much advice, but more just stuff to look out for and expect, but I hope it helps in some form or another.

    Best of luck in your new business endeavor! There are far too few independently owned and operated bike shops. It’s good to see someone doing what they love and changing that.

    I’m very interested in where you take this, so I’ll follow the thread and let you know if I think of anything helpful.

    -Colin
     
  6. May 27, 2011 at 10:55 AM
    #6
    colinb17

    colinb17 If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

    Joined:
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    Colin
    Lusby, MD
    Vehicle:
    '07 TRD Sport 4x4
    Build thread in sig...
    Shit, didn't realize that was so long. Sorry for the book.
     
  7. May 27, 2011 at 12:30 PM
    #7
    Bmxcast00

    Bmxcast00 [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Member:
    #34818
    Messages:
    363
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Raymond
    Exeter Ca
    Vehicle:
    09 PreRunner Reg. cab.
    Black headlight mod, powdercoated stocks, leveling kit, debadged
    thanks to the both of you guys for taking your time in lending a hand.

    first to taco prerunner, Yesterday I found a good .gov site for opening small business, on there was some grants and loans for minority businessmen like myself. I totally under stand what your saying about working on junk or as you call it "busted ass rigged junk" haha While working at the past shops I think I've learned to deal with the annoying questions like "do these things take tubes?" or the "I was just riding along and ________ broke" so I should have the patience to deal with those people.

    Colin, I do have another job that I will be staying with in till my time comes to go full time at UPS. There I have my 401k, full health insurance, and decent wages for a part time employee. I will be doing pretty much everything by myself with the occasional help from my younger brother who doesn't have any bicycle mechanic experience besides changing flats and installing easy parts. My father will be retiring in a couple of years so i can have him push a broom or run errands if needed. I don't expect to have a big shop. our town's population is around 10,000 so it will be pretty small. thats also why i'm not wanting any other employees besides my family members that will help out here and there.

    Today I will be making calls to old sales reps that I have contact information from past jobs and see if they would be interested in helping out.

    thanks for the help and keep if coming if you think of anything else
     
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