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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:39 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:25 am
Posts: 147
Location: Shrewsbury
Get a few folding bikes built to hire out or sell to the yachters maybe. Bimbling in to a new town to get food shopping in or get to a nice pub might mean you have a market with the boating lot?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2192
Location: Suffolk
I tried bike hire. Be warned it is time comsuming and even though there is a caravan park on site it proved a loss maker. I think it is possible to make some money but it is alot of work for a little money. I have found there are other ways to make more which is what keep the lights on and food in my belly and I devote my time to these.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:50 pm 
Devout Dirtbag

Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:25 am
Posts: 147
Location: Shrewsbury
The good thing with hiring bikes to the yachters is they may want to hire the bike for long periods. If they can stow on on board for a week as they cut about the UK it is less hassle than day hire maybe. Or sell 'em!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2192
Location: Suffolk
Hire rates will need to be £20 per full day or so to make it viable. Given a weeks hire is the cost of a cheap bike most people buy a cheap bike for a decent period, that is the problem with hire.

Make it alot cheaper and you do not cover costs.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:39 pm
Posts: 1182
Location: wales
I've liked your fb page, you should be able to put postings on this https://www.facebook.com/visitkent?fref=ts photos do really well, videos better and twitter too. one comment is your back wall is black paint it yellow it draws people in or a big smiley face :D and hiring is a pain, repairs far more profitable


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:37 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 231
Location: South Manchester
This is all very exciting. I agree that a yellow back wall would provide a nice glow rather than a black hole at the back of the shop. Also, anyone who's watched the Tour de France probably associates the Mavic service cars that rescue stricken cyclists with the colour yellow as much as they do the maillot jaune. So it'd be a subliminal message - "here, we fix bikes".

It might be a bit of a Faff to do, but as the side walls are white already, they'd look great with a world champion rainbow stripe on them. Of all the brilliant jerseys and colour schemes in cycling, that's the one I think stands out above the rest, beyond branding or personalities. It's it, its historical and retro but also current and 'now', and it won't date.

Just a thought...


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:27 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:02 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Teddington
I've recently gone self employed myself.
This thread was super inspirational, thank you.
Hope you're doing well with your business, you've certainly come along way sir!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
Posts: 4715
Location: Sheppey, Kent
Thanks for taking an interest guys.

The summer got really, really busy for my little part time shop!

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Signs went up (I could do with some more!):

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It's grown steadily, trying to squeeze in little jobs like putting up grid wall, finish the fresh hold strip, putting up display stuff etc is difficult as theres generally a repair to do or a bike to build and as decorating doe not make any money its always at the bottom of the list of things to do.

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Things are a bit quieter at the moment, still ticking over ok but I'm trying to concentrate more on the online stuff.

With rent, accountant fees, stock building, decorating, etc I'd say that I'm just about breaking even rather than making profit although that said I only work part time.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:07 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:59 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Chez Vegas, Derbyshire
Looks like you are keeping yourself busy Tel.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
Posts: 4715
Location: Sheppey, Kent
Little end of year update for you folks

It's been great running the bike shop since March. Have had some lovely bikes in and out of the door including a fair few used reconditioned ones as well as repairs. Seem to be getting a reasonable amount of roadies seeking me out now which was my goal from the outset.

Repairing and building bikes has been the easy part; running a business is far from easy! I have an empty bank account mainly due to reinvesting in the shop all year but furthermore I think that my prices have been too low. I am getting better at this realising now that I do not have to compete 100% with internet prices thus make only a meagre amount on a part, although I try to keep competitive and generally below rrp. The embarrassment of asking people to pay for me to fix their bike has died off now too and I'm happy to ask for what is the going rate for repairs. Being of a gentle and generous nature (no really I am!) asking for money has been a bit of an obstacle but like I said I think I'm over that although still find myself discounting or giving my time or a small item away.

This is where the shop is at now visually:

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Outside complete with Xmas bike and decs.

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Nice and tidy at the moment

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Reasonable amount of stock for a small shop imo

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Bike display area, I can fit about 5 bikes in the shop for sale.

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Bit further in

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Workshop area


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Tools

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Messy shelves! Not good....


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View of stock from another angle


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The only natural light the shop gets, it literally is cave like.


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Bikes


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Kettle and drinks! Coffee machine has not made it round here yet, sorry Richard (more on that later)


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Tyres

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More tyres


So what are the plans for next year? I want to focus more on road and retro bikes including older 3 speed sit up and beg bikes. Got plans for a new website if I can up my communication with John on here! (Sorry John) but my really, really, really big plan is to move the shop to a new premises!

I'll keep it brief for now as nothing has been agreed other than a verbal hand shake but I'm looking to take over this shop, which has stood empty and neglected for the last 6 years:

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I've had my eye on it since I moved in last year and finally tracked down the owner with a view to buy it however we agreed to a lease agreement for the time being (good job really cos I had no idea how I was going to fund the purchase!).

It's a grade 2 listed building and just down the road from our current shop (you can kinda see it in the background) and just to right of the shot above is our house! So not too far to go to work :)

We got to have a look inside:

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Needs a bit of work as you can see but that's fine. It's a better shop space than we have now albeit still relatively small, however there is another two rooms one of which is a kitchen which we intend to set up as a refreshments area featuring our coffee machine.

Speaking with the owner he said that the rent will not be just the ground floor but for the entire building!!! So we can spread out over the 3 floors. I'm thinking that on the first floor I'd like shoes and clothing albeit that will require quite a lot of investment but it's the long term plan, especially as it needs as much tidying as downstairs. We intend to have it in a Jack Wills, Super Dry, etc style of décor. The 2nd floor I don't know my ideas haven't extended that far yet!

The one thing I'm sure of is that all of my plans will require investment so I guess I can look forward to another year of working for no financial reward (fine by me, not so much by my missus). Fingers crossed that things just keep getting bigger and better.....

Thanks for all your support and goodwill. Apologies for not getting on here as often as I would like/ used to.

Happy New Year to you all!!!


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