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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:21 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:51 pm
Posts: 382
Location: north of essex, south of suffolk
Tel wrote:
I can remove the life ring


as long as you later don't need to rely on it to keep you afloat :wink: :wink:

good luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 8171
Location: a proper EU country
That is a nice experience, starting your own bizz. Congratulations.

Are you the 1st bicycle related shop in your region? From how far do you expect the people will come to you? What kind of bikes do you expect? Leisure, utilitarian, commuter, kids etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8247
Location: Cumbria
http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/carli ... errerPath=

the above bike shop closed down because the owner retired....couldn't compete with selling new bikes but made a good trade on the repair and accessory side.

He has relocated his wheel building to his garage so the 70's Campag hubs and Superchampion rims will ride again :)

Made a good living on the repair side of things and left selling new bikes to the bigger guys here in Carlisle..

Shaun


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
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Location: Saarfend on sea
I've been reading this thread with much interest, and think it's great that you are moving forward with your venture. A guy local to me has done the same thing, he offers repairs and rebuilt bikes. He normally stocks about 15 bikes, which range from kids to adults, whatever he can get his hands on. I have a number of things that I don't like about his shop, which might be useful for you! Firstly, although I understand his situation as a new business the overall appearance of the unit is bare and not very inviting. I think most people have an expected standard of any outlet, the one in question has white walls that are a bit grubby with the odd poster or trinket dotted around the place. I can imagine your place could look inviting quite easily because of it's size. The second and probably the main thing I don't like is the service, they are not at all friendly and this makes me reluctant to go in, even though I know they probably have that small old bit that's hoiding my project up! I have also noticed that the bike stock hardly ever changes, suggesting that repairs are the bread and butter, I have heard this from my other LBS. I would absolutely love to live near your shop, it would be great to have someone freindly and accomodating around the corner, if I'm honest I would be looking for excuses to come round, I can imagine saying to the wife ' I had better get this looked at, just going to pop round to the bike shop' rather than fiddling myself. From this point, I think it's fair to say that as long as you go out of your way to treat all of your customers as special, and offer good reasonably priced work then you are on to a winner. I hope you keep this thread going as some sort of blog type thing, it's really interesting to hear how it's going! Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
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Location: Sheppey, Kent
Well I'm a nice guy so no problems there I hope! Regarding the shop appearance I am a little concerned. It's in a bit of a mess at the moment and I don't have much money to put it straight, looking into it though....

Midlife - yes it's certainly a concern that bike shops are closing left right and centre. Hopefully my uniqueness (second hand focus) will help me stay afloat.

Elev12k - thanks. I started a business over a year ago but to have a bricks and mortar shop is the next step.

For many years there has been another bicycle shop here it's not upto much really but has stood the test of time. We used to have an excellent bike shop with a great guy running it but it shut down due to ill health and probably financial difficulties, this was before the internet, the guy had a huge collection of vintage parts! Recently we had another bike shop that mainly specialised n BMX's. It seemed to do quite well but shut a couple of months ago. It was in the high street, his rent was very high and unless you was of the BMX'ing fraternity they weren't all that great I heard through the grapevine.

So thats one local shop remaining in competition. Next shop is on the mainland about 6 miles away, again not the greatest and not a dedicated bike shop either but has been there for years. Halfords is about the same distance and probably the main competitor. Next closest I can think of and the best by far is about 15 miles away although I've never been impressed with his patronising manner. There are a couple of cycle warehouse type places about the same distance in the opposite direction.

I'll still be dealing with retro steel racing bikes and selling online but will also be introducing hybrids and mtb's to the stock when things get as big as that (as it stands I'll only be able to stock about 5 bikes!). Locally the main focus seems to be commuting, utilitarian type bikes. There is a good splattering of road bikes and decent mtb'ers though. Of course BMX's too.

It's going to be hard knowing what to stock and I hope that not too many people dismiss me early on due to lack of stock and not having what they want...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Location: Cumbria
Tel

Just out of curiosity, what do you currently do to pay the mortgage and put food on the table?

Shaun


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Location: Sheppey, Kent
I work in a pharmaceutical factory on a permanent night shift. It's an okay job and pays reasonably well but is not what I want to do with my life. I've been there 12 years.

I'm continuing with that job whilst I try to establish the bike shop. Will I ever earn enough from the shop to quit? I'm doubtful but the shop is another step forward in my eyes.


Last edited by Tel on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:59 pm
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Location: a proper EU country
How is the population density of your location and where are the main facilities? Is the e-bike popular where you live? Could this be an alternative for the car or is the infrastructure not okay for that? Where I live, in Holland, the e-bike proved to be a good moneymaker the last decade. They are ussually bought by the growing number of 55+ people. People who do not care about servicing such a complicated appliance themselve. Plus the bikes are written off more quickly.

Consultancy on implementing the bike in traditional traffic could also be a grow market in UK I could imagine, but that hasn't much to do with running a bike repair shop.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
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Location: Suffolk
spares for e-bikes are carried by the main distibutors. E-bike spares are quite specialist. Still not many about. In my time running my shop 3 have been brought to me. One was old and required tracking down new circuits board and the like. Not the easiest things to work one when the electrics go wrong due to spares availability.

A rural shop can provide an income. for me though if I relied on local trade I would have gone bust. Fortuntatley my trade is more national than local.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Location: Barry
You have a small shop you should treat this as an opportunity to not stock crap. Stock only the computer/lights/bags/racks/tools etc. that you believe in & can vouch for.

For your classic bikes I would cover the walls with frames and have a selection of build kits ready to go. Maybe wall mounted too?

"the Gazelle frame sir, yes, with Campagnolo?... Dura-Ace sir yes suits you sir"

Any chance of passing cyclists? Cold/warm drinks & a bench outside? you dont want to tread on other peoples toes but you could make a killing if you are in the right place.


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