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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:19 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am
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Location: Birmingham
...In some shape or form. Work has dried up & struggling to break into what I've spent past 4 years Training at (Electrician)...and with a nice rebate from the Tax Office this year, have some money not to play with but could be put towards some form of training that I at least have an interest in...

Had a chat with a mechanic at Cytech at Birmingham Show & have been looking at CTC Leader Training?...Not sure if I wish to work in a shop? Did a stint in France about 10years ago. Would be nice to set something up for myself...whether that's in MTB or Road...

Any pointers from those that have or are thinking of doing similar? I'd imagine with the bouyancy in cycling at the moment, The SKY set up, Cav, Olympics, Trail Centres, some nice shops opening up, it wouldn't be a bad environment to be in, after all I've been in it as a Punter for 20years...

Discuss... :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:44 am 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:24 pm
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Location: Dorset
One thing related I saw the other week was a mobile bike mechanic. He had a decent sized van that was kitted out in the back as a workshop for repairs.
I thought this an excellent idea, rather than being fixed in one location and the costs involved.
Best of luck with the new venture Andy :D


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:39 am 
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no doubt there are some people on here who work / have worked in the bike shops so their input will be more accurate than mine but as a simple outlook (the same one i did when i had my non-cycling related online shop) you need to do a bit of research before you go anywhere.

1) who else is there locally? some importers / stockists won't supply new shops if their business could jeapordise an existing customers trade plus, you don't want to go into an area that is already flooded with shops.

2) what do they charge & how busy are they? if you've got a relatively cheap run of the mill shop with a 2 week wait for servicing or upgrades then you could go in at a similar cost level and steal their waiting list IF you can clear work quicker. on the other hand, cheap service / repair costs might put off those with better kit who would use you more often as they could be led to assume you only work on BSO's & low end stuff.

3) is it really worth it? rent, business rates, gas, electric, monitored alarm, workshop setup, display racks / units, stock, staff... you need to be in it for the long haul if your going to outlay the kind of cash for a startup shop. my online shop was selling airfix kits, scalextric, hornby trains & low-end rc stuff and i worked out a small shop (about 25sq ft floorspace) was going to cost me over £15k before i paid any rent or bills.



getting qualified as a bike mechanic or similar could open up other opportunities though - local mobile repairs as already mentioned could work very well if you are in an area that has a high number of commuters or if you are rural enough that you are near some popular trails. there is also the slightly better option of working for someone else at first to see if you like it enough for a career. option 3 is wheelbuilding. a couple of shops local to me no longer build wheels, they will true & replace the odd spoke but one of them no longer builds wheels & the other charges over the odds due to the time it takes compared to numerous smaller repairs. they send all their wheel building jobs to another local shop (who charge £40 a wheel) If you could get 4 or 5 local shops on board i'm sure they would happily farm out work (not just wheelbuilding) for you to lighten the load for them which could be pretty lucrative as the only setup you would need is a van / bike trailer and a workshop in your own garage / shed.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:15 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:12 am
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Check out www.bikebiz.co.uk it's the cycle industry website ,the have jobs thread .hopefully that may help you


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:47 pm
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Location: North East
If you're now a qualified electrician why not set yourself up in that.
I re trained as a plumber and started my own business six years ago as in general the trades aren't interested in people who come to it late in life.
I'd be very wary of turning a hobby into a job.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:25 am 
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jax13 wrote:
couple of shops local to me no longer build wheels, they will true & replace the odd spoke but one of them no longer builds wheels & the other charges over the odds due to the time it takes compared to numerous smaller repairs. they send all their wheel building jobs to another local shop


This has been going on for decades. Without naming names, but "a few" Manchester shops sent their wheel building jobs over to Frank Herety in Stockport, bless his soul.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:49 pm
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Location: Hampshire
http://www.bikefixers.co.uk/franchising-opportunities/

have a look at these


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:22 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
NAILTRAIL96 wrote:
If you're now a qualified electrician why not set yourself up in that.


Looking at the IET Site (Those that uphold the 17th edition Regs) if you wish to join a competent person's scheme (NICEIC, ELECSA ETC) after Jan 2012 you will need an NVQ L3 (They feel the Installations will be far safer & of higher quality)...For which you need Site experience, which I've had but now can't get! As it's on its A**E!...So, that will rule me out of domestic for notifiable jobs unless I join the band of Rogue Traders which this will only help to expand...

So, 4 years of Graft & Nightschool currently looking fruitless...hence dropping out & doing something I may enjoy...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:11 am
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Location: Birmingham
Have also done some Googling with regards to Frame building...Although not sure that 5 days (even with Dave Yates) would let you loose building for a career...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:28 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:48 am
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Location: Bristle
i've been contemplating the idea of a spanner-only shop near to the major office complexes in town, with the objective of turning people's bikes around while they are in work...


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