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 Post subject: Bicycle shop venture
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:07 am 
Road Moderator
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:07 pm
Posts: 4715
Location: Sheppey, Kent
A few of you may know that I am venturing into the bicycle shop world and am due to start leasing a property in the next month or two.

I've seeked out advice regarding what people want from a shop but I'm hoping that some of you can offer me help and advice on the set up and running of the shop. I'm looking at costs, accounting and legal requirements.

The time is getting close now and it has dawned on me that I know very little regarding the ins and outs of running a shop. I think that I should try to hit this thing with at least a little insight rather than just wing it!

Anyone help me out?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:47 pm
Posts: 1413
Location: North East
Can you get some voluntry work in a shop, any shop in the mean time?

Do a time management course, seriously it's amazing how usefull it is.

Good luck with it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:08 am
Posts: 847
Location: French Alps/Annecy
We have a couple of shops, the best advice I can give is

Always keep stock inventory and accounts up to date, do them at the end pf evety day it only takes 5 minutes and will save you time in the long run
and do your banking on the same day every week without fail

The customer isn't always right, 5% of your clients will cause 95% of your problems. Don't be afraid to tell people that their choice may not exactly be the best, people get sucked in by marketing and what their mates say, make sure you know your product so that you are the one that knows best.

If you have to order a part add a few days to the estimated delivery time as suppliers can let you down and you'll look good when you phone the client and say their whatever is in a few days early, the same with repairs.
Always ask for a 20% deposit too.

May sound stupid but when someone walks in always say hello, even if you're with another client.

If something comes back on warranty wherever possible replace it there and then, you are responsible for everything you sell, just as your suppliers are rsponsible to you, don't get fobbed off by them, they pay your return postage on any item that you need to return. Customers hate being told that you have to send it back to be checked by the suppliers and that they'll have to wait.

If parcels etc from suppliers arrive damaged take photos of the boxes before unpacking and during and clear photos of the damaged items. Suppliers can be sneaky little devils.

Have some sweets on the counter

Get some fake security cameras unless you have real ones and a couple of signs.

Have the local police number on speed dial, you do get pisshead wandering in from time to time whatever you sell.



Hope it all goes splendidly for you, it's great fun doing somethong ypu love. How about some photos of the shop ?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:19 pm
Posts: 7006
Location: Odense, Denmark
Start small and build on what you have rather than going all out and buying the wrong stock.

Find out what your customers want by asking them when they come. Explain to them that the shop's identity is to a large extent determined by what its customers actually buy.

Internet marketing is crucial. Especially if you can carry lines that nobody else is doing locally. Don't be afraid to be different.

Starting with no shop experience is full of risk. I only dared to open mine on the basis that
1) I have a backup plan if it goes wrong (and I needed it - it's saved my shop's ass over its second winter)
2) I have over 20 years experience in the business and have all the right contacts and a lot of people in Denmark know who I am. This has given me a lot of sales outside of my immediate area through the web profile.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:25 pm
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Location: New Forest
Know your market, check out the local cycling scene if you haven't done so already, scope out what bike brands your nearest competitors are stocking, avoid trying to compete with supermarket/halfords type BSO's, invest in knowledgeable customer focused staff, and good luck! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:13 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 783
Location: On the move !
If your going to do repairs/service etc find out what the other shops within say 20 miles are charging ... went into my LBS some time ago to ask about getting a pair of wheels trued, the answer £50 :shock: laughed
and walked out again then drove 30 mins to a shop recomended on here
cost... £24 for the pair :D if folk feel there being over charged they wont come back, all the best with the venture realy hope it works out :)

Mick


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:03 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:19 pm
Posts: 3093
Location: Runcorn, cheshire.
i'm no expert in bike shops, but i can tell you a smile goes a long way.
best of luck in this venture.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Chained to the mash tun.
Not much experience in running bike shops but the one thing i've learned in 'my job' is to price things correctly. Obviously you want to be competitive but you are ultimately setting up to make money. Dont 'give stuff away' or work hard for no return. Offering a great service (even though you may occasionally want to throttle the general public) and going the extra mile will mean that people will be happy to pay a touch more.

Hats off to you Tel for going on your own and good luck.

Karl


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 pm
Posts: 1877
Location: Somerset
Pump kids tyres up, fit & give away free cable ends, get in touch with local bike clubs, offer their members discounts, start evening and weekend rides from your shop, advertise on forums and offer member discounts.

Fit parts on the day, sorry you need my bike for a week to fit a rear mech? Bye.

You have to offer the service that you don't get with CRC otherwise what's the point?

Offer a repeat business discount scheme.

Get involved with the ride to work type schemes.

Good luck!!!

Ps) One of my LBS offers free lifetime servicing on all bikes over £400!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 619
Location: Staffordshire
B77 wrote:
We have a couple of shops, the best advice I can give is

Always keep stock inventory and accounts up to date, do them at the end pf evety day it only takes 5 minutes and will save you time in the long run
and do your banking on the same day every week without fail

The customer isn't always right, 5% of your clients will cause 95% of your problems. Don't be afraid to tell people that their choice may not exactly be the best, people get sucked in by marketing and what their mates say, make sure you know your product so that you are the one that knows best.

If you have to order a part add a few days to the estimated delivery time as suppliers can let you down and you'll look good when you phone the client and say their whatever is in a few days early, the same with repairs.
Always ask for a 20% deposit too.

May sound stupid but when someone walks in always say hello, even if you're with another client.

If something comes back on warranty wherever possible replace it there and then, you are responsible for everything you sell, just as your suppliers are rsponsible to you, don't get fobbed off by them, they pay your return postage on any item that you need to return. Customers hate being told that you have to send it back to be checked by the suppliers and that they'll have to wait.

If parcels etc from suppliers arrive damaged take photos of the boxes before unpacking and during and clear photos of the damaged items. Suppliers can be sneaky little devils.

Have some sweets on the counter

Get some fake security cameras unless you have real ones and a couple of signs.

Have the local police number on speed dial, you do get pisshead wandering in from time to time whatever you sell.



Hope it all goes splendidly for you, it's great fun doing somethong ypu love. How about some photos of the shop ?


Fantastic advise !

I am in the Rc industry and everything he has just said is true ! The customer will kick off when it comes to warranty and scream trading standards , so get a copy and have a read of what is correct and what the rights actually are , long distance if different .

If you are doing. Repairs , when booking in a bike make a note of every mark on the bike , or if anything like mud guards , watrerbottles etc are on the bike incase you take them of an have left them on the bench, the biggest thing for us is to give the customer a repair number on a card, and put the same number on the bike. Then explain that the customer must bring the card in with them before they can have te bike back , the are is worth te cost of the bike, this will save someone else collecting the bike and ten the customer walking in a day later wanting their bike .

Without the card they will need to prove they know the contact number you have taken , and prove the address you have taken with a Driving license .

Good luck with this !

These bit are things we have put into place and it sounds like your trying to pull one over on the customer but really looking after you and te customer as with warranty items its hard to know what to do until the suppliers have ha this back , and remember its not a toaster from argos!

Ant


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