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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:51 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:12 am
Posts: 680
Location: Anglesey
....about opening a bike shop :facepalm:

No, it's not the whisky talking (/typing), it's an actual idea that's been floating around in my head for a good few months now. I've read through Tel's recent thread about starting his own shop, considered all the opinions and advice offered, and still find myself thinking that it could be a good plan.

I'm aware that I'd need to gain a qualification as a mechanic, along with all the other headaches & minutiae of starting & running a business, but I believe that the pleasure of being my own boss would more than compensate for the associated grief.

At present, there are no actual bike shops on the island on which I live. The nearest mainland town has one LBS (a fairly large outfit, whose prices could conceivably be beaten) and a Hellfrauds. The local council takes cycle tourism very seriously, and has a decent B-road network designated as a bike route; there are plenty of tourists who come over from Europe purely to ride on the island, or at least to start here before moving on to the mountains on the mainland.

I wouldn't be aiming for the BSO market (Hellfrauds is less than 20 miles away) and there are already at least 2 companies offering local bike hire, so I'd be purely a repair/quality sales outfit. I'm also aware that I'd need a good presence on the interwebz, and can get a very slick-looking site built professionally by a friend.

I guess I'm basically looking for problems that I may have overlooked. Apart from the obvious question of why there are no LBSs on the island (I don't know, and how would I find out?), I'd like to hear some informed opinions on why my enterprise would fail, so I can try and troubleshoot. I know I sound pretty green, but it's the one thing I'd really like to try before going back to a dead-end job.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:13 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:36 pm
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Location: uk
I used to live on Anglesey and because there are so many small villiages all over and the main route runs from holyhead to bangor i would think most people would rather just nip to bangor and do other shopping as well................unless you intend being a mobile shop/mechanic and say visit the bigger towns on a certain day each week, i can can see it being difficult.

Maybe check out holyhead as it the other end of things so to speak, but knowing holyhead you would need good security for a shop.

Any hot spots and what kind of cycling ? can you MTB at paris mountain ?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:33 pm 
eBay Outing Master
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:53 pm
Posts: 8000
if your doing te interwebz site then a facebook and twatter page also would help with visibility and build them into the interwebz page

agree to start out with a village visit day and see how that goes in regards to demand...if you order stuff in..take deposits at least to stop you getting stuck with stock you will never sell otherwise...don't believe the salesman when he tries to reach his targets at your exspense...always always buy stock sale or return if it's not bread and butter stuff and keep a tight hold of that.

Beyond that, keep an eye on the budgets, don't expect to make much money and you will be fine


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:03 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:12 am
Posts: 680
Location: Anglesey
greenstiles - I would probably try & base myself in Llangefni, being more central (and less likely to get robbed), and the market would be more road & touring based - there's very little off-road appeal on the island. The mobile idea is excellent, however there's already one guy doing that, and I'd rather not get into direct competition with anyone - if it was in conjunction with a static shop then I'd be happier.
Of course, there's always the possibility of lobbying the local council to invest in MTB trails - plus if I was the only LBS here then I'm sure they'd provide another marketing channel.

sylus - I have a fair idea about stock control, and balancing eye-catching displays against shelves full of bling that won't sell ;) and I'm definitely not looking to get rich from it, just to pay the rent and indulge my low-budget car fetish :)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:39 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: uk
I did a college course in Llangefni, I take it you speak welsh, handy there if you catch my drift. I lived near newborough warren, used to get a lot of family cyclist in the woods in good weather/summer, ever considered, asking if you could do cycle hire there (a trailer with bikes on )...........or if not at least it would be a good place to hand out flyers for your new business.

I got my 1st ever MTB and rode in the woods there as a novice before moving to mid wales and riding lots and working in the cycle trade, there a few little trails if you can find them, mostly flatish,but there are a few places where there are little hilly bits in there under the trees :wink: good place to make secret trails.....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:57 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: uk
Ps i can give you the names of 2 good cheap suppliers where you will be able to make a good mark up on stuff (not shimano stuff sorry) but remember if you are a cycle business CRC will knock the VAT off any purchaces with them,( then you may charge full RRP is you need to) that means you can get specific stuff only when you need it, free post and quickly, instead of having an account and waiting for orders and paying carrier fees each time.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:50 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: uk
One thing that suprised me recently......our town has 23,000 people in it and no bike shop....i always thought well someone could make a basic living here fixing bikes etc.........well i guy tried it, he had small premisis, good skills etc, but he lasted barely a year even though his place had great footfall etc.

The local motorbike shop tried a while back, to offer cycle repair and had big advertising, but that was a dud too.

About 5 miles away is a major town/city 98,000 there are 3 bike shops of any worth, 1 does a lot of touring, fold up bikes, the other does top brands and middle/high end..............and the other that i had a small part to play in does cheaper less know brands but is moving up a notch with brands although their mechanics are basic to say the least.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:02 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
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Location: Yateley, Hants.
Koupe wrote:
I'm aware that I'd need to gain a qualification as a mechanic


Why? If you are running your own shop there is no reason why you'd need this. Only there to annoy us normal people and give shops a box to check when employing people.

Carl.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: uk
Agreed, a lot of the best mechanics are self taught.......we used to send young lads to cytec, but to be honest they came back the same, nothing wrong with cytec, i just think you either have a mechanical aptitiude or you don't.......used to get school work release kids in, some took to it like a duck to water others fumbled.....we are all good and bad at some things.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:56 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: New Forest, UK
I think you need an extra spin on things to suit the cycle tourists - a breakdown / rescue service?


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