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  1. #1
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    starting a cycle shop

    I am interested in starting a running / cycling shop where i would sell the basic items, like shoes and bikes ( go figure) as well as sponsor events and what not, I'm currently in school for a non related major, I just dont feel I'm in the right place. I'm very motovated and I'm sure I could do this, but does anyone know how much money it would take to get such a place off the ground, and would I technically need a business degree, I feel I'm knowledgeable in the area and have good common sense and busness issues? I can also budget money well. If anyone owns their own shop, or has any experiance that might help me I would greatly appreciate it

    thanks

  2. #2
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    The few small business owners I've known--those who've failed and succeeded--all went down the same path: They worked harder, longer, and for less income than anyone else. It's a tremendous character test. I've nothing but respect for those who've given it an honest shot.
    Mike
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    Why am I in your signature.

  3. #3
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    A buddy and I have discussed a bike shop for years. We are just looking for a strong investor that needs a good tax write off for about 6 years. That is about how long we figured it would take to go broke with a decent investment.
    Seriously, I was in retail for 18 years. Owned my own business. You have to have the stomach for it and need to be comfortable not knowing for sure where or when the next pay check is coming from. That is just my experience.

    Good Luck - whatever you do - do what you like doing. There is no sense spending your whole life working and not being happy if you have a choice.

    OBTW - Business Degree not required.
    Phil

  4. #4
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I'd recommend anyone wanting to start up a shop to take a little extra time and get your MBA...

  6. #6
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    There is bunches of info on this topic here do a search. Also there is no need to have a MBA or anything like it to run a buisness.

  7. #7
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I see more bike shops closing lately than opening. And you'd think the gas crunch combined with Lance's feats would greatly encourage general biking right now. I saw a rush on golf shops 15 years ago in my (very upscale and rapidly growing) area. Most are now closed and only a few large discount chain shops remain. I try very hard to support my local hardware store and bike shops but still find myself going to home depot and performance bicycle when I have to (various reasons).

    I've all but convinced myself that a couple of self sufficient retired mechanical types who love bicycles could do a shop, but mainly because they wouldn't need to milk a living out of it. I keep my eyes open for the right situation and location myself for when I retire. But I don't want to turn a very enjoyable hobby into a miserable existence. Sorry for the negative waves. If you do it, I suspect you would really need to energize the local community into bicycle related programs and build long term customer relationships and hope for the best. Tell us where so we can send support your way.

  8. #8
    +++++++++++++++ xccx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    I'd recommend anyone wanting to start up a shop to take a little extra time and get your MBA...
    i wouldn't. an MBA is perhaps the most overrated credential one can get.

  9. #9
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    Having owned and operated a bike shop for many years I would suggest that you do not open your own store. Yes it is a fun business to be in but you are not going to make much money. A shoestring investment would be $25,000. $50,000 to get a halfway decent shop up and going. The Pluses: you are your own boss, you can oversee a growing business, please customers, spread goodwill, dream for the future, build up your business, add new bike brands and merchandise. The Minuses: Depending where in the USA that you live - seasonality. Cold winters = no income, but the rent, electricity, water bill, heating, plowing bills still have to be paid. Too hot - no one will ride. You work lots of hours for not much money. The profit margin is lousy-new bikes have low margins. Labor rates are archaic. Too much free work done. The mechanic to fix your washing machine walks through the door and it's $75 for the minimum service call. The customer who you just did a 5 minute adjustment for says, you're going to charge me for doing that ? You have stiff competition from other shops trying to unload their goods while the sun shines so they are not stuck with them in the Fall. The internet is stiff competition. When I was in business I could buy a well known brand name bike computer from a mail order house for less than I could from my bike wholesaler ! People open bike shops to follow their dreams. Some succeed, some do not. It is a fun business to be in, but you have to realize that it is a BUSINESS, not a HOBBY. Thank yous do not pay the bills. Other sports retailers like the ski business have a huge mark- up in the hard product, and no after market service. Bikes have a lousy profit margin and all need service. My 2 cents is do not do it. Work for an existing shop and learn the business and let the owner have the headaches. Learn something like computer service and repair-everybody needs that ! Good luck in your decision.

  10. #10
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacksbike
    Having owned and operated a bike shop for many years I would suggest that you do not open your own store. Yes it is a fun business to be in but you are not going to make much money. A shoestring investment would be $25,000. $50,000 to get a halfway decent shop up and going. The Pluses: you are your own boss, you can oversee a growing business, please customers, spread goodwill, dream for the future, build up your business, add new bike brands and merchandise. The Minuses: Depending where in the USA that you live - seasonality. Cold winters = no income, but the rent, electricity, water bill, heating, plowing bills still have to be paid. Too hot - no one will ride. You work lots of hours for not much money. The profit margin is lousy-new bikes have low margins. Labor rates are archaic. Too much free work done. The mechanic to fix your washing machine walks through the door and it's $75 for the minimum service call. The customer who you just did a 5 minute adjustment for says, you're going to charge me for doing that ? You have stiff competition from other shops trying to unload their goods while the sun shines so they are not stuck with them in the Fall. The internet is stiff competition. When I was in business I could buy a well known brand name bike computer from a mail order house for less than I could from my bike wholesaler ! People open bike shops to follow their dreams. Some succeed, some do not. It is a fun business to be in, but you have to realize that it is a BUSINESS, not a HOBBY. Thank yous do not pay the bills. Other sports retailers like the ski business have a huge mark- up in the hard product, and no after market service. Bikes have a lousy profit margin and all need service. My 2 cents is do not do it. Work for an existing shop and learn the business and let the owner have the headaches. Learn something like computer service and repair-everybody needs that ! Good luck in your decision.
    It is always important to understand the risks and rewards for every business venture. You have outlined mostly the negative in your post. However, I know several very successful retail bike shops that have very much overcome the issues you have stated. It takes savy and very creative thinking to overcome those obsticles. For the customer those bike shops have lots of added value and for me particular are just plain fun to shop and do business with.

    So loyrun, if you open up one of these stores let me know.
    Phil

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dang's Avatar
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    I kinda thought the mobil shop on wheels was a cool idea. Go to peoples home and work on bikes from your van. On slow days cruise the neigborhood streets And the music I'd play to get the boys attention away from the TV, naturally......"Daisy Daisy Were on a bicycle built for two......."
    Okay I'm just kidding about the last part but think how low the overhead would be.
    A bicycle, or bike, is a pedal-driven, human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loyrun
    I am interested in starting a running / cycling shop where i would sell the basic items, like shoes and bikes
    My first bit of advice would be "Don't mess with shoes." They are the ultimate loser. There are lots of different sizes to stock so you have to keep a lot of inventory. They are a low turnover product and they take a lot of sales time. You'll never be able to match the mail order competition's prices. Ultimately you invest a lot of money to become the unpaid local service agent for somebody else.

  13. #13
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It's not a good way to make money in the best of times. The internet is gong to put all the small shops out of bussiness, only a big chain that also does internet may survive.

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