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Old 02-07-08, 12:09 PM   #1
isotopes
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Any store owners out there

As the real world approaches, my mind has shift to me wanting to start my own business eventually. Im thinking either a running store or a tri store, but am unsure what the whole deal entails...... franchising vs not, financing etc....

any input would be great
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Old 02-07-08, 01:37 PM   #2
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I have astore n ear me and it is acoold store selling bikes, ski, shoes the works they are going belly up after a year.....I had another Bike shop go belly up 6 months ago after a year..
It is not easy. Good luck
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Old 02-07-08, 05:03 PM   #3
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There have been a few decent threads in the road biking section with some bike shop owners chiming in that would be a great start.
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Old 02-07-08, 05:37 PM   #4
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Entrepreneur magazine published a great book on starting a business. It covers just about every concept.

http://www.amazon.com/Start-Your-Own...2427299&sr=1-1

Franchises are good as long as you don't go broke "paying tribute" to the franchisor.

Example: I knew a guy with a Homevestors franchise who had to pay $15,000 a month to their
corporation for advertising. After a few years of struggling, he had to close down.
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Old 02-07-08, 08:41 PM   #5
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Given internet shops and ebay, it's a tough gig!!

A couple shop owners I know (I should say ex shop owners) have pulled out and moved on...

Best of luck if you go down this path.
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Old 02-07-08, 08:50 PM   #6
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From what I understand Naperville Endure It tri shop is doing well.
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Old 02-09-08, 07:09 PM   #7
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This isn't really an appropriate thread to have in the Triathlon forum. For that reason I'm going to move it to General Cycling
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Old 02-09-08, 08:17 PM   #8
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1) a bold plan going into a recession.
2) work in a bike store for a year, ask if you can help with the bookkeeping.
3) score.org

"From what I understand Naperville Endure It tri shop is doing well."
How would you know? Have you seen the books? Seriously there was a tool rental near me that I thought was doing great, then one day they closed. I looked around the area and a bunch of grubby looking tool rentals not to mention HD and Lowes.
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Old 02-09-08, 08:29 PM   #9
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A tri shop is better than a bike shop. Riding a bike is riding a toy(In the mind of the average Joe) But doing Triathalons is sport(like golf) and people will spend a ridiculous amount of money to get a mid pack finish.(just like they will spend a ridiculous amount of money to get twenty over par)
You still need to know your stuff, and you will need to know it in threee disciplines.
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Old 02-09-08, 09:29 PM   #10
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A tri shop is better than a bike shop. Riding a bike is riding a toy(In the mind of the average Joe) But doing Triathalons is sport(like golf) and people will spend a ridiculous amount of money to get a mid pack finish.(just like they will spend a ridiculous amount of money to get twenty over par)
You still need to know your stuff, and you will need to know it in threee disciplines.
I don't have the numbers, but how many triathletes are in a given area? My comment based on my suspicion:

With a complete target market of about 200 people in any given geographic area that do triathlons, you only need half of the participants in the triathlons in your region to buy all of their equipment in your shop in order to make it profitable. And they will need to buy everything brand new every year to nake it a long term success.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:29 PM   #11
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I don't have the numbers, but how many triathletes are in a given area? My comment based on my suspicion:

With a complete target market of about 200 people in any given geographic area that do triathlons, you only need half of the participants in the triathlons in your region to buy all of their equipment in your shop in order to make it profitable. And they will need to buy everything brand new every year to nake it a long term success.
I can only base this on fourteen years in a bike shop and a freind working in a tri shop(That I built wheels for and prepped their RAAM bikes) for twelve years, so I could well be wrong.

I think you might be surprised at how many people are into triathalons. And how much they are willing to spend to be just a tiny bit faster. I have a customer, that is a Tri guy, he bought a set of tubulars($160) when he went to an event in Europe because he might need them. He got back and gave them to me( I offered him store credit, becuae I thought it was silly to just give them over) that just does not happen with bike customers.

I lose customers to the tri shop every year. They come to us for a tire swap on their mtb for their first sprint. Then we fix up the beater road bike they got from a freind. Then they finally buy the cheapest road bike we sell(This is all in about a year). The two years later I see them at the grocery store, they have a wagon full of gear and a Cervelo P2 next to a Land Shark on the roof. We still see them from time to time, because we offer wider service and faster return time, but most often they go to the tri shop.

Again, for MOST people bikes are toys. They buy a cheap one and ride it every now and then. Even when you have a family on board the total for every bike you sell, a family of four, will not touch the price for that Cervelo.
We have a group of hardcore repeat high end riders but when you are a tri shop ALL of your customers are high end. There is no cheap tri stuff.

I prefer the bike shop biz, but for a given amount of effort the tri biz returns better. And below a certain effort point both businesses will fail.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:26 AM   #12
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I co-own a small retail shop. It happens to be Bridal, Pageant and Formalwear.

The biggest things to consider IMHO:

1) Have a WRITTEN Business Plan

2) Have enough money to operate off of for the first 2-3 years

3) Be prepared to work long hours for little or no pay for the first 3-5 years.

4) Best advertising is Word of Mouth.

5) Research your market.

6) Best two days in owing your own business? The day you open and the day you sell

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Old 02-16-08, 01:47 AM   #13
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Old 02-16-08, 02:36 AM   #14
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Given internet shops and ebay, it's a tough gig!!

A couple shop owners I know (I should say ex shop owners) have pulled out and moved on...

Best of luck if you go down this path.
And who says you have to play victim? The mentality some shop owners have really bothers me, constantly complaining about internet competition. News flash, get with the program, commerce mediums have changed and so does your business plan.
I have both a small internet business and a small brick and mortar used bike business and both tap into niche markets. Its all about satisfying demand that can't be satisfied elsewhere
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Old 02-16-08, 07:27 AM   #15
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