Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kansas City
Bikes: Focus Touring (Vhc.)
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Starting a business: From bicycle garage to bicycle shop?
So I've been flipping bicycles for 2005, I learned a lot of things about bicycles in my years of experience. I've overhauled hubs, bottom brackets, headsets, removed devilishly stuck bottom brackets with Sheldon brown's handy-dandy bolt-tool(AKA: a grade 8 bolt with 6 split washers), learned how to tweak derailleurs, cut cables and in the last year started learning the art of wheel building and learning to fix some taco'd wheels.
In the last few months I've had a bicycle repair ad on my local craig's list. Not to promote myself or anything shameless like that, I'm looking for a little feedback and invaluable market research from you guys, the kind of customers I hope to gain and keep as a mechanic. So, I call my shop *******(Thoughts on the name? Constructive criticism welcome!), because more than anything I value people riding their bikes when the season is ripe for it and I usually charge half of what my local bike shop charges because well 1) I have no overhead as I'm running it out of my garage and 2) I think their prices are often kind of ridiculous. ($70 to tune-up a bike).
Also thinking about changing my name to Bike City, The Bike Lane(I'm inclined to this one myself), or the Bike Garage(if I never find a location, heh!)
I have 6 excellent clients right now. Two of them small business owners like myself. Every client I gain I think at what point should I prepare a business plan, find a location and take that big leap?
Anyway business is kind of hard to round up. I don't think people find my ads very easily on craigslist and it just sort of crossed my mind now about maybe paying for advertising or creating a website. My newest client suggested I add my address to Google business listing! so he could leave public feedback. Although I think most people may find that shady? Thoughts?
Last edited by Mr_Wrench; 06-22-11 at 12:07 PM.