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  1. #1
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Questions on opening up an LBS

    Hi

    We are crazy enough to think about opening up an LBS as a retailer of one of the well-known national brands. The retailer in our area is closing and we want to open a brand new shop (with no ties to the previously closing dealership).

    Any thoughts? Any recommendations?

    Are we crazy to do this in this day and age?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Yes

  3. #3
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    do your homework- ALL of it.
    the business plan will be a real eye opener
    if you do it right. be totally honest with
    what you put in it.
    as the saying goes, no-one plans to fail,
    but they do fail to plan.

    a scuba saying is 'plan the dive, then
    dive the plan.

    http://www.sba.gov/category/navigati...rting-business


    best of luck.
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
    avatar is of dame edna

  4. #4
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    If you have all the resources that you need, including the appropriate business and technical acumen, captital and the right attitude, why not. But if you have to ask, especially on an internet forum, abolutley not.

  5. #5
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    I'd sugget that you check your local universities. Some college business schools run workshops for people considering starting their own business. My wife attended one of these and made connections with legal and financial contacts that could prove valuable in the future. If you have little to no first-hand business experience, you will need all of the support, advice, and expertise that you can muster and surround yourself with. Opening your own business isn't for the faint of heart.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    You can make one million $ in the bike business after investing $2 million and then after 2 years be broke.
    Unless youy have money to burn and the right business acumen we would not suggest it.
    But . . . if you are foolish enough to do it, do NOT sign on with major brand; they are too controlling.

  7. #7
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Hmm. Where are you going for your business advice? If it's here, then I think you're pretty much ****ed.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Hmm. Where are you going for your business advice? If it's here, then I think you're pretty much ****ed.
    You are right, what was I thinking.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Why is the other LBS closing?

  10. #10
    Senior Member fstshrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Why is the other LBS closing?
    The owner was an absentee owner, and he is retiring. We looked into buying the business but the assets/liabilities picture was not very good.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    How many other shops are in the area? Any of them also carry the same brand that you're considering? Have you identified your niche in the local market?

    Just a couple of questions I pondered myself about opening a shop (it's more of a pipedream in my case).

    But there is a guy who used to post here quite regularly (haven't noticed as much activity from him as of late) who actually did open up his own shop. There was even a thread devoted to it- from conception, to location selection, interior remodal w/pics, possibly some contract negotiations with a couple of different distributors... I'll see if I can find that thread, because I think it would be a real eye opener for you.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Last edited by no1mad; 04-14-12 at 10:29 PM.

  13. #13
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    What do you know about running a business? What kind of education have you had? It is true that experience is a great educator...internet bike forum, not so much!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    TOML

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Main bike line float credit for inventory?

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    The owner was an absentee owner, and he is retiring. We looked into buying the business but the assets/liabilities picture was not very good.
    So you talked to the owner and discussed how well business was going?

    How familiar are you with setting up and operating a website? Businesses need to be able to do online business now.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
    The owner was an absentee owner, and he is retiring. We looked into buying the business but the assets/liabilities picture was not very good.
    Then you'll obviously need a business plan that differs from his significantly. Keep in mind that he was experienced and yet, in spite of his best efforts, his result was a poor asset/liability situation.

  17. #17
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    score.org

    Make sure you talk to local lawyers, insurance agents, and other business people first.

    Consider a non profit organization like a bicycle co-op, which can pay you a salary equal or better to what you would get at a sole proprieter shop.

    Can you talk to other persons who have the same deal as this national brand? The only experience I had with one was a Trek store in Brooklyn which closed probably due to lack of business.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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