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  1. #1
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Making money from a community bicycle repair shop?

    Hello

    I'm looking for ideas about how to make money from a bicycle repair shop.

    I know of a few places that are "voluntary associations" (ie. they live off their members' subscriptions; don't know the equivalent in other countries) and use space lent by the city or churches.

    The problem is that they need more money so they can open full-time.

    I've seen several café vélos in the UK such as the Look Mum No Hands in London, and was wondering of the different ways to make money in that context besides selling drinks/food and classes.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BruceHankins's Avatar
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    You need a location, capital, the tools and equipment (or a loan to obtain them), and a business model/plan. There are quite a few people in my area who offer tune-ups, repairs, and complete overhauls out of there house. I wish they would open a shop, because bike shops are few and far between where I am. Maybe you could work out of your flat to raise capital.

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    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceHankins View Post
    You need a location, capital, the tools and equipment (or a loan to obtain them), and a business model/plan. There are quite a few people in my area who offer tune-ups, repairs, and complete overhauls out of there house. I wish they would open a shop, because bike shops are few and far between where I am. Maybe you could work out of your flat to raise capital.
    Business plan is very very important.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    Right, I'm really looking at ideas to build a business plan.

    The locations are already open, but their only source of income is members' subscriptions (about 10-20€/year), and even though the locations are lent for free and rely on volunteers, they can only open a couple of afternoons a week and need more money to buy more equipment and open at least afternoons in the week and sat/sun.

    Ideas I had to bring in money:
    • Drinks/food
    • Classes to learn how to repair a bike
    • Repairs for those who don't want to tinker
    • Sell Parts
    • Organize events such as a travel documentaries

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
    Hello

    I'm looking for ideas about how to make money from a bicycle repair shop.

    I know of a few places that are "voluntary associations" (ie. they live off their members' subscriptions; don't know the equivalent in other countries) and use space lent by the city or churches.

    The problem is that they need more money so they can open full-time.

    I've seen several café vélos in the UK such as the Look Mum No Hands in London, and was wondering of the different ways to make money in that context besides selling drinks/food and classes.

    Thank you.
    Winfried, it says you're located in Paris France. That must be a big market for cyclists. Are you talking about somewhere outside of Paris?

    Usually its not needing more money to open full time. Its usually not enough potential customers in a certain geographical location. Here in the States, bike sales and service go together. Bike repair shops alone without the bike dealership makes it very difficult.

    I would imagine it would take years to establish a repair shop. Reputation and so on. Very much like the bike fitters.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    one other tie in is with a University . Eugene had one as part of the student union outdoor program,
    at theirs , long ago. with skis to rent in the winter and all that sort of stuff..

    but it is a service rather than an enterprise, your Management pay comes under operating costs,
    I suppose.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-17-14 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. It's in the city, although close to the outskirt.

    There's no rent to pay, since the place is lent for free by the town authorities, but is only open a couple of days a week because only volunteers can spend time there with no pay.

    Actually, for some reason, there's no bike café here, and the culture isn't as thriving as it is in the UK/US. With the Vélib bike sharing system, people are even less inclined in buying their own bike, and be part of the culture.

    After seeing several great bike cafés in the UK last summer, I was curious to know what their business plan was, and see if we could do the same thing here.

  8. #8
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    I don't know, when I was in Paris I saw tons of older 10-speeds and modern trekking / commuting bikes in addition to Velib. Far more than in Rome, anyway, and more than most US cities.

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    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Right, but it's mostly cheap bikes (like in Amsterdam; People are afraid of getting them stolen) and some fixies for hipsters.

    But If figure there should be space for at least one bike café in the city. I liked the atmosphere in those places the UK.

  10. #10
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Do "community bike repair shop" and "make money" even belong in the same sentence?
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  11. #11
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    At least enough to open this place every day and hire two people: One for bike repairs/classes, and the other to take care of the food.

    "London's best cycle cafés"
    http://www.timeout.com/london/restau...st-cycle-cafes

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    As a community service .. know any Grant Writers, for accessing Non Profit Funding sources?

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    Thats what I was thinking, community bicyles repair shop, sound more like a service, rather than a busness maybe you got to reword that, sounds like you want to open a bicycle repair shop and do it for profit???

  14. #14
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Bicycle cafés offer both foot + repairs + events

    www.google.com/search?q=bicycle+caf%C3%A9s

    The goal is not to make a profit, but make enough to hire at least two full-time employees, one for the food, the other for bike stuff.

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    Well thats what I said, the op says making money from a community bicyle repair shop??

  16. #16
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    It takes more than one person for food. One for food (kitchen) and one to serve. That means volume of customers who may need to be both the general public and bike riders. Unless its just cold sandwiches and sliced fruit, coffee, and water for their water bottles. Snack type food. Nothing cooked; that would take city approval of safety systems.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. I'll try to find infos on existing bike cafés and how they got there.

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