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Old 08-20-14, 08:38 AM   #1
ssj4weed
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About owning a bike shop

Who has ever owned a bike shop and what was necessary in terms of money and steps to build up in that world?
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Old 08-20-14, 02:25 PM   #2
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Been a few people going down this road over the years.

-Most recent one: http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...ce-please.html
-Another one: http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...questions.html
-The Book: http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...bike-shop.html

That last one should answer quite a few of your questions, as the OP went from the brainstorming phase to actually opening doors tot he public.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:29 PM   #3
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Quickest way to make a million dollars in the bike business is to start with two million.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:32 PM   #4
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Moved from Blogger's.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:56 PM   #5
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To make a small fortune in the bike shop business you must first start with a large one... (to paraphrase Andrew Carnegie)

I have never owned a bicycle shop, but have had several small retail businesses. You probably won't get rich, and it might even pay the bills if you are successful. Prepare for long hours and little pay for the first several years.

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Old 08-20-14, 08:33 PM   #6
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You have to stock inventory, hire qualified bike mechanics and sales staff and factor in advertising, promotion costs and expenses like the shop rent, insurance, utility bills and taxes.

Add it all up, owning a bike shop won't make you rich.
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Old 08-21-14, 10:41 AM   #7
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Start with a business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration | SBA.gov will assist you.
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Old 08-21-14, 01:19 PM   #8
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My LBS does quite well. He started about 10-12 years ago. I went in and bought a bike from him when he first opened. He's been a great guy to me ever since. He runs a simple operation in a well to do suburban neighborhood. He sells kids bikes, mountain bikes and hybrids mainly. Has one main mechanic and some seasonal help. Small shop, doing basic repairs, selling basic bikes. Pretty good model for a bike shop.

Is he rich, no. But has a wife and a couple kids and is one of the more visible stores in downtown. Doesnt hurt that he is steps from an ice cream shop and is just down the street from the train station, and also across the street from the library. Location, location, location.
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Old 08-21-14, 02:05 PM   #9
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Not saying that the bike business is easy or that everyone makes money, but there an awful lot nice homes paid for, and kids who graduated college, and even Med or graduate school without student loans, all awing ti the income from a bike shop.

The rules are the same as for any successful retail business. Location, adequate working capital, qualified staff, above and beyond customer service, and good management.

What makes the bike business more difficult than many others, is that it requires more knowledge and diverse skills, staff with specialized skills which often seem to be in conflict with what's normally wanted (ie. great with hands, poor people skills), and being highly seasonal, vulnerable to a high fixed costs to sales ratio.

Add to that that it's a specialized business whose best potential customers are often most savvy in shopping price on the net. That's why most successful dealers consider the family business, (kid's bikes, entry lever 1st, and sometimes second bikes, basic repairs, and core accessories) the meat and potatoes of the business, and the better end products the dessert.
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Old 08-27-14, 10:59 AM   #10
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Owning a business is hard work, regardless of the business you are in. If it were easy, everybody would do it. I own a small business that caters to small businesses. In my experience there is a difference between a "craftsmen" and a "business owner". Every pizza maker in town thinks he makes the best pizza. It is not that simple though. Burger King beats McDonalds in tastes tests all the time. McDonalds makes more money though.
If you are passionate about business, not just bikes, than do your homework. Figure out what bikes people in that area need and can afford. Center your business around that. You may also want to have at least 18 months of capital to live on because most businesses don't make money in that time period. Think long term. The best bike shops that I frequent think long term.They have a plan and they work that plan. I do not like the big name bikes like Trek, Specialized, Giant and etc. Great bikes but not my preference. With that being said, if I were starting a shop, those would be the brands that I would look at.
Do your homework and good luck with it. Owning is business is hard but is is also awesome.
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Old 08-27-14, 11:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
With that being said, if I were starting a shop, those would be the brands that I would look at.
Do your homework and good luck with it.
Yep, it's most important to look at the market and see what is not being served. It may be brand, it might be location, it might be customer service or specializing in one segment of the bike market or a blend of these.
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