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JCKST1

Original Poster:

370 posts

28 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I would market it as ***** cycles but have a sub heading of soemthing along the lines of 'we buy any bike'
I am going to write a business plan out tonight and take it from there.
Whats do i need to do (Sorry bit dim on this!)

Register name
Register as a sole trader
Register a website
Set up PAYE as i will be employing my girlfriend, Just so shes not unemployed. Let here do all paperwork.

Hopefully it will take off an I can look at a unit after Xmas.

JCKST1

Original Poster:

370 posts

28 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Also another question is that if i want to stock last years models brand new from the company will there actually be any left?

Basically if i e-mail Lapierre now saying I am opening a shop on xx/xx/xxxx and I want 30 of there 2012 bikes (2013 are now out) will they basically just check everything over and send them out or will they only want 2013 bikes?

There is a little niche in the market for new old models at knock down prices, Which is basically what my store will be about, Discount premium bikes.

Ray Luxury-Yacht

7,911 posts

100 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I have three observations, for what it's worth...

First, after (yet another) redundnacy at the start of the recession in late 2007, I set-up a small business in a trade I knew nothing about (Hairdressing, Tanning and Beauty) - because my City is quite wealthy with lots of 'ladies wot lunch' in it, so I went for that because my target customer base would not be affected by the recession.

I found an empty shop unit, down a side-street, and set it up. Because it was down a side-street with bugger all footfall and traffic, it taught me an awful lot about canny marketing and advertising. I also learned tonnes about running a business, staff, customers, people - in fact a bit of everything!

Did ok - gave me a small living, and sold it on for a profit. So - I would advocate that ANYONE gives a small business start-up a go. If nothing else, your income isn't necessarily financial - it's sometimes measured in other tangible things, like new learning and new knowledge plus a bunch of life skills...



Second - I'm a reasonably keen cyclist, and patronise two local bike shops. They tell me that business has never been so good over the last few years - the Government's 'ride to work' scheme plus the recession making people think about alternative forms of transport has seen them be very, very busy.


Third - there's a rather eccentric chap who lives in a house near me, in a part of town regarded as the preserve of the wealthy. The houses are very expensive. True, he's been there for donkey's years so hasn't been subject to a huge price to buy the house.
Anyway, he makes a good living from doing exactly what you propose. He buys, sells and repairs / services bikes from his house. It's quite funny when you walk past his place, as his front garden usually has a selection of around a couple of dozen bikes on it, and he's busy in the garage twirling spanners.
People go to him for the more lower end / value / bread and butter stuff, but he makes a living from it - and all without leaving his house!




Best of luck, let us know how you get on thumbup




JCKST1

Original Poster:

370 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the input. I am going to put a business plan together tomorrow night and hopefully get the ball rolling saturday.
Hopefully get started around the beginning of November. Once i have premises i can then dip in to the 'cycle scheme' but I can also market my business as a kind of green business in the fact that I am taking in people's bikes and sending them back out to a new rider who will use them.
i have purchased bikes before which are worth £1000+ and have been sat in a garage for about two years! Hopefully i will dig some more of these out, Get them serviced etc and sell them.

Thanks

GEWAGON

76 posts

60 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
mattnunn said:
You could see your banks business advisor but to be honest an hour with your local chartered accountant would be more usefull, registering a ltd company is easy and costs next to nowt (£15 a year I think). Assuming you keep decent records of expenses and use your company bank account properly it shouldn't be more than £1500 a year for an accountant to file your returns. (Don't be tempted to do it yourself unless you've a sadistic streak for incomprehensable beaurocratic paper work)

As for the business it's sounds like it's already working for you, not all ideas scale up though, but if you're making money it can't do any harm to go all in and see you can always go back to running it part time for extra cash if a job comes along.

I thought about starting a bicycle breakers but I'm more of an ideas man than a do'er. Good luck to you.
Why set up Ltd co I think just be a sole trader less expense, just make sure you have some liability insurance
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JCKST1

Original Poster:

370 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
I would prefer to set up as a sole trader at first to be honest.
I will be taking Liability insurance out for my girlfriend as she is the only employee.

GadgeS3C

3,441 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
JCKST1 said:
Also another question is that if i want to stock last years models brand new from the company will there actually be any left?

Basically if i e-mail Lapierre now saying I am opening a shop on xx/xx/xxxx and I want 30 of there 2012 bikes (2013 are now out) will they basically just check everything over and send them out or will they only want 2013 bikes?

There is a little niche in the market for new old models at knock down prices, Which is basically what my store will be about, Discount premium bikes.
The usual internet cycle shops do a pretty good job of shifting new old stock already I'd have thought. Ask the manufacturers and see if they'll play ball.

Whether Joe Punter is knows this is a good question and locally you may find a niche.

CaptainSlow

4,486 posts

96 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
JCKST1 said:
I would prefer to set up as a sole trader at first to be honest.
I will be taking Liability insurance out for my girlfriend as she is the only employee.
You'll need liability insurance for the bikes you sell aswell.

BOR

3,310 posts

139 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
JCKST1 said:
Simple, I am selling quality used bikes in full mechanical order and near new condition for a fraction of the price, Why pay an extra £1000 for the same bike?
There is currently no shops like this around and I know a lot more people are buying second hand now as the prices are just going up and up.
I personally wouldn't buy a secondhand bike from you, that I could get from Ebay without your mark-up. But you seem to have proved that it works for you.

I think the bike shops here make more money from servicing and repairs, than sales, to the extent that they turn people away/have long delays for appointments.

Bikes are becoming more complex and people are less inclined to DIY which has meant long waiting times for a bike service.

I could see servicing and repairs being more of a success for you.

CaptainSlow

4,486 posts

96 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
BOR said:
I personally wouldn't buy a secondhand bike from you, that I could get from Ebay without your mark-up. But you seem to have proved that it works for you.
I would, if it were a top end bike. I'm extremely nervous of buying say a carbon framed bike off ebay due to potential damage I would be able to spot.

So if it were a choice of say £1,200 on ebay or £1,400 from you for an originally £3k bike, I'd pay the extra.

JCKST1

Original Poster:

370 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Although I do make a mark up I never get greedy. I have sold bike for £2000 brand new when second hand once are going for £2000, This means it shifts quicker giving me chance to get a new one in.

Personally i would travel to go to a bike shop rather ebay, The buyer will have the chance test ride the bike as long as they want, Bike will be sold fully serviced and I will offer a years free servicing and all my bikes will be data tagged.
I usually buy bikes from all over the place and take the risk of getting a good bike, I would say 60% of the time it works out fine but I have had loads of bikes come in a lot worse condition than said and some I have even had to put a dispute in and send back. At least you will have peace of mind when buying from me.

Rushmore

1,223 posts

26 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
BoRED S2upid said:
Don't knock the idea of getting a small unit the high street is littered with empty units, some councils / landlords will let them for a 6 month period with minimum costs.
I would very much second that idea.

Why dont you approach the whole thing like a pop-up shop/bar rather than an on-going business? Plan/budget for 6 months, keeping your financial exposure at bay.

You also need to think of a clear differentiator - what makes you better/different/cheaper/friendlier than the competition?

Rushmore

1,223 posts

26 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
JCKST1 said:
I would market it as ***** cycles .
Anyone would. You can do better than that. Think of something more unique (Hub...Spoke....Saddle....Handlebars.....or how about "The One Bicycling Footman"....or a foreign name, as in "L'Atelier du Vélo tout terrain" or "Fahrradverwaltung" etc etc etc), something which would also make a nice web domain name.

BTW what about your online strategy?

Rushmore

1,223 posts

26 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
And what about your product portfolio?

Does it make sense to offer a full range? Or, like the "Burger and Lobster" restaurant in Half Moon Street, would it be better to offer a very limited product range? E.g. fixed-gear single-speed bicycles only, to cater for the Hoxton media types?

I believe you should think about your positioning - it all sounds still a bit generic; then you are only competing via price.
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