Sunday, 21 December 2014

London's Hub Of Cycle Tech UK - Mobile Bicycle Repair Business Start ups

For the mobile bicycle repair trader their vehicle is the key to their business. There are many types available, but for business in London the vehicle has to have the potential to interest environmentally friendly and cost-aware traders.

  • A vehicle that can be converted into a particular style and fitted with the required tool kit and parts to run a successful mobile business. 
  • That is cheap on insurance, no congestion charges and you don’t have to pay road tax. 
  • They are customer facing.
  • It’s compact size means that service and repair can be carried out all day from the smallest of locations. 
  • Cycle Tech UK tailor our services to customers needs and help reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Cycle Tech UK act for a range of London based cooperate companies, assisting employees with on-site service and bike repair clinics. 
  • Having a central hub to distribute parts to the small Cycle Tech Members mobile units across London, helping them to make sure they have all the parts they need.
Mega Electric Van

Heavy equipment have to be considered carefully before installation because of the relative weight of the vehicle. But with clever planning and building almost any sort of adaptation and customisation is possible.

Cycle Tech UK wants new Members to see the mobile workshop as investments in themselves, saving money in other areas such as fuel and tax.



Photo Courtesy of Bikes Made Good 


Officina Cilante Milan www.officinaciclante.it
Officina Cilante translates to a Cycling Workshop, for bicycle repair service at your home or work. And is 'service eco-sustainable, reaches you with leg strength and offers products and solutions with the least environmental impact as possible. Furthermore, the bicycle is restored in a short time, that prevents customers from having to find alternative means and often polluting. Cycling  Workshop  operates throughout Milan.

Pedal & Post Oxford's Eco Courier Service

With an ever-expanding industry such as mobile bike repairs, there can be room for everyone. An electric van or specially designed delivery bikes and bike with trailer would not suit every business, but for traders who want to keep costs down and help the environment, they cannot be overlooked.

For more information on starting a mobile bike business in London and can receive a copy of our information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model and how much you could be earning then please contact the Cycle Tech UK Team Email:  info@cycle-tech.co.uk 

Monday, 15 December 2014

2015 Business Opportunity - Start Your Own Business Today

Start 2015 with a new job and be your own boss. 

If you are looking for a lifestyle change, or move away from a 9-5 grind and generate a higher income, then Cycle Tech UK is where it can all start.

Cycle Tech UK is offering a once in a life time opportunity to do something you love and make a good living from.

With the continued growth of cycling, the growth of our network and with 2014 being the busiest year for repairs.
Cycle Tech UK is going to help the next Member "the 40th" by offering a great deal.

Start your own bike business today:

Training: mechanic to Cytech 2 or equivalent, if not completed (the industry standard) Cost £1500 See HERE for recommended training courses.

Sold as our Membership agreement and being part of the Cycle Tech UK Network.

The Mobile Workshop

New key areas where we have high demand for mobile bicycle repairs. 
Currently available:

Basingstoke

Birmingham
Brentwood
Brighton
Bristol
Cambridge Cardiff
Central London
Cheltenham
Chelmsford
Harrow & Uxbridge
London all areas
Milton Keynes
Newbury
Oxford
Reading
Swindon
Slough
Watford
York
And many more..................

Business: Mobile bicycle repairs & service to all types of bicycle with sales of parts, accessories, bicycles and teaching bicycle mechanics. At customer,s home or work place.


The Mobile Workshop "Tool Kit"

Why Cycle Tech UK?
There are a number of advantages to being involved with Cycle Tech UK:
  • Good established business and brand which has been established for over 6 years. 
  • Niche business servicing and repairing cycles at the customer’s home and with the occasional sale of new bicycles and accessories. 
  • High gross profit and low overhead business which should produce good net profits consistently. 
  • Ideal business for an enthusiastic cyclist or an ex mechanic looking for a new challenge. 
  • Essential contacts in the trade and trade accounts included for best discounts on parts. 
  • Flexibility within your chosen business model. 
  • Ability to work from home and generate high income.

More details in full on application/meeting (Skype Chat Available full details included in our info brochure)

Meeting is essential to fully appreciate this business and strictly by appointment only.

For more If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model, how much you could be earning and forecast then please contact the Cycle Tech Team Email:  info@cycle-tech.co.uk 


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Entering The World Of Mobile Bicycle Repair & Servicing Business

Just like you would have a map when heading off on a bike trip in unfamiliar territory, you should have a guide for your venture into the world of bicycle repair business.

The journey will be a big learning curve and full of challenges but will be fulfilling and bring lifelong rewards as long as you have the right guide to you get where you are going.

We started the Network Of Mobile Bicycle Mechanics to be your guide, to take the uncertainty of starting your own mobile bicycle repair business. Cycle Tech UK can help you start your new business today and secure your long term susses.


Cycle Tech in the early days of 2008

Starting down the road of bicycle repair business
When it comes to the mobile bicycle repair business, the main starting points are:

1. Business skills:
  • Dealing with customers with care on a day to day basis. 
  • How to sell your services. 
  • Having a booking system, to organise each day that also deals with work in progress & orders. 
  • Offering the very best cycling advice and help promote cycling.

2. Finance and family support:
  • By starting with funds in the region of £15,000 plus and able to support yourself for the first 6 – 12 months. 
  • Having the support for starting your business from your family, as no-one needs the added stress of doing it alone. 
  • Having the help of a family member with phone calls, emails and bookkeeping is an added bonus but not essential.   

3. How to service, repair and maintain bicycles, as this is going to be the core of your business:
A 2 week training course is only the start, having the knowledge and skills is what’s going to make your business different and making money. 
"Man & mechanics is like any relationship, it takes hard work and effort."
  • Knowing the various parts of a bicycle, their function and how they work together. 
  • Correct use of tools and how to tighten bolts to the correct torque. 
  •  An understanding of lubrication and how bearings reduce friction when you ride. 
  • How to true a wheel and an understanding why spokes brake. 
  • How to look up parts and find technical information. 
  • The mechanic is aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials now used for the frame, wheels and components. 
  • Compatibility of parts/group sets with what works correctly as designed. 
  • Diagnosing correctly and not just guessing.  
  • Ongoing training, learning and product knowledge.

4. The mobile workshop:
Working on a bike, does not take much space, but will require space to work comfortably. You are going to need:
  • A good size mobile workshop, you can stand-up in. 
  • The van should be clean & tidy as it represents your business. 
  • A workbench with a flat surface you can work from, fitted with a vice and enough room to true a wheel. 
  • A work-stand that will hold a bike off the ground and at a height for you to work safely.  
  •  Storage units, which are light weight, but strong enough to carry tools and stock. 
  • Lighting & electrics.
  • Keeping your work local

5. Tools, stock and suppliers:
  • Investing in good quality tools that will last a long time and will not damage parts of the bike.
  • Having a stock list of what to buy and having quality parts in stock will save you money. 
  • By using good suppliers that offer you their premium rate and technical support
If you would like to receive a copy of Cycle Tech's information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Cycle Tech team. Email: info@cycle-tech.co.uk  
  

Friday, 5 December 2014

Velofix Franchise - Dragons Den £168,000

3 Canadian cyclist's come business men have secured £168,000 with a pitch on Dragons Den "Canada" to help fund their professional mobile bike service and repair business.

This is great news for the mobile bike business, as it shows The Mobile Cycle Repair Service is in high demand. Velofix are working hard with leading cycling brands to make this happen. But it will all be down to the network of the franchisee's to make it a success.

The Deal:
  • The franchise fee is £14,000 plus £28,000 (+ vat not sure if included???) for the van build-out (this does not include the cost of the vehicle From £30k + vat Mercedes Sprinter LWB or tools minimum|£2,500), the royalty fee is 8% of sales, branding fee 2% plus £50 monthly Velonet user fee. 
  • Velofix works with lending companies, including BDC, that roll up the cost of the vehicle and buildout package into a monthly lease for franchisees. For about £19,600 to £25,200 in upfront capital you can get a truck on the road.
  • Rates start at £38.70 an hour plus tax based on the service package selected.
  • One mechanic can carry £14,000 to £19,600 worth of inventory in a van
  • 5 year agreement 
  • Please contact Veleofix direct for the exact coasting for your setup requirements 
  • Does the fee's included training?
What separates Velofix from other mobile bicycled shops is technology. “One of the challenges of operating a mobile service is scheduling. We have proprietary cloud-based software that books a service, route optimizes the van and allows the mechanic to wake up in the morning and see who is on their call schedule and what they booked so they can make sure they have all the parts they need,”
What separates Cycle Tech UK from other mobile bicycle shops it's not too corporate for a group of professional mobile bicycle mechanics who are by nature individualistic and happy to be their own boss. Means cyclists like using our independent local mobile bike businesses for their care of service, rather than a business working to a target. 

My initial thoughts:
  • As you have 3 business men who need to make a return and a Dragon who wants 20% return, means that a large amount of money has got to come from Franchisee setup and ongoing royalty fees. 
  • They have a unique booking system that allows them to direct work to the franchisee, where Velofix keep the customer base?
  • How can they tell what all parts are needed with out seeing the bike first? 
  • And where do the parts come from? Especially in the morning! Buy from Velofix or their own trade accounts?
  • In Canada cycling is more seasonal then here in the UK. 
  • My question would be how much volume does each franchisee need to be profitable? "To build this business, with the stock required, plus pay back original investment and ongoing fee's, would mean at least 5 years of hard work before you start to make a real profit living."
  • This could work in London, with a different setup to Canada with cooperate being their main goal.
  • If you search Velofix uk, you will find this name has already been used.
The Franchise start-up is for the lazy business man, for someone who wants all the hard work done, is willing to pay for it and expects a return. Sorry folks! It needs your ongoing effort, without it, it wont make any difference how much money you keep throwing at your business.

The idea of being mobile, is to setup and run your business at a lower cost and be flexible, by that I mean: Reaching out to those customers that find our services right for their needs, By offering a professional service, from a professional workshop that you have invested in and is yours. By also having the time to chat cycling and give advice to your customers. Where someone who needs to cover his costs to a Franchise will not be offering a unique service (I would think they would end-up working 12 hour days and 4 of those days would only cover the franchise fees only and not the other running costs) and the business will end up being like some of the meany bike shops with grumpy owners. You would be better off putting your money in a bike shop or the bank lol. You have to ask yourself; Why are you going in to business for? For me is to do what I love, that I can also make a good living from and able to take time off cycling or even touring. Also the business setup also can handle quite periods of no work, as this maybe the case of your first year in business, but it can happen anytime. If there is no work, you still need to pay those fee's............



View the full Dragons Den with Velofix pitch on Video HERE

Also read:
Read the full story By Business Financial Post HERE



If you would like to receive a copy of Cycle Tech's information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Cycle Tech team. Email: info@cycle-tech.co.uk  


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Reasons Why Some Mobile Bicycle Businesses FAIL

With the continued growth of the cycle industry, there are still some Mobile Bike Repair businesses that have not been able to succeed during the industries rapid expansion.

Owning any type of business on wheels in a good economy is still a challenge, but starting and running your business without a plan & support is even more difficult.

Branding & Image
  • Turning up in a car with a few tools, might get you the customers who are only looking for a cheap fix, that you wont be able to make a living from in the long run. In any business we all have to start somewhere and you maybe testing the water or starting part-time before you invest your hard earned money. Starting with the right image, gives your customers a better understanding what you offer. Also read: Our branding can secure long term success 
No commitment to learning.
  • There is no place for complacency when it comes to being a mobile bicycle repair entrepreneur. Successful mobile bike repair owners search constantly for new and better ways to get customers as well as to serve the ones they already have. They are aware of the latest cycle service industry trends and ideas so they can create products and services which best serve the changing needs of their target market. They learn about and implement processes that increase the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations. By committing yourself to learning and to implementing what you learn, you’re committing yourself to success in all parts of your business
Fear.
  • If fear of failure is what is preventing you from running your business, you have to get around it and forge ahead.
  • I think if someone’s too nervous to start a business on their own, then definitely finding a friend to do it with will help.
Business Plan
  • Lack of a business plan is why businesses fail. The previous points should be included in your plan. 
  • The business plan is what everything your mobile repair shop will do is based on. It will force you to plan ahead, think about the competition, formulate a marketing strategy, define your management structure, and plan your financing, among other things. It is your roadmap to success. Do not proceed without a solid business plan.
  • When you sit down to start writing your plan, you must remember that it is your argument to show your idea is worth backing.
No strategic partners.
  • Successful Mobile Bike business owners typically don’t go it alone. They associate, partner, and network with other successful Mobile Bike Repair businesses. Partnering with others is a way to quickly expand the reach of your own mobile business. There’s a wonderful synergy that comes with doing things with other Mobile Bike Repair business. There are more ideas, more knowledge, and more resources to create products and services
Overview:
  1. Communicate your ideas and passion to others 
  2. Start a business plan to help you spot potential pitfalls before they happen
  3. Write down your Strengths and weaknesses 
Challenges
  • Lack of knowledge 
  • Looking for short cuts 
  • Laziness 
  • Lack of focus 
Solution
  • Our Network is a proven idea      
  • Our business is in high demand 
  • Offering a personal service
  • Going local 
Like any business there is no guarantee you will be successful, Cycle Tech UK gives you all the tools and support to make you successful.

"The best way to succeed in the mobile bicycle repair business is to be in the mobile bicycle repair business"

If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Managing Director Martin Wilkins Email:  martin@cycle-tech.co.uk 

You may also like to read: Why some bike businesses fail and others succeed




Saturday, 29 November 2014

Oxford Bike Works

Steel Frame bicycle business

A small business owned by Richard Delacour, started out of a passion for riding quality bikes. Who builds quality tour bikes at a reasonable price. All bikes come with good components as standard and can be upgraded to each individual rider requirements.

I had the chance today to meet Richard to view the range of bikes at his workshop and a road test of two of his bikes.

The two bikes Richard so kindly let me road test

This is the bike that I first see on Tom's Bike Trip Blog that attracted me to view Oxford Bike Works. This bike is still in prototype as single touring bike for life, designed by Tom after 7 years of highly varied riding experience on 4 continents.

Middle Burn middle chainring fitted for longer life

Shimano LX hubs

Very useful Prop-stand and mudguard bolt fitting as part of the frame design

Head badge and Chris King headset 

Oxford Bike Works touring bike
Reynolds 525 has all the qualities needed for a good tourer

 Reynolds 525 tubing used for touring cycles.
Weight savings from butting provide competitively priced, light framesets.

Two frame build chooses, both steel with one being built in Taiwan and a British company with a historic reputation for making high quality, lightweight and strong tubes.

Powder coating by Professional Coatings Ltd Thatcham 


For enquirers of touring bikes made by Oxford Bike Works. 

Please view Referral form below for details. Then email your details including this link:-  http://tinyurl.com/pfd9mf3 to richard@oxfordbikeworks.co.uk  
      


If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure to start your own bike business. Which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Managing Director Martin Wilkins Email:  martin@cycle-tech.co.uk 

Happy cycling!
Martin

Friday, 21 November 2014

Micro Enterprise Award

Cathal O,Carroll won The Dunlaoghaire Rathdown Chamber Envirocom Award for Special Merit/ Micro Enterprise.

Susses story of how one man who had been made redundant, built a mobile bike business by following a business plan and using initiative. He got out there and made his business be found.

Based in Dublin Cathal's Mobile Bicycle Repair Business "The Spokesman" is now in its 5th year

His clients include: Diageo, Ulster Bank, Facebook, Trinity College, Fineos, Oracle, AIB, Aecom, State Street, the IFSC, A&L Goodbody and IADT.

He sell's Merida bicycles and also rent road bicycles. With the option of delivering new bicycles to people’s homes or office in the Dublin area.

Message from Cathal
"Dear Martin I just want to thank you. Without your help it would not have been possible."


Cathal O,Carroll receiving the award

Back in 2010 Cathal O,Carroll had been made redundant for the second time in two years so he decided to start his own business. People recommend to him that his business should be:
  • Something that you are interested in. 
  • It should be different. 
  • It should be a growing market. 
  • It should be low cost to start up.
His business idea was a mobile bike repair workshop. Nobody else is doing mobile bike repairs in Dublin. It was low cost to start up. He is interested in cycling and finally it is a growing market. When he found out that this concept was already tried and successful in the USA, Holland, Germany and the UK he said why not. He completed a business plan, training and started operating in August 
2010. And no looking back! 

If you live or are cycling though Dublin, make sure you look the Spokesman up www.thespokesman.ie

If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure to start your own bike business. Which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Managing Director Martin Wilkins Email:  martin@cycle-tech.co.uk 


Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Cycle Trade "Suppliers"

Bicycle Suppliers/Distributors/Importers/Wholesalers = Buy parts at trade and sell at RRP.

To make a reasonable profit from buying parts whether to stock or to buy for a repair. Parts will have a 30% mark-up and fast moving parts could have a mark-up of over 100%

But it doe's seems like some trade suppliers want all of the cake.

You may find opening trade accounts difficult to open whether you are a mobile business or a shop. Some suppliers favour shops, even though the shop owner may not be qualified to fix bicycles, yet they can sell new bikes to the public. The supplier can also sell the shop owner a lot of stock to fill his shelves. Or the supplier wants to only sell to shops that have a on-line shop.

You have suppliers that just sell a brand or two of bicycles, you have suppliers that sell basic workshop parts & accessories and or bikes and you have the suppliers who sell medium to high end parts "the well-known brands"  
"Many start-ups choose suppliers based on price, but reliability and speed are just as important. You will need a supplier who can deliver the right number of goods at the right time. Larger suppliers can often be the most reliable as they have resources to spend on back-up if necessary. Seek out suppliers who have been in business for some time and have a solid reputation."
  • Some of the suppliers who sell workshop parts and most of these parts are the same brands, may not sell to you as you are in the area of someone who buys and sells these brands. 
  • Some suppliers also sell to the public at trade prices. 
  • Some suppliers have the latest b2b websites while others have a out of date catalogues and you don't know the quality of the part or whether it is in stock, until you receive your delivery and the parts you are waiting for don't turn up or are wrong. (Having to send parts back can be costly and time consuming) 
  • Suppliers will also have a minimum order for post free. This may mean you have to spend between £100 - £200 for free delivery. 
  • Like many businesses, items can often be found cheaper on-line with free delivery, than from your trade supplier. 
  • Many small businesses never see their rep
  • Suppliers can also lose a brand or two and this means opening new accounts to continue selling these products.
  • No one supplier sells all parts/brands. 
Choose your business suppliers carefully and treat them well.

But what suppliers do Cycle Tech UK buy from?
We support our suppliers by sticking to our main suppliers and recommending to our new members.
"Price, reliability and speed are important factors when choosing suppliers"
  • A supplier that will offer technical help/support
  • Suppliers who have been in business for some time
  • A supplier who will send small workshop parts out postage free.  
  • A supplier who has a b2b website 
  • A supplier who sends out a rep to visit
  • Suppliers who are happy to support mobile bike businesses 
  • Suppliers who sell to our network members at a premier rate 
  • Next day delivery's including Saturdays 
  • Don't rely on one single supplier
But we can understand a supplier not wanting to support some new businesses whether mobile or a bike shop, any business must be working to a high standard, qualified and professional looking.

Don't go overboard on stock
"Product knowledge and understanding how your suppliers do business is key"
  • Do not over invest initially. Be cautious on doing so before you've built a relationship with your supplier. Or you may learn the hard way and place a larger order than you should have done with a different supplier to the one we have now. 
  • Learn what each of your supplier sells and are these other products in-line with what you want to sell your customer. 
  • Suppliers can be out of stock and you may need to look elsewhere on-line. And quit often the on-line seller will send the part and comes in a box from your supplier!  
  • Keep a order book or add to your on-line shopping basket to build a large order. 
Build a long term relationship

Reviewing your suppliers' performance at regular intervals can help you spot any areas for improvement. Check whether you are getting the best price, quality and delivery options for your business.
  • Have a plan in place if you switch suppliers to minimise disruption to your business
  • Do meet your suppliers at trade shows
  • Do call your supplier/rep and arrange for a visit
  • Do check your suppliers website and monthly news letters for special discounts of the month
  • Always make sure you are on the best price & payment plan, many suppliers give discount for paying on time and some charge you at a higher rate for being on pro-rota. 
  • Negotiating price with suppliers on large orders. 
Resources
Our Network will put you in touch with the main suppliers and trade contacts, to help you of to a good start.
  • By being part of our network you will have a list of all trade suppliers and what they sell.
  • Open accounts
  • Stock list of setup parts
  • Group email support
  • Meet and network at trade shows, including introduced to suppliers and open accounts 
  • Best deals on workshop parts, supplies and tools
  • Bulk buying with network members on fast moving workshop parts
Smart Business Builder

To help you on your business journey, we've created Cycle Tech UK "The national network of mobile bicycle mechanics" 


If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Managing Director Martin Wilkins Email:  martin@cycle-tech.co.uk




Friday, 7 November 2014

3 Key Points To What Made My Business Successful

I always start any business plan, by putting down ideas on paper.

My 3 key points:

1. Being thrown in at the deep-end 
  • By starting with only a vision, very little money and a few tools, I had to make my new business work. 
  • This can be the same for starting a new job or for any life situation. 
  • By putting in real effort, having enthusiasm and believing in your vision 
2. Learning from mistakes 
  • You don't learn from doing it right, by making mistakes I can make the situation or idea better next time.
  • Don't be a busy fool! One of the hardest things to get right is charging the right amount for your time. Need to be considered in your hourly rate; skill's, knowledge, tools and running costs.  
  • I keep learning by developing new skills and working on my weaknesses 
3. Helping others
  • By being passionate in what I do and helping others with advise, I find others soon tell their friends.  
  • Being part of an network, I have support and trade contacts at my finger tips also I can share my knowledge and technical know how for all to benefit. 
Other advice:
Start your research and start your business while you still have a job so you don't have to borrow money or rely on making money in the first months, as most of your profit will be injected back into your business. 

Money:
Know how to price your product. Know what your margins are. Know what to set aside for insurance and TAX bills and pay your bills on time

Our business concept is unique, growing, potential and people are looking for our convenient services. If you like to know more please email martin@cycle-tech.co.uk and ask for an information pack. 

Similar articles:

Monday, 3 November 2014

The Bicycle Whisperer

The art of bicycle mechanics
 
The Bicycle Whisperer - As well as looking (observing) at a bike to find what's wrong, also requires listening and feeling.

"Cycle Technicians are not miracle workers but problem solvers" 

When a bicycle comes to the mobile workshop, the technician uses his knowledge and skills to diagnose problems, which the customer may not even be aware of. 
The technician can first ask the customer questions, while casting his eye over the bicycle. By checking the bike over "The M Check" the technician can start his diagnostic procedure.
Part of the M check is to apply the brakes, spin the wheels, feel and spin the bottom bracket and headset for wear or play. These are just some of the many checks the technician will go through to have a full understanding of not only what is causing the problem, but an idea of how worn out other components maybe. As this could also determine a costly repair or how much life is left before parts need replacing. 
A road test also may be required to diagnose a noise, poorly operating gears or brakes. 

 The Bicycle Whisperer

The next step, would be to put the bicycle in the work-stand and have a closer inspection, the bicycle may even require a clean to be able to closely examine components. 
By spinning the wheels the technician can see if wheels are buckled, feel/hear for worn bearings and check brakes are aligned correctly.
A good technician can use his skills and knowledge, an art built up over time and has become known as The Bicycle Whisperer.
What it does not involve is guess work, fitting parts and hopping will sort it out or saying to the customer see how it go's................

Service Check List

By using a check list the technician can make a report and estimate of his findings. Or further investigation may be needed to remove components.    
The technician will best advice the customer the best options available.   

Related articles you may also like to read:
As part of our Network Member you can spend a day on the road with The Bicycle Whisperer! 

Friday, 31 October 2014

Running A Successful Mobile Bike Business

I have been running a mobile bike business for over 6 years now and before that I have been self-employed running a business as a mobile car mechanic for about 10 years. Both businesses have been highly successful and the mobile bike repair business has become known as The Network Of Mobile Bicycle Mechanics. As I have created a network to help and support new businesses across the UK.
In that time I have learned many things of running a business of what works and equally important of what does not work. With this in mind I share the following keys to running a successful business.
Even with all the help, support Cycle Tech UK offer its Members; (with setting up and running new mobile bike businesses, branding and marketing) having money to invest and even mechanical skills. The real success can only come from you, with the following key points:


1. Having a vision: One of the most important aspects of running your mobile bike business or any business, is to have a clear vision of what you want your business to be like.
  • What you want to be known for. 
  • What kind of clients do you desire. 
  • What level of service do you want to provide. 
  • Do you want to be one among many or do you want to be known as a specialist in your field.
2. Develop a plan that ties in with your vision: 
  • By putting a plane together of your vision, you can map out what needs to be done to achieve your goals.   
3. Know your market:
  • One of the most important aspects of running any type of business is to know whom your market is. You can’t be all things to all people. Contrary to what some would like to believe, not everyone is his or her market. There is a very astute saying in marketing, “If everyone is your market, then no one is your market." The clearer you are on who you are targeting the easier it will be to focus your efforts on reaching those individuals and/or companies.
4. Gain visibility within your market:
  • Take a focused approach to reaching your market. Just because you have determined who your market is, doesn't mean you are done. You must now be willing to have a focused approach to targeting your market. Whether that be through direct mail, advertising, newsletters, informational seminars or any number of methods, you have to be willing to keep your name in front of your market.
5. If you fail - try again:
  • The greatest mistake people make in any business, is they try something once and expect instant results. You must be in this for the long term and learn from your mistakes. 
6. Having a positive impact by encouraging more people to cycle: One of the things I most love about my job, is I know that people of all ages can enjoy cycling more. With most people, regardless of the business they are in, is that in some way you can change lives. If you know that, your job becomes very rewarding. Think about the end user of your product or service. 
  • What is it that you can provide that makes a difference to your customers.
  • If you don’t know, ask your customers. You may be pleasantly surprised. It is in the answers you can become clearer and clearer as to your vision and the benefits you bring to others through the services you provide 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Questions Before Starting Your Own Bike Business

Below are typical questions I am asked. 

Please also view our Frequently Asked Question Page

(These and other questions you may have would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat, as everyone's situation and needs vary.
Please email martin@cycle-tech.co.uk for an information pack.)  

"I have come up with some questions for when we are able to have a Skype chat - I know you may be busy so whenever is ok with you would be great."


1. "What resistance (if any) have you found from established bike shops – how have you handled this?"
No resistance, in fact there is plenty of work out there and it also offers the customer more choice. If you setup your business near an established bike shop that has an monopoly, they may feel upset. But competition is also good for any business.    
2. "Was getting a permit for a mobile service easy to get?"
In the UK, you don't need a permit to start a mobile bike business, (might be a good idea). Cycle Tech UK believes in training our mechanics properly. All mechanics are sent through Cytech (or equivalent) training in all aspects of bike maintenance. With nationally recognised qualifications in bike mechanics. Each Member is kept updated regular with training and product knowledge. Each member carries a full professional tool kit, and uses quality parts, enabling confidence to carry out all types of repairs. Also Members spend a day with me going over business plan and what is not taught on the 2 week training course, as part of the package in joining our network.
3. "How many hours per day / bikes fixed do you do in a day? – What is the norm for a full time gig and for those doing it as a part-time job?"
It's like asking; how long is a piece of string! How long you have been in business will also have effect, as with how skilled you are, your location, how much you charge and the job you are doing. As 1 bike could be enough to take up your day and cover costs or it could be 8 bikes serviced in a day if you are working at one location. How old and how much the bike is used you are working on, which may only require basic servicing or you could end up rebuilding the bike. It is difficult to say without showing you figures of past trading years. (If you need to have a business plan for finance) There are many types of bikes and cyclists along with the uses and the bike trade/trends can change from year to year. Once established, you will also have work in progress and other daily duties that may be non productive plus time lost between jobs that needs to be calculated in your hourly rate.  Cycle Tech UK only recommend this business as a full time professionally run. 
4. "What % of income is through the sale of spare parts / accessories?"
This can vary from job to job, spare parts are sold more than accessories and parts can total to more than 70% of the job total being invoiced. Over a year the profit from spare parts can be more then 50% of the gross turn over. By having trade suppliers that give you the best deals when buying stock, inc; bulk buying and stock control will make a big impact to your profit over 12 months. Spare parts will have an minimum of 30% markup to 100 % or more. 
5. "Did you ever regret your decision?"
 No, its a great job with challenges and job satisfaction. It was difficult making a living at first but I would never go back. Often when I asked people what regrets they had or what mistakes they had made, they replied, “I just wish I had done it sooner.”
6. "Have you found that after repairing a neglected bike a person was more willing to use it, especially if they had not ridden in a long time? – Has your business created a positive social impact within the general community and within the cycling enthusiasts?"
Definitely a yes, not only is it a good feel factor giving advice, but more people are cycling due to more cycle technicians and more choice where they can go to have their bike serviced.  
7. "I see that you are willing to teach people the skills through your training courses – has this affected your business in a negative way by sharing your “know-how”?
Our home mechanics school courses are genuinely 1/2 day and only teach the basics; How to change a tyre, general maintenance, cleaning/oiling and how to look for problems. It about getting more cyclists to have a basic understanding how their bike should be running and being safe on the roads. We all need to share our know how more and we will also gain more customers. 
8. "Do you do any partner work with established bike shops? – do they supply you hard to find items? / have you outsourced work for them to do?"
I don't do any work for any bike shop, as I have plenty of my own work. Not saying you can't do work for a bike shop, but if they are busy then so should your business be busy. You can't do both. I have had bike shops put work my way and vice versa, I have put customers in touch with bikes shops when a customer is looking for a typical bike I can't help with. I very rarely buy any parts from a bike shop, as I have accounts with all the trade suppliers. 
9. "What is the number one reason people choose you over an established shop?"
There a number of reasons, but the number one is ease of use. No more putting the bike in the back of the car and taking to the bike shop. 

There is a lot of info on this Blog. Please read first and I will be happy to have a chat and any questions you have. And help you start you own mobile bike business as Cycle Tech UK member or DIY. martin@cycle-tech.co.uk 

If your question has not been answered, please leave your question in the comments box at the bottom of this post.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cycling and Coffee Go Hand In Hand

Since I started giving business support, I have met a number of people who have had the same idea of opening a bike shop that also offers an area within the shop to sell coffee to cyclists.

This has already been proving a success in London with Look Mum No Hands also see this MAP across the UK.

If you already own a bike shop, you can just put a coffee machine in and offer coffee to your customers.
But don't think a £50 coffee maker and packet coffee will work! Cyclist know their coffee and you may end up losing customers over a poor coffee.

Professional coffee machines 


Niche Market 

Coffee is the fastest growing business on the high street, along with a boom in cycling.

Coffee and cycling is open to all ages.

If this is your dream to own your own business; a bike shop/coffee shop.
Then my advice is "Make it happen"

Coffee shops are opening up in the high street, in villages, garden centers and farm shops. Even pubs sell coffee along with petrol stations and supermarkets.

To attract cyclists you will need to offer an atmosphere and of course good fresh coffee. People like to support local businesses and don't mind paying over the odds, as long as they feel they are getting value and a feel good experience.

Ask yourself; what you look for when buying and drinking your coffee:
  • Is it the price that attracts you
  • The convenience 
  • Free Wifi
  • Or the good feel factor 
By giving your bike shop/coffee shop a setting:
People feel at ease and comfortable with nostalgia.
  • Coffee and bikes are associated with Italy  
  • Classic road bikes of the 80's on display
  • Pictures of old school riders and winners
  • Info about the coffee you are selling 
The coffee you sell:

People are more concerned about where the coffee comes from and the impact on the environment. So buying fair trade or direct from a small farmer where you can ask about how the coffee is grown, harvested and roasted. 

One coffee supplier I can highly recommend; is Milly at Exsotic Coffee Roasters Milly is Colombian and buys direct from small farmers in Colombia, who grow high quality arabica coffee beans. Milly can offer you the art of making a proper cup of coffee, espresso, latte at their micro roasting HQ in Oxfordshire.         
   



Monday, 13 October 2014

Its Not All Work Work Work

For those who are running an established business, It pays to down tools and take time off away from work.

In any business there is a changing market, competition and the chance to grow.

You sometimes need to get away and see the wood from the trees. 

To clear the mind and come up with new ideas, you need to get away from it all and do something you enjoy. After all it's your hard work, time building and effort running your business.

"I still put pen to paper and write ideas or things that need to be done"

Before you start working for yourself, you need to think is it about the money, the lifestyle or both?

Some businessmen find it hard to say no and forget why they got in to the bike trade in the first place.


Why it might not be possible for you to take time off yet:

Of course there is mortgage and bills to pay, but if you find you are working 7 days a week just to get by, then you may need a rethink the way you are running your business. 
  • Are you getting stressed
  • Feel under pressure to make x amount of money each week 
  • Can't find enough time in the week to finish all your tasks
If yes to any of the above, then this will be reflected on your customers. 

You may need to think about the following:
  • Charge more per job/hour
  • How to be more efficient
  • Review your business and home outgoings 
  • Find help/support
  • Review stock control 
  • Learn to say no to some jobs
  • Are you getting the best deal from your suppliers

Or are you struggling to find work:
Then you need to......
  • Review your image and branding. (The way you market yourself will have a big impact)
  • Is your vehicle suitable  
  • Is your business being found on the internet
  • Do you consider your business as being professional
  • Do you have the confidence and knowledge
  • Check your location and competition out
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses 

What changes can you make?
These are some of the things that a good businessman will overcome and why some businesses fail.

Start a list of what you need to do or changes need to be made. 

Our Network has the support and inside knowledge, that is shared with our Members. To not only get their business of the ground, but to help run their business and be profitable. 

Once I learnt to say no, I could take time off and do what I enjoy. 
Being in the leisure industry, I find customers like to hear of my cycling stories. 

When taking time out, I switch off my phone and laptop to help forget about work. 

Keep it simple, keep cycling, enjoy your work and the business will look after itself.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Once In A Lifetime Business Opportunity

Cycle Tech UK is offering full business package at discount in the following areas listed below.
Valued till December 31st 2014

You can now have the opportunity to start and run your own professional bike business. With help & support to start and grow your own business.
Even if you are thinking of owning a bike shop, this is a great way to start your business with low setup costs. Build your customer base, stock, skills and contacts then open your dream bike shop and sell the coffee. Our network will make your dream come true, contact any of our Members to see how Cycle Tech UK has helped like minded businesses start their dream business.

It's your business with our great branding, its a win win situation.

Not only are we cheaper than buying any type of franchise, the fee is also cheaper than advertising alone. Cycle Tech UK will also tell you what advertising works and what is a waste of time and money.

We are growing strong by being a cooperative network and not a franchise!!!!!  Customers like us for our unique approach and dealing direct at their home or work, where we can offer advice as well as a mobile service, saving the customer time and money.

We wish to grow our successful network across the UK and support our partners demands for repairs and warranty issues from online sales, as well as a growing demand from private individuals who are our main business.

ARE WE THE RIGHT BUSINESS FOR YOU?

At Cycle Tech UK, we seek to partner with like-minded people who have a strong desire to drive change in the cycling industry.

IN RETURN:

Qualities Cycle Tech UK Seek: 
  • Working under the Cycle Tech UK branding
  • Commitment to being hands on in the business. 
  • Passion for Cycling. 
  • Strong business acumen. 
  • Thrive in a Relationship driven business. 
Are You Ready To: 
  • Be active in your success & failures. 
  • Get involved with your local cycling communities.  
  • Work in a physically demanding environment.
  • Network by being involved with supporting our brand and its Members

The following areas are now available:

Basingstoke
Brentwood
Brighton
Bristol
Cardiff
Central & Greater London
Cheltenham
Chelmsford
Harrow & Uxbridge

Leeds & York 
Maidenhead 
Milton Keynes
Newbury
Oxford
Poole
Portsmouth
Reading
Swindon
Slough

Waterlooville
Watford
Windsor 

Please enquire about an area not listed. See our MAP for all areas available


Business Offer
There has never been a better time to join our growing Network in the UK, with so many benefits and for ONLY £P.O.A At Discount (The above areas only)
We provide a fully comprehensive business in a box (see our information pack) which delivers our Members a proven and profitable business. 
Why is Cycle Tech UK so Unique?
Brand leader.
• We provide our Members with sales leads.
• We help you find clients through our on-line media and direct marketing.
• We provide technical support to help you with those "What do I do about this?" moments
• Low set-up costs and overheads and high income.
• Flexibility within your chosen business model.
• Ability to work from home and generate high income.
• We deliver a comprehensive business in a box
• Extra training is delivered in house and covers technical and practical skills, which involves work experience on the road and business setup help.
 And provide you with on-going support and information as required.
Thank you for interest with the Cycle Tech UK Partnership, please email martin@cycle-tech.co.uk NOW for an information pack which explains about our network, the benefits, links to more info and how to arrange a no obligation meeting or chat.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Martin Wilkins