Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Business Planning - Mobile Bicycle Repairs

This is my view on making a business plan and it works for me. I also use a plan for personal gain, before I take time out to travel, start weight lifting, kitting a work van out or converting a van to a camper.
Building a shed or garage, by drawing a plan to build a workshop to a scale will give you a create idea of how much materials required and to calculate the cost. A drawing to work to will make life so much easier then just doing it and see what happens - usually means it will take longer and cost more.

"Make two lists; 1. of setup costs and 2. running costs. Your plan should be of your business ideas, you don't know until you put your van on the road. Having it set in stone will stop you doing what is good for your business"

Your first time in business is about making mistakes and learning from that, this can be time consuming and very costly. On the other hand being prepared and calculating the risks by making a business plan will give you a better start. This will mean doing research or even better still is to visit and talk with those who have already done it.

"Starting without a simple plan is a temporary solution. Sooner or later, you will be back at the drawing board"

Many people who start on the cheap or without a clear plan often fail - I have seen those who buy a small van and when they get busy need to take a few bikes back home and their shed workshop is in the rear garden and need to carry bikes, tools and parts back and forth from the van.

"You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell"

They say a business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts. Also a business plan is to secure investment or a loan from a bank.
While that is all very true, first we also need to look at our end goal, especially if this is your first time going in to business or your business has failed in the past.

"Success is the journey and not the destination"

Q. The reasons why and what you want to achieve working for yourself?
A. Because having a good reason for doing something makes planning much easier.

Business Planning Mobile Bicycle Repairs - Put Pen To Paper

What I tell any would be business owner if they haven't done so already, is to first put pen to paper and write your plan, ideas and why you want to go in to business.

"A great business owner knows to recognise where his weaknesses lie and to address them"

Business Plan
Make a simple business plan that covers your goals and how you will achieve them, on paper.
To predict the market and likely success of your business.

1. Reasons why?
Description of your intentions:
  • Not happy working the 9 - 5 grind for someone else
  • Want the chance to earn more money
  • Lifestyle change
  • Have a business that is local
  • To be debt free
  • The ultimate goal is to have the money work for you - think early retirement or less hours for the same money!
  • Or some other reason?
Q. How are you going to achieve why?
A. Make a list of your needs

2. Ask yourself:
  • Do you have fear in working for yourself?
  • Is there anything stopping you from starting your business?
  • What are your strengths and talents?
  • Do you enjoy your own company?
  • Can you solve problems?
  • Are you willing to train and practice what you need to make your business a success?
  • Can you manage money wisely?  All business owners must become wise money managers to ensure that the cash keeps flowing.
  • As well as being a very good mechanic, can you also be the secretary and accountant? Answer the phone and book in jobs. Or the salesman? Remember that marketing, advertising, or promotional activities are completely worthless if you can't sell your service's or goods.
  • Customer care - are you good with people? Your mobile business is not about the products or services that you sell. Your mobile business is not about the prices that you charge for your goods and services. Your mobile business is not about your competition and how to beat them. Your business is all about your customers, or clients.
If you don't enjoy what you're doing, chances are you won't succeed.

3. How much money will it cost to start your business?
  • Van - The mobile workshop
  • Tools
  • Training
  • Sign writing and stationery
  • Other
Q. How much capital do you have to invest?

4. How much to run your business?
  • Insurances
  • Van running costs
  • Stock
  • Web
  • Other
Q. How much will you pay yourself?

5. Sales - Where will you find customers?
One of the toughest questions if you are new to business start-up, is that we can work out our overheads but to work out profit/loss we need to have some idea of sales - the amount your business turns over each year. To help you read: How much does a mechanic earn
  • Private or corporate?
  • How will you market yourself and be found?
  • What type of bicycles, bike shops and shops are in your area? Will give you an idea of what the customer will spend on repairs and service
  • Are there cycle clubs?
  • Self-promotion is one of the most beneficial, yet most underutilized, marketing tools that the majority of mobile business owners have at their immediate disposal.
  • Become know as an expert, how will people seek you out for your expertise?
  • A good reputation is unquestionably one of the home business owner's most tangible and marketable assets. Without trust, you won't have a good reputation.
Q. Do you know how much you will charge per hour?

6. Business name and type of business?
  • What will you call your business?
  • Will you be a sole trader or Limited?
  • Will you register your business name?  
  • What will be the nature of your business? Mobile, workshop or both?
  • Will you offer pickup and drop off service?
7. Other things to include in to your plane:
  • When your business starts, what other commitments will you have that could interfere with the day to day running of your business? What can you do to limit this or what changes can you make?  
  • Training to level 2 or level 3 and any further training in mechanics or any business training?
  • Tools and parts - Tool list what to buy and what parts to stock? and where to find suppliers? 
  • Van - the mobile workshop, what type of van, size, buy new, used or lease?
  • Insurance specialists?
  • The key to staying organized is not about which type of file you have or whether you keep a stack or two of papers on your desk, but it's about managing your business.
  • Carefully plan and design your mobile workspace to ensure maximum personal performance and productivity.
  • Don't multitask, learn to do one think at a time and do it well.
  • Be assessable - Will your business be part time or full time? If part time how will you manage answering the phone and replying to email enquires? Making it easy for people to do business with you means that you must be accessible.
8. Borrowing money:
  • Businesses needs capital to setup, so carful planning and research is required if you need to borrow. Not only to were you can get the best bank loan, but also where you will spend the money on.
  • Borrowing within your means, so you can afford the monthly payments and still live, you have not started a business to get stressed and get in to debt. I have seen many business men, borrow money to setup their business and after 9 months, turn to the bank to borrow more or look at what assets they have and sell. Before you sell anything "think" do these assets have value or are they things you don't need anymore or cost money to maintain?
"Planning every aspect of your mobile bike business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every mobile business owner should develop, implement, and maintain"

For more on planning, starting and running a successful mobile repair business. See Index for links to related posts.

Any questions you have can be answered in a Skype chat or meeting with me, helping you put your business out in front. Talk to me first to decide if this business is for you!
“Starting your own business can be a daunting process. Research shows that many people who want to run their own business may need more help when they’re starting out"

Q. Do you have over £10k to invest? And you want the freedom of being your own boss but with the support of a national network, working in one of the fastest growing leisure sectors please do get in touch with Martin Wilkins at martin@cycle-tech.co.uk for an information brochure.

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