Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Bicycle Shed - For Business

Get it right and this could be the perfect job - working from home fixing bikes in a shed.

Some more things to think about or plan before setting up your mobile bicycle business.
I have talked a lot about the mobile workshop and having a LARGE van on this Blog. As a full time business offering a high level of service, it will only be a matter of time before you will need a shed as your business grows to store parts, bikes and to work from occasionally.
  • The shed (Workshop/garage) - size and location
  • Pricing - One of the hardest things in any business to get right.
  • Customers - Keep them close but remember you are running a business!

The Bicycle Shed

The Shed:
The size will depend how you plan to operate your business now and in the future.
  • Running your mobile business from the van 100% of the time can be done, as long as your van is LARGE enough for you to carry all your tools, stock and able to work inside in the winter time. You will need an extra long-wheel base van to achieve this. You will also need a drive/packing space at home for security.
  • You will need a shed so you can also work from when needed - If your business plan is to setup clinics at a set location one or two times a week, then you will soon have bikes that will need taking away as you don't have time or parts to finish all the work.
  • A shed with easy access - Ideally where you can back your van up to the shed doors and able to move bikes, tools and parts to and from easily.
  • The shed size - minimum size 10ft x 8 x 7 high. Even at this size you will have limitations, ideally a shed from 20ft x 16 x 8, to have a workbench, bike storage, parts storage, area for degreaser and large enough space to work.
  • Work space - You will need an area to do office work - look up parts on laptop, write invoices and to package goods for returns or maybe what you sell online. As well as area to fix bikes in, that needs to be clear, clean and tidy where you can put small parts down and have tools close by. A parts washer or cleaning bay to degrease and clean each bike you are working on.
  • Storing bikes - Hooks screwed in to the joist to hang bikes from the wheel, to give you more space and stop bikes from being damaged.
  • Security - You will have a large value of stock, tools and customers bikes! Door Lock that is bolted to the floor, no windows (Not like the photo above) or windows with bars. Lock for each bicycle that is kept in your shed.
  • If you don't have a drive for your van or a garage for a workshop and no space to build a shed, then you need to think about renting a workshop and base yourself there. Don't think you can setup a business working from your front room and offer a professional service - being organised is key to this type of business.

Inside the bike shed - tool storage and work area - clean and tidy

This is one of the hardest things to get right in any business, not just when setting up but every year you need to review your pricing and make sure you are charging what you are worth - tools, training, van, investment and your time.
Also you need to charge for travel - picking up/dropping off and going to a job as a mobile repair that is more then 5 miles away. Read more about pricing

Cyclists like our mobile service, as it is convenient and saves them time.
It is also good to work and talk direct to the customer, but you need to also keep them at arm's length from your working area. You don't want the customer telling you how to do your job! Have a booking system and use it with every customer. As a Cycle Tech UK mechanic we can't give a price to any bike repair till we have seen it and that go's for diagnosing a fault/problem until it's been though our system and the bike has been fully inspected.
As with pricing above customers may buy parts online and ask you to fit (Be ready to know how much you will charge for fitting and that there is or is not any guarantee with your workmanship fitting those parts) or they have had a go already fixing their bike and not told you............................

See 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 for an information brochure.

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