F.A.Q's

Have a question about Cycle Tech UK or starting your own mobile bike business? Feel free to browse through the questions.

I get email almost everyday asking me about how to open trade accounts, how much money do I need to start, where to advertise, what to stock and where to find specialist insurance. These questions and more can be found in more detail on reading this Blog, found below and many others would be answered and talked over at your first meeting or chat with me, also supplied in more detail in our welcome pack, when you join Cycle Tech UK.
More info can be found on our Starting a mobile bicycle repair business Page & our Index to our top posts.

We have people from all backgrounds join our network, the one thing in common that has made their business work; is that this is something they wanted to do.
I always say to people; "get your ideas down on paper" Start by making a list of what you need to start up and the costs. If this is something you really want to do, then it needs to come from you. I can help you, but you need to find the solution to the investment/associated costs. Even with our services in high demand, finding the solution to things that are against you or people say that can't be done, is everyday business when you are working for yourself!

This is only the tip of the iceberg
As you can tell from this Blog, there is a lot of info to read when it comes to starting your own business.

Quote: Alan Sugar:
"To succeed in business you needed to know everything about your operations, right down to the nuts and bolts that held everything together" 
This attention to detail, willingness to get your hands dirty and being able to find solutions in starting your business, along with this is something you really want to do, then just go for it!

Please read this Blog first, as I do get a lot of emails and then feel free to contact me, to see how I can help you start your new bike business.

From the author Martin Wilkins the founder of Cycle Tech UK Ltd:


I started my mobile bike business back in 2008 and soon found it difficult in opening some trade accounts and finding customers. It made it hard to make my business cost effective, as I needed a supply of Shimano parts to make my business run efficiently with having the right parts in stock or available next working day. Without the Shimano supplier I would have ended my business after 1 year. But I wasn't ready to give up, I had contacts in the trade and I found a way to open accounts with the big suppliers. I used my head and found ways to advertise that did not cost the earth and that worked. I soon had customers telling their friends this was a great idea, I could then offer a great service and my business grew overnight.
So I started The Network Of Mobile Bicycle Mechanics Blog in 2009 to help anyone, who wanted to start their own mobile bike business. Giving all the information needed to start and run a mobile bike business was found on this Blog. A lot of this information was being exploited, as with any great business idea found on the internet. So to move forward and keep it professional I decided to remove the important business information (The gold dust) and now is only available to Cycle Tech UK and associate members. This is in the best interest of our Cycle Tech UK members and protects already set up mobile bicycle repair businesses in this fast growing new business. Increasing numbers would most likely benefit the industry as a whole, rather than increase competition.

My aim is to help anyone who wishes to start a professional new bike business as Cycle Tech UK or as associate members doing it DIY, and support them over many years. I like to share my experiences and success of my ongoing mobile bicycle repair business, with you. I do charge a small fee, (I have received plenty of feedback indicating I am too cheap.) for my knowledge, time and support. I do also ask for a link back from your website to ours. (It's not just about money. Its more about building a long lasting network of mobile bike mechanics) Read more...............

Market changes:
As lifestyles get busier, so does the demand for mobile bicycle repair services. Individuals and businesses are both searching for services that offer the added convenience and time savings that mobile bicycle repair businesses provide.
There is now a surge of new mobile bike business springing up all over the country. As training schools become more market-driven, demand of more bicycles usage, more people looking to change their career and during our tough economic uncertainty. More of a reason to make Cycle Tech UK a brand that is known across the UK for offering a professional service, from each independent owned mobile bike business working under the same name and logo. 'We are NOT a franchisee.'
I have optimism if done with professionalism, with or with out my help you can make a success. There are already new mobile bike business out there, that are up for sale or have found the going hard, did not have a understanding of their working location or the right business plan, etc etc...... and have had to end their business. Even with all the pitfalls, signs indicate this is a good time to start your business and I am all for someone working for their self. Your chances of success are much higher, if done with the right support in a professional business like way.      

You are looked after, not just when you join our network: 

Our networking is like a cooperative, communicating directly with the people who have already embarked on this career, learning from their experiences and working together makes us much stronger in any changing market. We also meet up regular at trade shows to see the latest products and the chance to meet other mobile bike mechanics and talk shop. As a  Cycle Tech UK member, you will be added to our email newsletter for all the latest news and in contact with me for business and technical support.  

Frequently Asked Questions:
  • What experience do I need to start a mobile bike business? There are no rules about how much experience you should have when you start a bike business. Having experience working in a similar field or the same industry will of course mean that you have a greater understanding and the way in which this business worksTo run a professional mobile bike business and make a profit from it, it will help to have the right skills and attitude (mechanically and business minded.) If you are coming from a different background, it usually means you don't have access to contacts, which can be really useful when you're trying to find suppliers, tools, advice or other people to work with. Experience can also give you more confidence in a certain area than if you've never done anything like it before, you have a better idea of what to expect and can foresee problems more clearly. If you are planning to enter the bike repair industry with no prior experience of it, have a think about whether you'd benefit from trying to find a job in a bike shop for a year or so first to build your experience. Saying that experience is no substitute for determination and passion, it really depends on you. See more Under The First Steps To Your Business On Starting a mobile bicycle repair business page.
  • This is my first time running my own business what experience do I need? Just because you haven't run a business before, doesn't mean you don't have experience in business. You learn things from any job you've ever had, the most efficient ways of doing things, how to speak to people and problems to avoid. But running a business as a mobile cycle mechanic, is completely different from any other business you have encountered. Which would be talked over in more detail.  
  • This is my first time working as self employed. How can you help? There are 3 main options: sole trader, partnership and limited company. This will be included in our members pack and we can talk over this in detail at your first meeting. 
  • Do I need a business plan? Yes. You will need to know if your mobile bike business will have a good chance of being profitable and how much it going to cost to setup and run your business. Also you will need a business plan if you are going to borrow money from the bank. First you will need to do a break-even analysis, to show the amount of revenue you'll need to bring in to cover your running expenses, before you make a pound of profit. If you can easily bring in more than the amount of sales revenue you'll need to meet your expenses. Then you need to workout you estimate business setup expenses to start your bike business.  The following are additional financial projections that should also be part of your business plan; Profit and loss forecast (A month by month projection of your business net profit from operations) and cash flow projection (This shows you how much actual cash you'll have, month by month, to meet your expenses. 
  • How much money do I need to start a mobile bike business? This will depend on how you are going to run your business, the scale of your plans.  Every one is in a different situation financially to set up and run their business. To run a professorial mobile repair business full time, I recommend a minimum personal investment of £15,000 plus stock is required to cover business set up, it could be more or less. As a member of Cycle Tech UK, I can help you with a business plan & setup costs. This  is included in our members pack and would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat. 
  • How much money will my business make? This will depend largely on your circumstances when you setup your new bike business and your abilities to run your bike business will have a effect on your profits. There are many unknown factors to take into account, that could be costly and time consuming, successful business start small, you will need to learn to walk before you can run! There is a popular saying in the industry: "If you want to make a small fortune in the cycle trade, you need to start with a large fortune." To help start and grow your business, I can show you as a Cycle Tech UK member what is important to concentrate on, how to manage cash flow, find a less expensive source of supplies and how to price your products and service. We tell you like it is and not tell lies, it takes time to build your business!! Once you have confidence in repairing bikes, have a good reputation, good with customers, good location, carry a large stock of parts, repairing 4 bikes a day and you should be earning over £25k net. (Turn over £55k Gross) It could be more or less than this, these figures are based on running your business at the end of 3 years. You need to believe that you can do this business. If you are relying on making regular money, this may not be for you! With our help and your hard work, you should make a return on your investment in the first year and make a profit of £10k, and also be investing back in to stock as you grow. I did struggle in my first 2 years, back in 2008 at the heart of the world economical crises, but now I have grown our network and members can benefit and gain their investment back much quicker,  I make more money than this and I enjoy my job. Good part of your income is paid in job satisfaction, being your own boss, doing the job you love and meeting the good people who like to ride bikes. Read more................
  • Is there a quiet time in the bike trade? Yes, in your first 2 years, you will experiences quiet periods though the winter. As our business running costs are very low compared to bike shops, who carry a large stock of bikes, rates and rents to pay, we can survive with out to much panic. The weather can have effect on business, quiet times are followed by very busy times. Winter can be busy, with commutates and those who are into their training, these cyclists tend to have more than one bike, also you may find very hot days quiet as people want to be outside. Member's of Cycle Tech UK will be told how to be prepared for it!
  • I'd like to meet you, to discuss my business plans. Where can we meet? We can easily setup a personal appointment to discuss all your options in starting your new mobile bike business. Our first meeting can be held at The Holiday Inn High Wycombe Bucks J4 M40. I do have appointed team members across the UK, who can meet you and talk about your new business. If you cant easily make it to me. Meeting fee: The £40.00 fee is very good value, you have time before to get your questions together and then can discus face to face in a 2 hour meeting. This will also makeup your mind if this business is for you.
  • What training is required? There is a huge range of certified courses and qualifications you can do to ensure you get your knowledge to a certain standard before embarking on starting up. Each Cycle Tech UK member has a minimum qualification, kept updated regular with training and product knowledge. Each member carries a full professional tool kit and stock of quality parts, enabling confidence to carry out all types of repairs. Cycle Tech UK believes in  having our mechanics trained properly. All mechanics are sent through training in all aspects of bike maintenance, with a nationally recognized qualifications in bike mechanics, see training schools here.
  • Where do I find training? This depends where you live and what you wish to achieve, I can recommend  training centers in the UK. (There are training centers that you are trained to a much higher standard than others offering a low quality instruction.) This is included in our members pack and would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat.
  • Are you aware of and funds or grants I could apply for? Government funding programs can help fund some training, this maybe available when you book your training course. For low carbon business funding, see Wenta.  Also see Small Business.co.uk but you may find it to be very difficult to locate any information relevant to this type of business or your situation, i.e. already in full time employment, don't fall into a specific age bracket, wrong category of business etc. 
  • Would my location be a good one? You will need to do some research and you will need to understand the types of people most likely to use your service to generate sufficient sales to make a good living. In addition, you should look at neighbourhood traffic generators, such as other retailers that draw people to the area, industrial or office parks, schools, colleges and hospital complexes. Your competitors and types of shops will tell you if people have money to spend and the type of bikes you will be working on. This would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat.
  • What size van do I need?  Depends on your setup and how you are going to run your business. This would be talked over in more detail when you join  Cycle Tech UK.
  • Can I use a cargo bike or bike trailer instead of a van? Yes. If you are going to work in London or in a City. This is a great way to get to your customers. There are strengths and weaknesses, which we can talk over. There are at least 3 businesses already doing this.
  • Where can I get trade insurance? We have an insurance company who specialise in mobile bike repair businesses. That include working from home, bike hire, public liability, working at events and more. This would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat. This insurance info would be part of the info supplied as a  Cycle Tech UK member.  
  • Where can I get trade accounts? As a  Cycle Tech UK member, I would personally open trade accounts for you with our main suppliers. You will also receive a full list of suppliers and what they sell. This would include a stock list of setup parts in your member's pack. If you cant make it to our trade meetings to open accounts and meet the suppliers. I will send you application to open accounts or put you in touch with recommended suppliers known to  Cycle Tech UK. (Subject to their terms and conditions.) There are many suppliers and I have found that they range in quality is from excellent to terrible. This would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat.    
  • How much stock would I need to buy to start my business? To run a professorial mobile repair business full time, you would need to buy a setup of stock, as to our stock lists of workshop parts supplied in our member's pack, and further invest in stock as you business grows. This and how much to invest is included in our members pack and would be disused in more detail as a Cycle Tech UK member.
  • What tools do I need? Having the right tools for the job is the first step towards a successful business. I don’t recommend buying cheap tools. You need to make your living from using these tools every day. Cycle Tech UK can provide guidance on essential tools to start up your business.
  • How do I find out more?  What's included in our 3 options available, agreement, and costs will be sent to you by email when you email me your enquiry.
  • How do I join Cycle Tech UK? After our first meeting or chat, you will receive "by email" the information that's included when you join Cycle Tech UK, the cost and licence agreement for you to read and sign. 
  • Can I chat with you on Skype? Yes. My user name is cycletech1. The info on the 3 options available and agreement, will be sent to you by email. For you to read before we chat on Skype in more detail. Please email martin@cycle-tech.co.uk to arrange a time to chat on Skype and for info to be sent.
  • I see from your Blog you have meetings at trade shows. Would it be possible to meet you at one of these trade show? Unfortunately it would not be possible. There is a lot you would gain at a trade show meetings and is exclusive to Cycle Tech UK members. 
  • Can I be added to your mailing list? Yes. Everybody who contacts me is automatically added to our mailing list, for the latest news and info about the network of mobile bicycle mechanics.   
  • When can I start? Depends on your position. There is more than one first thinks in setting up a new mobile bike business. This would be talked over in more detail at your first meeting or chat. You can join our network before you are trained for the business info to help to get your business started, you just won't be listed on our website and no technical support until all term of agreement are met and you are ready to go live. If you can set yourself up while still working will make a big difference when you start trading, with cash flow. Just need to give yourself a time scale.
  • When is a good time to start? Anytime is good but during the winter months is better. You will have time to become familiar with the operation before spring rolls around, and the local people will have some months to get use to your presence. If you already have the skills and knowledge, you could start you business anytime.      
  • Can I start this business part time? You will find it difficult to deal with customers needs, if you are working a 9 to 5 job. There are some guys doing this, "we have firemen" who work shifts 3 days on 4 days off and this is just temporary for 12 months leading to full time. You will soon find this is a full time business as it will take up a lot of your time. It is a good way to help fund the setup, but for this to work you really need to be full time or looking at being full time after say 3 months. (The time it takes to get your business running.) And this would work if started over the winter period. In your first meeting with me, I would explain in more detail the weaknesses of running your business part time. Under Cycle Tech UK you would be expected to be running your business full time, after a set period as to our agreement.    
  • Why have some mobile bike business gone out of business? As with any business it take a lot of input, effort and planning. If you are going to spend your time on the golf course waiting for the phone to ring, your business is going to finish before you start. Customers are not looking at waiting, they will go elsewhere and not tell their friends about your bike business. Location is key also having determination and passion. 
  • Can I work from a workshop at my home? Yes. We are a mobile service, but you can offer a pickup and delivery. Cycle Tech UK offers a professorial mobile service, so I am looking for new business setups to offer a mobile repair service. This is what our customers expect, if you are working mobile, it is also good PR as you are seen working and you will be asked for a business card. You will also need a workshop, as there are times you take bikes away to fix while waiting for parts. Under cycle Tech UK your main business would be a mobile repair service. 
  • Would I need a garage to either work from, store parts and bikes? Yes. Even mobile bike mechanics can't function without a workshop. There is going to be a time when you need to do repairs at home, also you are going to need a place to store bikes and stock. As a Cycle Tech UK member, 90% of your work would be mobile. 
  • I want to start my business in 6 months. Can I join Cycle Tech UK now? Yes. This is a good idea, so you can start building your bike business and start your training. You can join now and receive all the business info (Subject to our terms), spend a day with me on the road or at the Saturday Bike Clinic, meet at trade shows. Some people using this approach are members of the armed forces, before they come to the end of there term. Your business would not be listed on our website, you would be unable to open trade accounts and you would be unable to use the Cycle Tech UK Trade Mark until all requirements to the conditions of Cycle Tech UK are met and you are ready to go live.   
  • I would like to join your forum? Unfortunately the forum is for trade members only. In our changing market and the number of new mobile bike businesses starting, we have kept for members only.  
  • I just need the help of finding good suppliers, a stock list and insurance. Can you help with just this? Yes. There are 3 options I can help you with, the DIY option is for those that only need start up help in certain areas of their business. I can discuss with you what you need to make a successful business and tailor to your needs. 
  • Why setup under the Cycle Tech UK name and Logo? With continued help and business support, your chances of success are much higher. We want to be known for offering the best service. The Cycle Tech UK name and logo is an assurance of quality guarantee to our customers that we are all working to a high standard, and all members are committed to maintaining our high standards of practise. Being a part of our network and sharing ideas and knowledge.  
  • Are you a franchise? No. I don't plan to make this a franchise; it's not what we are about. We are a cooperation, a Network of like minded mechanics. This business is unique, with Cycle Tech UK mechanics offering a great friendly service that conveniently comes to the customer. It's not too corporate for a group of people who are by nature individualistic and happy to be their own boss. You will find that customers like using independent business for their care of service rather than a business working to a target. See Thinking of joining a franchise.  
Other questions like where to and where not to advertise, territory, business plan, what tools do I need and more would be talked in more detail at your first meeting. 

When you join Cycle Tech UK:
  • What is included? 
  1. A 28 page welcome pack with more than 34 lists of important information and guides. From becoming self employed for the first time, pricing & packaging to running a successful mobile bike business.   
  2. 18 important documents (PDF & word) to start and run your new mobile bicycle repair business. The above has been put together since 2008 from my experience as a mobile bicycle mechanic and helping new business setup's.
  3. My support. From meeting you, to help setting up and running your business, including tech help. 
  4. What is included in full would be discussed in full at our first meeting or chat.  
      These questions and many others would be answered and talked over at your first meeting or chat with me, also supplied in more detail in our welcome pack, when you join Cycle Tech UK. More info can be found on our Starting a mobile bicycle repair business Page. Please read this Blog first!  As I do get a lot of emails and then feel free to contact me, to see how I can help you start your new bike business. 

      I run my mobile repair business full time, help new members start their new bike business, support, meetings with potential new bike business setups, updating websites/Blog, trade shows and sending out newsletters. (And finding time to go for a bike ride) So I just don't have the time to help everyone for free. I wish I could as I enjoy the challenge and to meet like minded people with the same interest. I do feel I give a lot of useful info on this Blog and support the network of mobile bicycle mechanics.

      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.

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