Bicycle workshop – expert’s adviceAugust 10, 2021
The bicycle remains a popular means of locomotion even in an era dominated by motorized vehicles. Moreover, we can even say that the number of followers continues to increase. In fact, between 2016 and 2019, bicycle sales and repair services generated a turnover of between 1 and 2 billion dollars. This is why opening a bicycle workshop is a good investment. It will still be necessary to know exactly how to profit from it. Indeed, this supposes the creation of a real business in due form. Also, here are some tips for successfully setting up a profitable workshop.
I / Open a bike workshop, create a business plan
Opening a bicycle workshop presupposes that we establish a real business plan because it is a project in its own right. In this case, it will be necessary to clearly define its objectives and also to choose the corporate form of the company. The financial aspect is also a point that will have to be looked at more seriously.
A) Definition of the objective
In order to better concentrate your efforts, it is essential to clearly define your objective. A bicycle workshop can be:
- A simple bicycle model repair or restoration workshop
In this first case, there is no need for major development. A simple room is more than enough. This only needs to provide the right material and equipment for the operation. The room must also provide sufficient space for storage. This will help organize customer orders.
Most of the workshops are “artisan” in style and operate with minimal means. However, they remain quite viable, even very profitable thanks to the know-how of the manager or the repairer, but also to the volunteers who lend a hand. It suffices to transform the room into a sort of “Café” where ordinary laymen and real experts meet.
- A real structure with a team of professionals
In this case, it is essential to know the basics of project management. There will therefore be proper offices not to mention the employees. Here, we are talking about creating a business with a commercial vocation that will sell services or practical products such as parts (frames, wheels, mudguards, etc.).
Everything also depends on the means available and the skills of the founders. Otherwise, it will always be a good idea to call in a professional to facilitate the decision-making. The latter will also be able to carry out the procedures for registration or draft legal acts. For those who have only modest means, a bicycle repair service is a good start. Then, they will be free to add other complementary and related activities.
B) Market research and choice of premises
This step is unavoidable once the objective has been defined. It consists of knowing whether it is appropriate to invest in this field of activity. To do this, the entrepreneur must ask himself various questions to facilitate his data collection:
- What kind of person is interested in bike workshops?
- Are they more interested in repairing, buying or even renting bicycles?
- What use for bicycles?
- What is the level of competition or are many of them offering bicycle-related services?
- How easy is it to find a partner?
- What is the price for the services offered by the competition.
All these questions will in reality answer a central question: will opening a bicycle workshop balance supply and demand? Or in other words, can the market support a new entrant?
The perfect location
This determines the turnover. A bad choice of location will inevitably lead to the end of the business since it will not find customers. It is recommended to settle in what is called catchment areas.
These zones are geographic constituencies or areas in which potential customers congregate. To identify them, the analysis of the results of the market research is essential. It can be a district, a municipality, or even an entire city.
The three zone levels
- The tertiary or low attractiveness zone: this means that the place has only a relatively small number of ideal profiles. However, with an attractive offer, she is capable of customers.
- The secondary zone: this one benefits from a fairly average score. Customers have several solutions in this area, as providers offer their bicycle products or services at the same price. To develop its activity in this area, the company will have to pay attention to detail, including well thought-out advertising.
- The primary zone: the level of attractiveness is at its maximum. This is usually a location close to bike paths or bike parks. It is ipso facto the ideal location for the workshop.
II / Steps to open a bicycle workshop
It is always more advantageous to exercise activity in compliance with the regulations in force when you want to open a bike workshop:
A) The legal form of the workshop
For those who want to open a bicycle workshop, the choices are quite numerous for the legal form of this one.
In general, those who are new to entrepreneurship opt for the microenterprise or the sole proprietorship. This merges with the entrepreneur and does not have its own legal personality. Its accounting is simplified and it benefits from numerous tax privileges. Since there is only one simple leader, its management is in principle quite easy. Nevertheless, it remains unsuitable for large-scale projects.
For a larger investment, it is better to opt for the corporate form. Also, this means that the heritage of the workshop will be dissociated from that of its owner. In this case, the latter will only have limited liability towards the creditors for the debts generated by the company. In all cases, it will be necessary to follow certain steps for the registration of the company.
B) Opt for turnkey solutions
Those who have great competence in repairing, buying/selling, or recovering bikes do not always have the competence to open a bicycle workshop in compliance with the standards. As a result, turnkey solutions turn out to be an excellent solution for them.
A solution adapted to the expectations of those who want to open a bicycle workshop
An operational company will be handed over to them. It will be created from scratch from A to Z and will meet the customer’s needs. To do this, the professional in charge of the project will in principle ask him to answer questionnaires. Then thanks to the answers, several alternatives will be possible (legal form, size of the company, or tax regime).
The agency that offers the turnkey business will support the future manager in his first steps in the world of entrepreneurship. He will have real training in project management, particularly in finance and accounting. He will benefit from the same personalized advice and recommendations, particularly with regard to the choice of premises.