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Advice needed please, self employed in the cycle industry ?

stunnertier1stunnertier1 Posts: 76
edited December 2009 in MTB general
Hi all,

I am urgently wanting a career change as i work in a very stressfull transport industry job with stupid shifts. I really want to get into the cycle industry but am unsure where to start off & what I could do?

I have thought about completing the Cytech complete course & start off as a mobile maintanance mechanic, as the shops around myself allways have at least a 3-4 week waiting list for services or repaires, maybe offer emergency repairs & servicing collection & delivery service?

From the research i have done I can see there is a lot of competition but there will allways be business in this industry as people will allways ride bikes!

Problems i can think of are;
Winter months where not as many people ride bikes
Purchasing of tools etc,
Somewhere to work out of (all through I can work from parents garage if required)
Initial cost of training (looking at £3000 for whole course fees)
Purchase of van for colection & delivery of bikes, (not a big prob)

Was wandering if Cytech is the best course to do or are there others i havent found for a cheaper price?

Does anyone work in a similar role that could possibly give me any advice or know of any other rols i may be able to do, if it meant working in a cycle shop for a bit then so be it.

Advise would be gratfully apreciated.

cheers all.


Kona Coilair 2008 (Marzocchi 66's up front)

Posts

  • zero303zero303 Posts: 1,162
    Insurance, you could easily have 10k or more of other peoples bikes in your van...
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    dont forget the insurance on the work you do.

    Cytec is the industry standard.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • stu8975stu8975 Posts: 1,334
    And you would have to source replacement parts on the cheap, although cytech is the recognized qualification, experience counts. Im self taught and could do a fair bit work if i had the time (occasionally i can be found in various bike shops workshops when their workload is high), i do some stuff from home too from basic check/ service to sus fork services (basic seal/oil changes). Never had any complaints and seem to get a few new people wanting stuff done. If you do good work then it will show...after all..some halfords mechanics are cytech qualified and well i'll leave it there.
  • I'd be very, very wary of setting up as a mobile cycle mechanic. You need to do as much market research as you can. As you say there is loads of competition, so how much trade do you think you're going to get? What salary are you eventally wanting to achieve?

    A chap I knew set up as a mobile mechanic, in an area where there was NO cycle shop at all. He spent a fortune and quit within a year because he drastically overestimated the amount of trade he would get.

    Marketing your business is key. Given you don't have shop premises how are people going to get to know about you? This is where you need to spend in order to get sales.

    In my opinion you need to have something like Cytech to give credability to your business. Why would someone choose you over experienced qualified mechanics in the LBS's? If it was me I'd prefer to wait to get my bike seen at an LBS rather than give it to a mechanic in a van who has no qualifications.

    Getting stock is generally less of a concern. You'll struggle to get trade accounts with the big cycle suppliers but you can effectively get cheap parts from CRC and charge full RRP to customers and make some cash.

    Spend as much time as you can information gathering and putting together some financial forecasts. If it still all adds up - then go for it.

    As an alternative why not see if any of the LBS's will give you a job? If they are really busy they may be happy for some help. Getting a bit of experience of working in the cycle industry is worth its weight in gold and will give you a good basis to build your future plans.

    Hope that helps! Good luck with whatever you decide!
  • Check out http://www.cyclefix.net Network of mobile mechanics
    Mobile Bicycle Mechanics Specialist http://www.cycletechuk.co.uk
  • P-JayP-Jay Posts: 1,478
    One thing that I thought of doing was catering to the new commuter crowd.

    Set up a little hut in my city centre, few fliers around the place offering really basic stuff, pads, flats, chains, cables etc.

    Cardiff (my home town) has gone from a small band of cyclists who just used happned to ride to work to hundred and hundreds of people riding in just to save the planet/suffering public transport/parking fee/ whatever.

    The state of some of the bikes you see!! New shiney folders and hybrids with only one set of brakes working, people pulling away huffing and puffing because they're stuck in one gear etc etc. There's half a dozen or so quality LBS's in Cardiff, but I doubt this lot have the first clue where they are, and are probably a bit put off by all the hardcore MTB/Roadies in there.

    There's something like it in Bristol, I sat outside the station for an hour once waiting for a train watching it, seemed to be busy.

    I could have done it too, but I thought I'd play it safe and spunked all my redundancy money into setting up as a self employed finance broker. I make less money than a burger flipper ATM>
  • covelovecovelove Posts: 209
    sounds like a good idea however, i know i guy who runs a small bike shop and does a collection and mobile service for repairs, he makes some work from this but i dont know if he could rely on this as his only trade,
    good luck whatever you decide!
    does my tail look hard in this?

    cove stiffee

    orange 222
  • If you are serious in setting up a business in the cycle trade. For all the information on starting a new business in the cycle industry
    VIEW HERE > http://www.cycletech.freeforums.org/

    Details on: How much work and money is there, fixing bicycles?????? Open trade accounts, buy tools and more.............................

    Links to training ?http://www.cyclefix.net/links.html
    Mobile Bicycle Mechanics Specialist http://www.cycletechuk.co.uk
  • you might be able to make a 'living', but the money is never going to be great. Unless you can get some good supply chains and start building custom bikes etc
  • That’s why I started the Network of mobile bicycle mechanics. To give free advice and point you in the right direction. The mobile bicycle business can be very profitable. People are looking for new ideas as they are not happy with the standard of service found in some bike shops. And with the busy life style, are happy with the mobile service. No more putting the bike in the car and having to return 2 - 4 weeks later. Also able to give customer care, a one to one service.
    Its not easy running any business. There is lots to think about and challenges. Which you need to over come. You will need to do your accounts, pay TAX & NI. No holiday or sick pay. It’s good to keep everything in one place and be organized. Pay your accounts on time and most suppliers give discount for this. You may need to get advice from accountant. Also It’s a good idea to have a cash flow. Most business don’t make any money for the first 3 years, all the profit is put back in. But being mobile there is less overheads to a bike shop. The bicycle trade can be a roller coaster ride.
    It will take time for you to become known! You need to be found. Most people now use the internet. And word of mouth is the best way.
    I can help you with advice where to find work/customers all year round.
    Mobile Bicycle Mechanics Specialist http://www.cycletechuk.co.uk
  • There is over 40 members and 36 Mobile bicycle business listed in the UK. Why don’t you view the websites of the moble bicycle mechanics network. And see what type of service they offer! And see if this is for you! This type of business will continue to grow

    Blog > http://mobilebicyclerepairs.blogspot.com/
    Mobile Bicycle Mechanics Specialist http://www.cycletechuk.co.uk
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