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Bike Retail Industry(3 posts)

Bike Retail Industrysergiobogazzi
Aug 28, 2003 7:55 PM
I'm looking into opportunities in the retail bike, mountain bike industry. I'm well aware of the difficulties that comes with retail, as well as the low profit margins of bike retail, but any advice/tips from current shop owners would be very appreciated. Thanks!

re: Bike Retail IndustryHeron Todd
Aug 29, 2003 2:02 PM
As you probably know, it is tough, tough, tough to make a decent living in bicycle retail. Be sure to research your market carefully before you open. If there is a good size local market, don't worry (yet) about existing competition. A big market with competition has much more upside than a small market with no competition.

Once you have examined your market, look at your competition, and not just other bike shops. What are the recreational opportunities for cyclists in your area? Are there places to ride? Is it easier for folks to golf than ride a bike? With this knowledge, you have to define your shop. What will you provide that nobody else is? The best customer service? The best price? The best selection? The most comfortable shopping environment? What will set you apart from the other shops?

Lastly, you need a good business plan. Work with your local Small Business Development Center (usually found at the local community college - check the phone book). They can assist with putting the plan together, finding a bank, an accountant, and a storefront. Be as conservative as possible in your plan. One old joke is to figure how much money you'll need to open and then at least double it. Most new businesses fail from lack of cash so be prepared!

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
Tullio's Big Dog Cyclery
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
re: Bike Retail IndustryZogpound
Aug 29, 2003 5:01 PM
I'm currently researching opening a new retail shop myself. I have found lots of resources from my local chamber of commerce and my state department of development. they have a small business development center that is great.
I also found this site that has been extremely helpful in writing a business plan. Anything you read will tell you a good business plan is crucial for success.
The feds can be helpful as well.