Any business starting from home does not require much investment. This is because it is always on a small scale and a number of overheads like office/shop rent etc. are totally eliminated. If you have an aptitude for mechanical work and like fixing things, you may start a bicycle or motorcycle repair shop.
However, even if you already have the skills to do the job, it is advised that you should attend some classes on the subject at your local technical school. It can be ensured that you will improve your knowledge regarding bicycle repair and motorcycle repair.
Develop a business plan
It is essential that before starting any business, we should plan it and look into its viability. A good business plan to start a bicycle or motorcycle repair shop will be the first step towards success of your business. The plan will encircle the following:
- Shop requirement: You need to find a room in your house with its doors opening outside on the road. You may need to do some alterations in your house to get a room to be converted into a repair shop.
- Tools & Equipment requirement: You should list out the tools required for repair of bicycles and motorcycles. You may initially purchase essentially required tools & Equipment only.
- Finance requirements: Assess the expenses required for alteration in the house as explained above and the cost of tools & Equipment. Now you need to consider from where to get funding to do the needful. This funding may be from your own pocket or partially from your pocket and partially some loans from family members, friends, some investors, local banks or any government agency. However, if you have to borrow funds from outside for your motor cycle repair shop or bicycle repair shop, you may face some terms & conditions.
- Permits & Licenses: You should check for the laws and regulations in your area for starting a bicycle or motorcycle repair shop. You may need to get some sort of licenses and/or permits to open a shop and do a particular business.
- Competitors: Look for your competitors in your business in your area. Check for their rates for doing different jobs. See, whether those rates are viable for you. Whether you can reduce the rates to attract customers?
Develop a marketing strategy
In order to develop a marketing strategy, you have to look around. You will see a lot of people who are fond of riding these two wheel vehicles. If you check for the sale points of bicycles and motorcycles, you will find that these are available for sale at almost all big stores selling consumer goods. This proves that people like to purchase them. However, you will not find too many repair shops for such things and the available repair shops charge too much for their repair due to their monopolistic position in the area. Now if the bicycle or the motorcycle breaks down, the owners should get it repaired at a high cost or replace it with a new one, throwing away the old one. This means that if you charge reasonable rates for their repair you can fetch a good market.
While developing a Marketing Strategy, you should first target your market. Look for the area where most of the population is middle standard and normally enjoy to ride a bicycle or a motorcycle to live within their means. Find out your competitors in that area and find out how much they charge for some specific jobs. Just fix some lower rate to compete them.
Start repairing bicycles and / or bikes and their tires for your friends, neighbors and relatives. Their words of mouth, to their friends and relatives, in your favor, will be helpful in expanding your business. Distribute flyers and business cards in the area. Your flyers should tell that you charge very reasonable rates. These should be put in mailboxes in that area displayed on notice boards of the community centers. Business cards may be given to everyone you come across.
Determine what tools are required to operate
Normally a standard Tool Box available in the market will suffice. However, some special tools may also be needed for repair of a bicycle or a motorcycle. These special tools will not cost too much. You may skip more expensive tools like bike stand etc. used at bigger shops and purchase those at a later stage when your business grows and become stable. In fact, this business is mainly concerned with your hands on experience and expertise which you will get with the passage of time. You will not need all the tools immediately. The tools you are short of can be purchased as when the need arises.
One more word of advice would be that you study some good bicycle and motorcycle repair manuals before actually starting to work on. Some of the jobs could be very simple and easy like changing tires, but on the other hand some jobs could need some expertise such as adjusting the brakes etc. You will develop your skills with the passage of time when you come across such jobs.
During repairs, you may need some spare parts to replace the defective ones. New parts could be expensive and your customers may not afford their cost. It is advisable that visit some junk yards and get different types of used spare parts. You may also earn profits on these parts when you replace the defective ones. Your customer will be happy to pay a low price for the replaced parts. As the time passes and you develop your reputation with the growth of your business, many people will come to sell their irreparable bicycles or motorcycle and you can get them at very cheap rates. This will develop your inventory of spare parts.
Your business will grow at a rapid speed if you are punctual in opening your shop, satisfy your customers by doing exceptionally good work, your attitude towards your customers is appreciable and you do your job within the time frame you give to your customer. You will then not need any type of advertisement and your customers will do it for you.
We have discussed the general basic needs to start with the business. As the business grows, new needs will emerge and you will be able to tackle the situations according to the situations.
A person with an aptitude in fixing things rightly may start this profitable business. This will also be a service to the community as a whole.