A mechanically inclined entrepreneur with an interest in cycling can earn a great income repairing bicycles right from the comfort of a homebased workshop. In addition to big profit potential, there are many other advantages to operating a bicycle repair service, including low overhead, huge demand for the service in an ever-growing sport, and flexible full- or part-time hours. The key to marketing your services is to join bicycling clubs and organizations in your community, largely because members can become customers and refer other bicycling enthusiasts to your business. You can also work on a contract basis for bicycle retailers to handle their overflow work during the busy season. Likewise, advertising online in cycling forums or in your community newspaper and distributing fliers detailing the services you provide can attract new business.
ASK THE PROS:
How much money can you make?
“How profitable can a bicycle repair service be? Just ask any one of the thousands of bicycle repair shop owners who are now making a handsome profit from their business. You can earn $50 per hour or more, and additional profits can be made on parts sales.” —Entrepreneur staff
What kind of experience do you need to have?
“Even if you are not experienced in bicycle repairs, there are a number of schools offering bicycle mechanic courses that take only a few weeks to complete, such as those offered by United Bicycle Institute in Oregon.” —Entrepreneur staff
What’s the most important thing to know about this business?
“In many parts of the country, this business tends to be seasonal, but you can find ways around that. Rent a storage unit and offer to store people’s bicycles over the winter after you do a tune-up and any needed repairs on them. If you want to cater to the Tour de France wannabes, you can have business all year round. These road race riders are training through snow, sleet and dark of night. Some of them work on their own bicycles, but many of them don’t, so you can get their business all year. And if you keep Saturday shop hours, you can be sure you will have a group of enthusiasts coming by to talk all things cycling.” —Entrepreneur staff
Whether it’s replacing a bicycle chain or fixing a flat tire, your business will serve anyone needing repair work done. Be sure to establish alliances with bicycling clubs and organizations in the community, as the membership of these clubs can become potential customers of the bicycle repair business.