Launch your bicycle business from your home today and combine your enthusiasm of bicycles with your business aspirations.
This is certainly a terrific green business idea for supporting the environment while encouraging better health – getting us out of our cars and onto our bicycles!
Listen to this video about how this young man and his partner got their bicycle business started on a shoestring budget -- hopefully, it will give you some ideas!
Put your bike expertise to work providing courier services, teaching others to ride safely, or helping others keep their bicycles well maintained and repaired.
These ideas for a home business can help you get started very quickly. Since you take care of your bike(s), you have the knowledge and skills to help others learn to ride bicycles or provide needed maintenance and repairs.
When starting your bicycle business, there are a variety of options on which services you’d like to offer to your customers.
Your bicycle business will provide important services as you share your love of commuting, sport, racing, safety, and/or provide your customers who are “not so handy” (like me!) with repairs to gears, brakes, tires, and other maintenance.
There is a large market of customers who do not have safe bikes and would rather hire you (with expertise in the bicycle business) than to be worried about their bike breaking down when out for an otherwise enjoyable ride.
You’ll be able to provide your customers with the confidence their bike is adequately repaired/maintained and they have adequate safety gear. Let your customers enjoy the freedom of the “ride” without the hassle of maintenance/repairs.
If you're in a populated area where parking is almost non-existent a bicycle courier business may be just the ticket! You'll be able to weave in and out of traffic more quickly than those with cars and it won't take you an hour to find a parking space. This is definitely a green alternative even in your live in a smaller community.
Equip your bicycle business with a full-service workshop to store bikes, extra parts, tools, safety gear, etc. Look to your home to determine if you have adequate space in a garage, workshop, basement, or other space to minimize your start-up costs.
Once your workshop is set-up, get the word out to your friends and family about your new business – ask them to spread the word! Post a sign on local bulletin boards, in bike shops, and attend local bike races providing information about the services you’re offering.
Your bicycle business will provide you with the opportunity to have a healthy green business and make money at home either part-time or full-time.
Offer a 10-point tune-up special – checking handlebars, pedals, front wheels, back wheels, brakes, cables, hand levers, rear/front derailleur, tires, and hubs. Carry a small inventory of accessories to provide to your customers (e.g. reconditioned bike trailers, reflective tape, locks, lights, bike bags, extra tire tubes, air pumps, tire patch kits, etc.)
1) Buy used bikes and bike trailers in poor repair, fix them, and sell them.
2) Carry a small inventory of quality, fast-moving bicycle accessories for your customers to purchase directly from you (look for wholesale sources).
3) If close to a university, college campus, or downtown area; keep a supply of bikes for rent allowing students to get around campus easily or get some exercise at lunch (another green business ideas) and consider selling advertising on your bikes.
4) Provide quick seminars on “how to change a tire” or “bike safety” for your customers.
5) Offer bicycle painting or cleaning services.
6) Keep good quality new/used bicycle parts (handlebars, pedals, wheels, frames) to provide your customers with quick fixes.
7) Provide mobile services for your customers -- travel to your customers' home or office to fix their bikes.
8) Offer digital photography of your customers with their bikes (or at a sporting/racing event) as an additional service,
9) Use these same ideas and start your motorcycle repair business.
10) Sell good quality bike racks and offer advice on the correct bike rack for different types of situations. Here's a helpful infographic, "Just Rack It - A guide to Buying the Perfect Bike Rack" to give you some great insight on the different types of racks.
Your bicycle business will need a workshop area for securing bikes, parts, and your tools, a scheduling system for tracking customers, bikes, and providing services within the time specified (try to get bikes back to customers within 24-48 hours or as quickly as possible). Knowledge of costs associated with repairing bikes, wholesale bike parts/safety item sources, and ability to provide correct estimates to your customer.
Time Required: 5-15 hrs/week; can work full-time 30-40+ hrs/week
Training: Obtain training teaching sports riding, racing, maintenance/repair of different types of bicycles and safety requirements. Obtain your training from other individuals, local bicycle shops, community colleges, or recreation centers. Consider attending a class on scheduling and inventory control at the local community college.
Market: Bicycle riders
Home Based: Yes
Start-Up Costs: $500 - $5,000
Minimizing Start-Up Costs: Use existing space in your garage or home as a workshop for your bicycle business along with the tools you own for fixing your bike(s). Minimize cash outlay by buying special bicycle parts only when you have a customer’s bike that needs these parts.
Think about requesting payment prior to ordering specialized items to minimize your cash outlay. Use word-of-mouth advertising to let your customers know you’re in business. Identify “freeware” or “shareware” to meet your scheduling needs and to receive credit cards for payment.