Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bike Shop investor


Last summer, I saw an advertisement on Craigslist for a local bicycle shop that wanted to sell its business. The price listed for the business surprised me, as it wasn't that high. I emailed the ad to my friend Charles, who has worked in bike shops for over 20 years and struck me as someone who would do great with his own shop.

He looked into it, decided that the business for sale wasn't a good deal. But the whole process made him think seriously about opening a bike shop himself. He and his wife started researching things, found a good location, wrote up a business plan, etc., and have now opened under the name Passion Trail Bikes.

Passion Trail Bikes is specializing in high end mountain bikes. To the average person, the bikes are very expensive. But for people who have a passion for mountain biking, the brands that he carries (Intense, Maverick, Turner, Specialized S-Works, Giant, etc.) are the types of bikes they would buy. And the service level they provide matches the quality of the bikes. Last August, he wrote a Blog posting about his vision for the shop.

Funding for any start up is hard, particularly for a guy who has worked in bike shops for his whole life. But he found that many people believe in him and his vision and was able to come up with money. I also believe in him enough that I am now actually a part-owner (a minority stake - just a little piece) of the business.

I am excited. In many ways this is going better than I expected - I knew Charles would be great. But I found that he and his wife complement each other amazingly well business-wise (along with marriage-wise). She is managing the books, along with doing many of the artistic things like designing the logo. And they hired another very good friend of mine, and an avid cyclist, Berry, to work in the shop, and his skills in construction have been instrumental in turning an empty building into a bike shop (all well above and beyond what a bike shop employee would normally do), helping keep the start-up costs low.

As with any new business, there is always a risk that it won't make it. But they have made great progress and things are looking good so far.

去年の夏にCraigslistによると売り自転車屋のアドだそうだ。 希望価格は安いと思ったので、びっくりした。そのアドをチャールズさんという友だちにメールした。 チャールズさんは20年以上自転車屋で働いているし、いい自転車屋の持ち主になると思う。

チャールズさんは調べたが、その店はちょっと。でも新しい店を始めることにした。奥さんと場所を調べたり、経営計画を書いたり、して、Passion Trail Bikesという自転車屋を始めた。ハイエンドのマウンテン・バイクの販売とリペアを専門とする。


色めき立っている。予想以上に良い。 勿論チャールズさんはいいだろう。でもチャールズさんと奥さんは互いに助け合い補い合う。 奥さんは帳付けしたり、芸術活動したり、する。私のいい友だち、ベルイさん、を雇った。ベルイさんは店の建設工事しながら自転車社員する。建設労働者を雇わなくてもよいので、建設費は安かった。




Post a Comment

<< Home