Thinking about opening a bicycle dealers business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Bicycle Industry Trends
Biking is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. -- and it's growing in leaps and bounds every day. Why have bicycles suddenly become so popular? Although everyone has their own reasons for taking up biking, a combination of factors including rising fuel prices and healthy lifestyle trends have caused demand for bikes, accessories and bicycle services to skyrocket.
This meteoric rise in popularity is both a boon and a bane for bike shop entrepreneurs. While rising demand bodes well for new bike stores, rapid spikes in demand have driven scores of entrepreneurs into the bicycle dealer industry, creating a highly competitive business environment for emerging storeowners.
Aspiring bicycle storeowners can't ignore proper market evaluation and differentiation in their startup strategies. For many startups, the key to long-term survival will rest in their ability to dominate a niche or section of the local market, and to build a community following around their enterprise.
Specialization Options for Bicycle Store Startups
Your bike shop's area of specialization will have a trickle down effect on the rest of your startup. Although bike shops carry a range of products and accessories, the most successful ones typically end up focusing on a sector of the marketplace.
Common bike shop specializations include mountain biking, road racing, leisure bikes, bike rentals and youth/teen bikes. Before you settle on a specialization, analyze your target market to determine the types of bikes that have the highest demand and the fewest number of competitors in your geographic territory.
Creating a Community Around Your New Bicycle Shop
Bicycle stores and other fitness-based retail businesses have learned the value of creating communities around their products and services. Many bike shop customers are interested in more than just buying bikes and accessories. They're also looking for opportunities to enjoy their sport and to engage with a community of like-minded bicycling enthusiasts.
Community building begins by staffing your store with real cyclists -- not just high school kids looking to make a few bucks working a cash register. The difference is that cycling enthusiasts can provide your customers with real insights and create a vastly improved buying experience.
From there, consider hosting cycling groups (e.g. beginners/intermediate/advanced), meetups and even races from your startup. As your customers become more firmly entrenched in your shop's activities, they will become loyal buyers and begin to spread positive mentions about your startup through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Best Bicycle Dealers Company Business Plans
How good is your bicycle dealers company's business plan? If you aren't completely confident in the quality of your business plan, it could be because you haven't invested enough time and effort in its creation.
Although there are a lot of tasks screaming for your attention, cutting corners on your business plan can be a precursor to disaster. Why? Because there are a multitude of reasons why your company can't succeed without a sound business plan.
From a business ownership perspective, that makes business planning your first priority - and not a task that can be assigned to the back burner.
New business owners often consider customer density when exploring site selection, but other factors are equally important. Are there many viable employees nearby, for example? There's a lot to consider and you need to do a thorough analysis.
Well in advance of opening a bicycle dealers business within your community, it's worthwhile to determine what the competition looks like. Try our link below to find competitors nearby. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of bicycle dealers businesses in your area.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
If you want to open a bicycle dealers business you really ought to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
Fortunately, somebody who runs a bicycle dealers business in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Where would you find somebody who runs a bicycle dealers business who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Business Brokerage for Bicycle Dealers Business Entrepreneurs
Sooner or later, every entrepreneur confronts the choice to start a business or buy an established company. In most cases, there are compelling financial and practical reasons buying an existing bicycle dealers business.
If a business purchase seems like the right move, your first step should be to contact a qualified business broker. Why? Because business brokers offer several advantages to bicycle dealers business entrepreneurs.
The best business brokers will ensure that you get the right business for the right price, and will help you avoid common bicycle dealers business acquisition mistakes.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Recognize that your chances of achieving your top business goals increase if you decide to franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to starting a bicycle dealers business, you may want to determine whether franchising might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing bicycle dealers business, try these useful resources:
If you sell to bicycle dealers businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.