How to Start Your Own Mobile Bike Repair Business
Bike repair is a booming industry, so it’s no surprise that many people are looking to start offering this service as a side hustle. If you know a little about bikes and how they work, you’re ahead of the majority of the 100 million bicycle owners in America, many of whom will end up calling you for your repair service.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to start your own mobile bicycle repair business, even if you don’t have much capital or business expertise:
Step 1: Know Your Bicycle Stuff
As the business owner, you need to be the bicycle expert. People are entrusting their passion and safety to you, and you’ve got to be able to figure out problems, detect issues, and do a thorough repair job. Before you start spending money on your business, make sure you’re confident in the art of bike repair. Do some work on your own bike, or ask a local shop if you can apprentice for awhile until you’re confident that this is the business for you.
Step 2: Choose a Business Name
Ready to launch? If you want to be a legitimate business (and you should be), you’ll need to choose a unique business name and register it with the state. You’ll also need a business license from your local municipality, which may cost anywhere from $75 to $250.
Step 3: Make a Minimal Investment
Starting a mobile bicycle repair business means having the right tools and equipment in place so that when your first customer calls, you’ll be able to respond quickly.
Early on, you may want to invest as little as possible to ensure this is something you plan on sticking with. At minimum, you’ll need the following:
Bicycle tools (hex keys, wrenches, pliers, ratchets, screwdrivers, wire cutters, tire spoon, chain cutters, pressure gauge, etc.)
Accounting software (you can usually get this free online)
Working capital to purchase parts
A list of the top 10 tools you will need right away can be found here BICYCLE MECHANIC 7 (8) TOOLS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
Some mobile repair shops operate on four wheels (i.e. a truck), while others operate on two wheels (i.e. a bike with a tool trailer). If you decide to get a box truck to double as a workshop, you may be able to get low-cost financing through a credit union.
Step 4: Identify Your Target Market and Spread the Word
Your target is bicycle owners, so think about where you can connect with fellow cyclists who might need your services. Sporting good stores, local bike shops, gyms, athletic clubs, and local organizations are all good places to start connecting with your target market. Pass out business cards like it’s free money and start building word of mouth.
Step 5: Watch Your Profits
After you’ve been in business for awhile, make sure you’re actually making a profit and that the business is worth the time and money you’re spending on it. It’s easy to think you’re making money when people are buying your services, but a solid P&L may prove otherwise. If you find you aren’t generating enough revenue, see what you can do to change that if you want to stick with your business idea.
For more tips and inspiration, head back to the Homegrown Cycles blog!