So you’ve made the decision, and you want to go it alone. You’re going to open up your own motorcycle business. Well, good luck and we all hope it goes well…. at this point everyone you know leaves you to get on with it.
Well, how about one final check to ensure you’ve got everything you need to succeed in running a business.
Whether you’re opening a service business from your garage or opening a store, the same is true; location, location, location! You’ll need space for those bikes you’re going to service or sell and you must be far enough away from the established motorcycle businesses. But near enough to where bikers live and ride. If you’re not sure, then check out the Bikers are welcome site where they have lists of biker friendly routes across the UK and Europe and biker friendly businesses across the world – get yourself listed as a destination.
You’ll know the costs of your premises, no doubt, and your business plan (you’ve sorted all this?) will have told you how many units you need to sell every week to break even. You’ll also need your business to be insured and that you’ve worked out the basics of taxes and who will do your accounts. Don’t forget to keep all the bills and receipts from day one to avoid any nasty shocks from the accountant when they do your return – and they need paying too!
You may well be starting out alone, but at some point, you’ll be wanting an extra pair of hands. Staff are another one of those keys to success or failure; recruitment of the right people (not necessarily you mates!), is a must for a new business. Mechanics, salespeople, accountants – recruit experience and personality; recruit people that understand you.
Yes, the internet can seem to require a lot of knowledge and ‘tricks’ to be successful. But it’s how the world works these days. Have a site built which reflects what you offer and let people contact you by phone, email, semaphore, anything. Make sure you answer them! Find sites where you can offer your services to the people that need them – target the right motorcyclists; off-roaders don’t read track-day blogs. There are plenty of sites where you can get mentioned as a point of reference – Big Bike Mad is a great example of a site which targets certain types of motorcyclist.
- Be a nice guy (or girl!)
The personality of the business owner is the one thing that can genuinely help a business to succeed. Yes, you’re a business, but go the extra mile; clean the bikes you service; pick prospective buyers up from the train station; do everything you can to let your customers know that they are important to you. It works. It always works for me.