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The ultimate guide to starting a profitable bike shop

By Andrew Antokhin


Navigating the bike shop business landscape Expert insights: Moving premises? Learn from a bike shop owner's experience Connect with nearby business owners Get the ball rolling Secure your bike shop Take your old alarm Inform your suppliers of your new location Create awareness How to start a bike shop: The ultimate guide Research the market Choose your business name Pick the right spot Get your business plan ready Factor in the cost of the business startup Fund your bike shop franchise Decide on your business structure Register your business Set up shop Put your bike shop business out there A guide to bike shop etiquette: Building customer relationships Conclusion: Setting your bike shop up for success

Discover the essential steps, do's and don'ts, and key etiquette practices for successfully launching and managing a bike shop. Whether you're a novice entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the intricacies of the bike retail industry, from market research to customer interactions.

As a bike lover or rider, nothing beats the thrill and spills that comes with opening a bike shop. Earning big bucks doing what you love and connecting with like-minded individuals feels like the stuff dreams are made of.

However, before diving head first into the bike store franchise or bike repair franchise business amidst all of the excitement, you should acquaint yourself with the do's and don'ts. So, let's get right into it and set you on the path to success.

Do's and don'ts of opening a bike shop


  • Study your location and find out the best bait you can use to attract your target audience
  • Ensure you have a satisfactory credit score (at least 700+)
  • Carefully read the lease agreement before renting a premise to avoid any foul play
  • Prioritize customer satisfaction and hospitality
  • Come up with a comprehensive and achievable business plan
  • Create an attractive brand identity on social media and on-site
  • Focus on building a community of loyal customers
  • Employ and retain only high performing staff
  • Make any customer that works in the door of your shop feel special
  • Acquire relevant information on how to make sales and put it to action
  • Always come across as approachable, dedicated, and helpful
  • Encourage variety in products selection (Remember variety is the spice of life)
  • Be wary of cheap stock offers from suppliers
  • Be adaptable to market changes and trends
  • Pay attention to details when running your bike franchise
  • Ensure your opening and closing hours are tailored to suit your ideal customers
  • Make sure there's a parking space for customers visiting your shop


  • Don't overprice your products and services in an attempt to get quick returns
  • Don't work with suspicious brands
  • Don't spend all your earnings (save for rainy days)
  • Don't employ person to shoulder the responsibilities of 7 persons
  • Don't give discounts without factoring in the financial implications
  • Don't employ family and friends (if possible)

Expert insights: Moving premises? Learn from a bike shop owner's experience


“Moving premises is never an easy experience. But then, life happens and requires that you swim with the tides by relocating your bike franchise. Whatever the reason for relocation maybe, one thing is certain — you want your bicycle shop franchise to thrive on your new grounds.”

“You've probably envisioned your bike shop as the go-to option for any rider or bike lover. Beautiful thoughts. However, it won't be a walk in the park.” Those were the words of Mr. Michael, a flourishing bike shop owner in his mid-40s, during our recent interview.

Mr. Michael had had his fair share of the ups and downs that comes with moving premises. Now, having found his feet and grown the reputation of his shop at his new location, there's no better person to guide bike shop owners who might tread this path in the future.

Without further ado, here are some tips he shared that will come handy if you are faced with moving to a new location:

Connect with nearby business owners

Since you're new to the environment, you need all the help you can get with settling into your new environment as quickly as possible.

You'll most likely find established businesses around. Make it a point of duty to interact with them and build relationships.

Doing this will give you a feel of how businesses work within that environment and help you map out a strategy that gets you off on the right foot.

Get the ball rolling

It's a fresh start for you as a bicycle shop owner regardless of your relocation trigger. You've had to change your turf and dip your toe in the water. And truth be told, starting afresh in a new environment somewhat foreign to you can be a lot to handle. Nonetheless, you've to make this moment count. Get your bike shop up and running.

Secure your bike shop

Let's face facts: You (or your employees) won't be at your bike shop 24/7. Bike poachers know this and will always be ready to pounce on the opportunity when it presents itself. Not to worry, you can beat them at their game by installing CCTV cameras, security grilles, and observing other security measures.

Take your old alarm

Your old alarm system remains relevant as long as it continues to do the job — reducing the possibility of bike theft. Hence, you there's no need spend on getting a new one even though you're at a new location. As they say, “if it isn’t broke, don't fix it.”

Inform your suppliers of your new location

Your bike (or bike spare parts) suppliers should be one of the first set of people you inform about your new location. Communicating this recent development across to them will prevent a scenario where they deliver goods to the previous location based on the existing agreement because they were not aware of your recent move.

Create awareness

Now, it's time to announce your brand and draw the attention of your target audience. Getting that first customer through the doors and out with a smile of satisfaction on their face will do your business a world of good. You know it.

Fortunately, your supportive family and friends can help in this regard by spreading the word of your business with the hope of attracting interested individuals. Also, create and share flyers to residents while leveraging the power of social media by running well targeted ads.

How to start a bike shop: The ultimate guide


If opening a bike shop piques your interest, it's only right that you equip yourself with all the information you need to make a successful start to your entrepreneurial journey.

Although it won't be easy, you can feed off our experience in the bike business industry and avoid any potential greenhorn mistake. Ready to lay the building blocks and tap into the bicycle franchise opportunities? Here are a few tips on how to open a bicycle shop.

Research the market

Before making a move to open a bicycle shop like Dons Bicycle Shop or Moments Bicycles, take time out study the market you'll venturing into. It's a new terrain for you. Therefore, you need to know your potential competitors, ideal customers, and the best location to find them. In a nutshell, market research should provide answers to these questions:

  • Is there room for my bike franchise at this location?
  • Are there products or services other bike shops don't offer that I can bring to the table?
  • Should I focus on casual riders, delivery riders, professional riders, or provide a warehouse best suited for online sales?
  • How can I attract new customers that ultimately become returning customers?
  • Do I sell or repair e-bikes, adventure bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, and the like?

Choose your business name

You need a unique business name that will stick to the minds of whoever sees or hears it for the first time. So, your business name has to:

Pick the right spot

The location of your bike shop is vital to the success of your bike retail chain franchise. Ensure your choice of retail space ticks these boxes:

  • Is a good distance away from any competitor
  • Is close to cycling spots, trail networks, or any other likely spot rider’s hangout
  • Is easily accessible to every Tom, Dick, and Harry
  • Is available for the right price (you don't have to spend a fortune to get started)
  • Has a nearby street parking option or on-site parking lot
  • Allows room for growth or expansion in the not-too-distant future
  • Has sufficient space (2000 - 5000 sq ft) for products display and customer's accommodation

Get your business plan ready

Writing a bike shop business plan makes it easier for you to map out your objectives, vision, and strategy.

With a business plan at your fingertips, you can channel your business in the right direction, making informed decisions, partnering with interested businesses, and bagging promising financial deals. Your business plan should contain the following details:

  • An executive summary - An insightful summary of your business and its unique selling point.
  • Company description - Details of your goals and target audience.
  • Market analysis - An in-depth analysis of the cycling market and demand for what you bring to the table.
  • Competitive analysis - Evidence to show how you will edge out existing competition and hold your own.
  • Products and services - Information about what you'll be offering to your target audience.
  • Marketing and sales strategy - Details revolving about how you plan to meet your audience where they're at and make them patronize your business.
  • Financial plan: Money talks centred around capital, expenses, funding needs, operating expenses, and sales.
  • Operations and management plan - Describes the daily activities, equipment requirements, facilities, inventory management, management, operations, and staffing.

Factor in the cost of the business startup

Next step is to figure out the amount of money you would have to pump into your bike shop business to get it off the ground. The cost may vary due to factors like location, inventory, renovations, and what have you.

Fund your bike shop franchise

After figuring out the costs, it's time to set the financing in motion. Now, how do you get funds for your business? Consider going down any of the 5 routes:

  • Leasing of equipment
  • Partnering with Investors
  • Crowdfunding (Running a GoFundMe or Kickstarter Campaign)
  • Acquiring Business Loans
  • Leveraging your Personal Savings

Decide on your business structure

There are five recognized business structures you can opt for. All you have to do is choose which suits you best. They include:

  • C Corporation
  • S Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Partnership
  • Sole Proprietorship

Register your business

Now that you've a business name and business structure in place. It's time to make it legal by registering your business. Note that this registration process varies from state to state and depends on your business structure. You'll be informed on the steps to take when you consult a legal representation.

Set up shop

This is where you ensure you create the right environment for potential customers to feel at home. To make this happen, you need to:

  • Connect with reliable suppliers
  • Fill up your bike inventory with a variety of bikes, safety gears, replacement parts, and cycling outfits.
  • Hire and train your bike shop staff to offer the ultimate customer experience

Put your bike shop business out there

Chances of the word of your newly established bike shop business getting to the ears or eyes of your ideal audience are slim if you're not vocal about it. Apply these tips below to get them to notice your business:

  • Partner with other local businesses
  • Offer free bike riding tutorials and demonstrations
  • Create enlightening and entertaining bike-related content on social media

A guide to bike shop etiquette: Building customer relationships


What's a bike shop without customers? Honest answer: Non-existent. And no business owner wishes to be in this tight corner.

Truth is, without new or existing customers purchasing your bikes or patronizing your bike repair or maintenance services, your business won't generate any cash flow or revenue.

This leaves your bicycle franchise in financially troubled waters. And what's more, you also miss out on the feedback from customers that help to redefine your products and ways you can serve them better.

So, how can you attract new customers and remain in the good books of existing customers? Well, you can win their hearts by making efforts to build a great customer relationship. Now, here are few things you can do to achieve this:

  • Sell high-quality products and render excellent services
  • Provide world-class customer service
  • Find ways to create additional value
  • Make a good first impression
  • Offer a personalized customer experience
  • Reward loyal returning customers
  • Maintain consistent communication
  • Request for customer's feedback

Conclusion: Setting your bike shop up for success


At this point, you've been handed the keys to succeed in your bicycle store franchise. Now, it's up to you to unlock the doors and thrive on this path you've chosen to tread. But if you would love get desired results quicker, take the following steps:

  • Offer different services - Small group rides, fitting consultations, repairs, tune-ups, bike assembly, doorstep delivery
  • Take advantage of the internet - Create an e-commerce store to boost your sales, welcome SEO strategies with open arms, interact with potential customers in the comment section, tell stories and share real-life bike riding experiences on your blog, and leverage paid ads
  • Get into the faces of the locals - Request permission to pitch your branded tent at events or bike races and Organize group rides every now and then.

Alternatively, you can buy any available bike franchises for sale after doing due diligence. In this case, you won't have to start from scratch. But you'd still need to draw attention to your business to make the profits you desire.

We wish you success as you venture into the cycle franchise business

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