One of the most fun and effective ways to go green is to make the switch from cars to bicycles. Bicycles are not only a fast, fun, and efficient form of transport, they are also a great form of exercise. They save money, by avoiding the need to purchase expensive gasoline, and they save the environment, by reducing carbon emissions caused by cars and other fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
As a result of these advantages and others, the number of bicyclists is rising in many urban areas across the United states, and it is likely to continue to do so as a growing number of city governments install bike lanes and pass bicycle-friendly laws in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and other banes of urban life.
As bicycling continues to grow in popularity, there is expected to be a growing need for bicycle repair shops.
Why Start a Bicycle Repair Business?
If you are handy with tools and knowledgeable about bicycles, a bicycle repair shop is a fantastic green business opportunity.
Bicycle repair shops are considered to be true green businesses for several reasons. First, they enable customers to reduce their own carbon emissions by keeping their bikes in safe working order, reducing the number of car trips caused by lack of access to greener transport. Second, they allow people to fix damaged or broken bicycles instead of purchasing a new one, conserving resources. And finally, many bicycle repair shops are heavily involved in local efforts to improve the local community’s support for bicyclists and increase the number of bikers in the community and the world.
In addition to the expected growth in the biking industry, starting a bicycle repair shop business generally has very low overhead costs and is easy to start as a home-based green business. In fact, many bicycle repair shop owners start their business right out of their home garages! This keeps start-up costs even lower.
Starting Your Home Bicycle Repair Business
Many bicycle repair shop owners start their business by helping friends or family members repair their bicycles and asking them to spread the word. Another great way to find new customers is to join (if you’re not already a member!) one or more local cycling clubs and attend meets, races, group rides, and other events. It may also be popular to connect with other local cycling enthusiasts on popular cycling websites such as Bicycling.com.
An innovative way to find new customers is to partner with other local green businesses to promote each other’s businesses. For example, many green coffee shops offer cyclists a discount. Ask if they would be willing to leave your business card on the counter, or hang your flyer on the wall. In exchange, pass out coupons or brochures to your clients to let them know about the discount.
Once you’ve become established, sponsoring a race or other event is another good way to promote your business. You can also expand your services. For example, some bicycle repair shops service electric bicycles as well as traditional ones. Some offer winter bike storage. Still others sell used and restored bicycles, or offer bicycle rentals.
Three Bike Repair Services Keeping Cyclists on the Road
Wright Brothers Cycle Works is a Seattle-based bike shop. In addition to bike repair and maintenance, Wright Brothers offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced level bike maintenance and repair classes. It also has a bike repair co-op. For a small fee, bicycle owners can access an extensive collection of tools and parts to perform their own bicycle repair and maintenance. Co-op members also have reduced fees for classes.
Bicycle Station is a local bike repair shop in New York City. Owner Mike Rodriguez was born and raised in Brooklyn, where his shop now is located, and has more than 30 years of experience repairing bikes of all brands and types. In addition to services such as tune ups, custom wheel building, restorations, and professional fittings, Bicycle Station offers a select collection of high quality bicycles and equipment.
Warm Planet Bikes is a full service bicycle repair shop and retail store located in Sa Francisco, CA. They offer repair services ranging from basic tune-ups to full overhauls at reasonable prices. The bike shop is conveniently located near a Caltrain station, allowing commuters to drop off their bikes for repairs in the morning and pick them up in the evening. Warm Planet Bikes also offers free bike parking for commuters!
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