How many of us actually follow our dreams? I know that I have a lot of dreams and/or ideas, but I rarely if ever act on them. I am more likely to blog about my ideas than do anything about them. Witness my entry on my ideal bike rack.
One Bike Hacks reader is following a dream and decided to share with all of us. Toby is following his dream of opening a bike shop and below is his story. Take it away Toby!
Hello to all the readers of Bike Hacks. Wanted to let you all know that I have opened a bicycle shop out of my garage and share with you my experiences thus far. My name is Toby Miller and in February of this year I turned 40. I decided that it was time for me to do something that I had always wanted to do with my life.
Since I was a small child I have always loved bicycles. I think what I love most about them is their simplicity. And fortunately for me I have good mechanical aptitude and love to work with my hands. So I started gearing up this February for opening a shop by buying bicycle tools. I searched on-line and found the best prices I could and started ordering as much as I could afford. I also bought two books on bicycle repair and started reading to give myself knowledge about the newer gear and brake systems that I was not familiar with. Then I bought 4 used bicycles and tore them completely apart and reassembled them to just refresh myself with everything.
The next step was to go to city hall and obtain a business license. To get a business license to run a bicycle shop out of my garage I had to go before the Zoning board and explain to them what I intended to do with my business and get a letter of approval from them. After receiving my letter I had to purchase a city as well as a county business license. I believe it cost around $40.00. to accomplish this. I also had to get a tax id number.
Now came the hardest part of the whole process. Now I had to call distributors to find a parts supplier. You would think that this would be an easy task but I can assure you it's not. I must have called 40-50 distributors before I finally found one that would give me an account. Two weeks later I found one more that would work with me and I have stuck with only these two. They have both been really good to me and I am grateful to them both. I would mention their names but I am not sure about the legality of such things.
Now I had my distributors and as soon as my catalogs came I took the little bit of money I had and ordered parts and a few accessories. Then I put up a sign on my garage door ordered some business cards and rode around handing them out. Then I bought some more used bicycles and got them ready for resale.
Well that's how it all started and to date I am still rolling. Business is slower than I would like but I am going to stick it out for the long haul. We have another bicycle shop in town and it has been here for 35 years. I figure I'll just be patient and keep going and eventually more people will come to the shop. After all I did not get into this for the money, I got into it for the love I have for bicycles.
Now I have an offer for all of you Bike Hacks readers. If you need anything for you bicycle just contact me and if it is something I have or can get I will be happy to help you out and give you a discount.
Community Bicycle Shop
Owner: Toby Miller
Columbia, TN 38401
Good luck Toby!
Have you started your own business? If you do and you would like to share give us a shout out.