Starting Out

Setting up a business is harder than we thought. The actual opening is quite easy. Companies House will even let you do it online. The bank account is another matter entirely. What’s your pricing? Who else is out there? What’s my demographic!

Do we market this as a slick, efficient mechanical service or a homely, fuzzy caring kind of operation. It’s in our home, with hand drawn logos (Claire’s own work) and Whixley has a caring, active community, so I guess that answers that question.

Then the website. We kinda launched it, in a state of woefull inadequacy. We had no prices, we had no services, we had no address, no information about who these foolhardy people were. Not really a lot to go on.

It’s better now. It’s still not the slickest website going, we’re hoping it’s simplicity is a virtue…

The premises is actually deceptively small. What looks like quite a substantial house actually extends backwards only as far as the park wall. This essentially means my workspace is the living room. Being small means everything is close at hand though, so that’s a bonus and it just adds to the homely feel!

I had to include in the services that I don’t service suspension forks or shocks. That’s technically not true. I service my own Fox 36 Talas RC2 fork, and have all the required tools/fluids/seals to do so. I have the kit for my Rock Shox Reba fork and I serviced my Judy 100, my RST 261s and a coil spring, damper free rear shock! That’s why I won’t service your Kashima coated, nitrogen primed, twin positive and negative chambered, electronically damped, high and low speed compression adjustable enduro rear shock. I exaggerate slightly and just threw a few buzz words together, but it can give some idea of the iterations available.

I’ve gone off on a tangent.

Logos. Branded clothing. Car readers. Bank accounts. Insurance. Business cards. Advertising. Leaflets? Posters? Door to door? Social Media. Appearing on Google maps and search optimisation. Making regular posts so people know what’s going on.

Don’t forget all the red-tape loveliness too. Risk registers. Business plans. Elevator pitches. Stock control. Elf and Safety. Strange one that. Scoffed at, but having a check list to work through to make sure everything is completed is suddenly very important. Last thing I’d want is for anyone to come a cropper because i’d been distracted by a phone call and forgotten to tighten a bolt/cable/hose. Check sheet! (i’m not forgetful BTW!) it.

But logos are what is giving me a headache today. I’ve just laminated a sign only to find a dog hair has crept inside the pocket. I checked so thoroughly!!! Still, at least we now have printer ink… that was an unexpected (and seriously expensive) discovery. But logos. Being sat at a desk for long stretches at a time is not what I had in mind!

Right, i’m going to go chisel a groove in a tree stump, I have a plan! Something, anything to get me off the computer!

I’ll leave you with this picture of one of our vicious guard dogs, Lucky. Useless as a workshop assistant, she is a hair shedding ball of fluff. As she is frightened by her own shadow, she is also quite probably rubbish as a guard dog too!

Chris out.

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