Mobile Bicycle Repair Franchise?

Thinking of joining a mobile bicycle repair franchise or starting your own bike business with an established association?

Be Part Of An Association or Franchise?

Its good for any business to be part of a network of professional bicycle mechanics that can grow strong by supporting each other.

While our association "Cycle Tech UK" has high standards we don't dictate to you how you should run your business and in the last 10 years we have grown without being aggressive, as we want to have the right people onboard, we have built a good reputation and its become exclusive association of mobile bicycle mechanics.

Franchising is not right for our successful business, while our strategy has some similarities, it's more about helping someone start their business using our proven system, branding and for them to continue for a long time working under our umbrella. Each local business can be involved in the local community and have the support of a national network that can also provide a service across the UK at low cost.

Whilst a mobile business has a lot of benefits with the low cost set up, a great cash flow business, possible to make the back investment and a profit in the first year. I feel that selling as a franchise the new mobile business would go bust in its first year, even with working all the hours and our support. Just to pay back the franchise fee before starting to make any money, let alone the associated fees. Then after 5 years have to renew an agreement, not like our system where you build your own business, keep the customer base, work your hours, with less stress, invest your time into making this something you can continue even when you retire.

"You don't need to join a franchise, being part of our network your business will soon be found "

What separates Cycle Tech UK from other mobile bicycle shops it's not too corporate for a group of professional mobile bicycle mechanics who are by nature individualistic and happy to be their own boss. Means cyclists like using our independent local mobile bike businesses for their care of service, rather than a business working to a target. 
  • Being part of a Network is good for any new business - Start a bike business by joining an established network of mobile bicycle mechanics will give you credibility, as well as all the business information and contacts you will need. 
  • Nobody knows this business better than other members of our network, so they have invaluable insight into the aspects of a mobile bike business ownership, market research, customer behaviors, mechanical support, etc. that can help you make decisions. The sooner you talk to these folks the better, but missing this opportunity this is a surprisingly common mistake made.
  • 2-way thing - interact with other mechanics and share ideas. We get along, as we have a common interest in bicycle mechanics. We have people with all types of background and those who do get involved, by bringing their ideas and skills, have not just become successful business owners but also enjoyed their job with no pressure from a franchise and made long-term friends.

"You started your own mobile bike business for more freedom" 

  • Cycle Tech UK provides you with the necessary trade contacts, website, value for money, expert business set-up help and on-going support as your business grows. This unique network membership reduces the risks involved in starting your own business and allows you to get up and running, and earning, much more quickly than you would starting with a franchise.
  • If you want the freedom of being your own boss but with the support of a national network, working in one of the fastest growing leisure sectors please do get in touch at for an information brochure. 
  • If you looking at buying into a business "The Franchise" as you not happy working for a company. You will be walking into new problems. You should think very carefully and start making a plan towards your long-term goals.

Let me start by showing you a franchise that works:

Jim’s Mowing Founded in 1982 by Jim Penman. Jim's Mowing has expanded to become Jim's Group, the largest franchise in Australia with 3000 franchises, as well as becoming the world's largest home franchise business.

Franchises now include Jim's Antennas, Jim's Bookkeeping, Jim's Building Maintenance, Jim's Computer Services, Jim's Dog Wash, Jim's Painting and Jim's Roofing, and Jim's Group has recently expanded into Great Britain, New Zealand & Canada

Why did this franchise work?
(In any business or franchise you need to be highly motivated, self-discipline and have a sense of responsibility)

  • Easily taught.
  • Product knowledge is low.
  • No knowledge/skills needed. Only a week-long training course which covers not only practical subjects such as pruning, fertilisers and plant identification, but sessions on quoting, up-selling, book-keeping, computer systems, health and safety, and customer service.
  • Low working capital to survive the initial start-up phase.
  • No large tool kit. You can start with only a van, a mower and safety equipment.
  • No parts to stock. So no need for multi trade suppliers and storage.
  • The work is seasonal as is the bike trade.
  • It’s a proven business model with backup and support. The support is from someone with a great knowledge of the trade.
  • Note: Even in Jim's Mowing franchise it did not work for everyone. Many new franchise businesses face overwhelming competitive forces from similar franchise concepts and independent businesses already entrenched in their target market. In some cases this includes competition from other fellow franchisees who have been allowed by the franchiser to open other locations.
Franchising can be a quick way of reaching out to new markets and exploiting the potential of your enterprise, if done correctly and with the right support.
It could also give the independent established mobile bicycle mechanic business a bad name, if not done with the right care and support.

Mobile Franchise In North America

If you are going to buy in to a mobile bike franchise, then I recommend "Beeline Bikes" they are growing at a steady speed, offer support and have the mechanical/business skills and encourage more people to cycle. But do your research first!

Greg Marco of Franchise Expo:"Buying a franchise isn't for everyone. However, if and when you make the commitment to become your own boss, and you do all your homework and invest in a franchise model, follow the model, and work hard. It appears in franchising, the harder someone works, the luckier they get."

Setup cost from Beeline Bikes USA:

Velofix Franchise - Dragons Den £168,000 15/12/2014

3 Canadian cyclist's come business men have secured £168,000 with a pitch on Dragons Den "Canada" to help fund their professional mobile bike service and repair business.

This is great news for the mobile bike business, as it shows The Mobile Cycle Repair Service is in high demand. Velofix are working hard with leading cycling brands to make this happen. But it will all be down to the network of the franchisee's to make it a success.

The Deal:

  • The franchise fee is £14,000 plus £28,000 (+ vat not sure if included???) for the van build-out (this does not include the cost of the vehicle From £30k + vat Mercedes Sprinter LWB or tools minimum|£2,500), the royalty fee is 8% of sales, branding fee 2% plus £50 monthly Velonet user fee. 
  • Velofix works with lending companies, including BDC, that roll up the cost of the vehicle and buildout package into a monthly lease for franchisees. For about £19,600 to £25,200 in upfront capital you can get a truck on the road.
  • Rates start at £38.70 an hour plus tax based on the service package selected.
  • One mechanic can carry £14,000 to £19,600 worth of inventory in a van
  • Only 5 year agreement 
  • Talk with some of the velofix mechanics and see what they have to say
  • Please contact Veleofix direct for the exact coasting for your setup requirements 

What separates Velofix from other mobile bicycled shops is technology. “One of the challenges of operating a mobile service is scheduling. We have proprietary cloud-based software that books a service, route optimizes the van and allows the mechanic to wake up in the morning and see who is on their call schedule and what they booked so they can make sure they have all the parts they need,”

My initial thoughts:

  • As you have 3 business men who need to make a return and a Dragon who wants 20% return, means that a large amount of money has got to come from Franchisee setup and ongoing royalty fees. 
  • They have a unique booking system that allows them to direct work to the franchisee, where Velofix keep the customer base.
  • Capital has been invested by Businessmen who are more concerned about getting customer information from their booking system than the bike trade or helping to get more people to cycle.
  • How can they tell what all parts are needed with out seeing the bike first? 
  • And where do the parts come from? Especially in the morning! Buy from Velofix or their own trade accounts?
  • In Canada cycling is more seasonal then here in the UK. 
  • My question would be how much volume does each franchisee need to be profitable? "To build this business, with the stock required, plus pay back original investment and ongoing fee's, would mean at least 5 years of hard work before you start to make a real profit living."
  • This could work in London, with a different setup to Canada with cooperate being their main goal.
  • If you search Velofix uk, you will find this name has already been used.
The Franchise start-up is for the lazy business man, for someone who wants all the hard work done, is willing to pay for it and expects a return. Sorry folks! It needs your ongoing effort, without it, it wont make any difference how much money you keep throwing at your business.

The idea of being mobile, is to setup and run your business at a lower cost and be flexible, by that I mean: Reaching out to those customers that find our services right for their needs, By offering a professional service, from a professional workshop that you have invested in and is yours. By also having the time to chat cycling and give advice to your customers. Where someone who needs to cover his costs to a Franchise will not be offering a unique service (I would think they would end-up working 12 hour days and 4 of those days would only cover the franchise fees only and not the other running costs) and the business will end up being like some of the meany bike shops with grumpy owners. You would be better off putting your money in a bike shop or the bank lol. You have to ask yourself; Why are you going in to business for? For me is to do what I love, that I can also make a good living from and able to take time off cycling or even touring. Also the business setup also can handle quite periods of no work, as this maybe the case of your first year in business, but it can happen anytime. If there is no work, you still need to pay those fee's............

View the full Dragons Den with Velofix pitch on Video HERE
  • Read the full story By Business Financial Post HERE

People often say to me "A bike is a bike" If only it was that easy!

Well we need to look into what makes a bicycle. It's not a simple toy, it is a complex means of transportation and a complex piece of engineering. The bicycle has evolved for over 125 years. There are over 1000 individual parts in a basic geared bicycle. To cut a long story short. It needs to be built well to run well. It needs correct assembly and needs a skilled & experienced bicycle mechanic with great product knowledge to maintain all the different types of bicycles, old and new.

"Bicycles have changed a lot in the last 25 years and are not as simple as one first thinks! If you haven't set foot in a bike shop recently you will be amazed at how much has changed. Full suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, and carbon frames are now common. (There are also hydraulic rim brakes, internal hub gears, electronic gear shift and electric bikes) If you think you can learn everything in a 2 week course you will be wrong! It takes years of experience, continues training courses and product knowledge before you can run a successfully business." Martin Cycle Tech UK Group.

Once you know what you need to start your own business and how to find customers, you can go out on your own prepared and there is no need to join a franchise and pay fees:

Our proven system "Alternative franchise approach" which has been built up over time, to become the largest network of bicycle mechanics. A cooperative who Share with you our knowledge and contacts in the trade, showing you how to build a good solid foundation to your business, and our marketing system which is proving to be very effective. 

This business is unique, with mobile bicycle mechanics having been around for quite a time offering a great friendly service that conveniently comes to the customer. It's not too corporate for a group of people who are by nature individualistic and happy to be their own boss. You will find that customers like using independent business for their care of service rather than a business working to a target.

Paying the franchise fee's - There is not enough in it to take 20% off the top. 
How a Franchise Works:

1. The golden carrot is hung in front of you and you are sold.

2. You part with your money, sign agreement and then your hands are tied.
With most franchisees end up buying themselves out of the franchise agreement at a unnecessary cost, due to franchise fee's and conditions, when they could have set-up on their own business at the beginning. (You should have a good lawyer to scrutinise any franchise agreement.) If you are questioning the terms of any franchise, then something is not right! You need to make sure what is right for you. But let's face it; you are looking at a franchise because you want to reduce your risk, because they have a proven system right?

Business idea & trends:

There are others offering alternative systems, methods and charging a considerable amount of money and in my opinion is not worth it. Don't be fooled by their sales tactics and unrealistic figures, or you could find yourself being the guinea pig, funding the setup. It's in the franchisers interest to sell you a franchise, so they may well be optimistic in projections of earnings. You have to consider worse case scenarios, also factor in contingency money in case of emergency costs arising and be prepared not to make any money for at least a year. (3 years is the norm) It will all depend how long they have been in business, on there extensive promotional support and marketing blitz. This takes time to build a brand, for customers to think that your service is worthy of purchasing and think of your business product first. You need to research the pros & con's of a franchise vs starting a new business before you make a final decision. You should talk with other franchisees first. Also, should a franchiser change ownership or fail, the future of your franchise will be thrown into doubt. Likewise, the actions of your fellow franchisees will have an impact upon your image and, therefore sales.

A key sign that the franchises are more likely to succeed than other start-ups is the average time a franchisee has been running their business. In 2007, according the Natwest survey, the average time in business was over 7 years.
If you are new to owning a business, you will be taking a trip into the unknown. That's where Cycle Tech UK can help and support you. With our members, we are the only professorial national network of mobile bicycle mechanics in the UK.

What you pay to be part of a franchise and yearly fee's, it could be money spent on stock and setting-up your bike business. Also owning your own business is something to be proud of.

You have to walk before you run.......................

I can show you how to start your own professional bike business.
From my experience as a mobile bike mechanic and from those I have helped. I have put together a business pack full of information, to set up and run a successful mobile bike business.   

Read more..............See Starting A Mobile Bicycle Repair Business

Don't spend your time and money on a franchise, when you can do it for yourself by making your money work for you. You can do so much and avoid monthly franchise fees.
If you would like to receive a copy of Cycle Tech UK's information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Cycle Tech team. Email:   

Here’s a final, sobering thought If the real reason we go into business is to minimize our time and effort and maximize our income, who do you think achieves this most successfully in franchising? 

Is it the franchisee?       Or is it the franchiser?  

Read the website Unhappy Franchisee 

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