You may have heard of it. Slave Lake Bicycle Works. I started it in 2016 with a tiny budget in my garage and soon moved to a rented room in the back of the local CrossFit Box (Thanks Robbie!
Originally It was just intended to be a small repair shop. No sales of bikes. No inventory. A way for me to hone my skills after taking a bike mechanic course.
I had an idea that a bike shop would be a great idea. But at that point, I just wasn't brave enough to start an entire bike shop on my own. There were too many unknowns.
Leases, inventory. Talking to random customers. What happens if a job comes in and you have no idea how to fix it. How should I take payments? Do I need a bank card/tax/business licenses?
Then a bike shop just sort of happened - bikes kept coming in and I needed parts and spares. I got a bigger space. Started needing inventory.
"Hey Rowan, I am looking for new tires."
Ordering online was a pain. Full retail price at first. Expensive. Order the wrong part by mistake? It happens. Well now you have a spare I suppose!
I managed to eventually sell a reasonable range of products from the major suppliers in Canada.
It was going well. Very well actually.
But it was brutally difficult. All consuming. It is the cognitive overload that gets you (and being on your feet eight hours working on bikes is not easy either).
There are just so many decisions to make. How much to buy? How much risk am I willing to take?
Can we reduce that risk. It think so...