Looked like a slow day to me too, I counted like 20 bikes on the work stands, that isn't much for three mechanics.an elapsed time video of a (slow) day at the shop. greg the mechanic filmed, edited, scored, and "stars."
As ridiculous as it may sound, the place where you would make your money is by being a 'specialist' in something that isn't off the rack, particularly if you follow trends. You have to stand out in some way, and spin it so your product is something people want even if they didn't already know they wanted it. Most bikers who walk into a bike shop already know they want a bike, or they already have one and know what they need for it. The trick is to get bikes in hands of people who DON'T know they want one yet. That is how big boxes sell so many.I came "this close" (imagine me showing you with my fingers as a gauge) to opening up a bike shop in a coastal vacationing town 150 miles north of San Jose, CA a couple years ago. Was jaded by what I was told by a friend and local shop owner (who closed his doors finally after three years of only bringing home Steve Jobs' annual salary of $1). Cyclical "success". You'll hire help from Spring - Summer (laying them off at the end of Summer) and daily will be playing solitaire with your butthairs from November until May the next season. Oh, you want to service mountain bikes too??? Better have at least $100,000.00 on hand of parts, seeing how diverse (read: proprietary) components are from one manufacturer to the next *cough* Shimano *cough*.
It could have been a really positive experience… but I pussied out before things took root. Life is full of calculated risks but I instead opted for a predictable menial salary as a Silicon Valley techslave catering to mindless/clueless marketing people and slacktard engineers instead.
OK Tony Robbins, back down to earth now:The trick is to get bikes in hands of people who DON'T know they want one yet. That is how big boxes sell so many.
If you build, paint, or modify custom frames and build them into ironic fixies for a town full of trust fund hipsters, for example, the sales of your 'bread and butter' products fund the stuff you really enjoy.