Family Business Now

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by David D., Dec 6, 2010.

  1. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    Well i started out this summer building a bike to get around town on... then built one for a guy that saw it... then another... then two more to sell, then two more a custom one and a... well what i call a bairdco special...if you get my drift.... now i cant keep up , mostly because i want to work on this surrey project, so my youngest son who is 24 and an amazing mechanic but working part time is helping, i had him build a dept. store bike last week and it went perfect, so over the weekend i dropped off an old schwinn cruiser some spare parts and a china eng. kit... told him to build what people his age will want.... cant wait to see what he does with it :) David
     
    #1 David D., Dec 6, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  2. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    Thats great to see David. Best of luck and continued success. It's great you two can share this.
     
  3. Hammond Egger

    Hammond Egger New Member

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    Wah, nobody ever asks me if I want to sell mine, they just want to know how fast it goes.
     
  4. solokumba

    solokumba New Member

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    I think we (son and I) are going to be in the same boat soon.
     
  5. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    Hey thanks guys.... guess i'll see the progress on my sons build this morning, will try and post pics ... i think he was leaning towards rat rod.... :)
     
  6. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Sounds great - good luck! What are you doing for insurance? I've heard that's what keeps a lot of people from going into this.
     
  7. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    i dont have any. i also dont have anything to be sued for. they would have to sue my ex-wife.......

    actually i will probably have insurance of some kind eventually...when and if the business will support it... I have only been doing this a couple months now and the growth caught me unprepared, i have a silent financial partner now, an old business associate.... will be preparing a more formal business plan and bringing in other fabrication type work to support a shop and overhead such as insurance, ect... i most certainly will be doing work on and building some specialized ag equip. that i have been doing down in ventura co. on a contract basis... by combining the bikes and the ag stuff i can justify a small shop and some equipment here , a lathe, press, surface grinder, and a few other things required to do the work here....
     
    #7 David D., Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  8. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Sounds like a really good comprehensive plan ... like the guys I know in the street rod business who do bread-and-butter brake and exhaust jobs all the time.

    I'm sure it depends on the state, but I've heard it gets especially complicated when insurance has to cover "motor vehicle manufacturing", which is what adding a motor to a bicycle and selling it is considered in some places. I'm curious to see how it works out for you, not that I'm setting up a full-blown business, but that I do like to sell what I build. For now, I'm selling kinetic steampunk sculpture not intended for the highway!
     
  9. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    I know that the Folks who build frames from scratch[ on this forum Frame Building - Mountain Bike Forums ] are forking out about 2000 dollars a year in insurance. In the case that a frame was to be at fault..
     
  10. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    Well i am not worried about it at the moment one way or another, but from a responsibility standpoint i am very careful about what i build when it comes to safety...a bike never leaves without a front brake, a helmet is required to test ride my bikes, and i dont know the law for sure, but i tell anyone buying a motorbike they are required....for any age because of the motor, anything on the road with an engine requires a helmet....i also offer free safety inspections, for life. . even if you bought your bike somewhere else or built your own.... i just want the MB's to have a good safe and fun reputation down the road... it's good for us all. David
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    That is cool David. Not just from a liability point of view but all around. Good biz sense and more importantly, good fellow human being concern.

    A couple yrs back there was a gentlemen who built bikes. Later his son and Dad started helping him. Did a good business and very often had a driveway full of cars and waiting customers. He charged 75 bucks for an install (china girl) Drove me nutz. I charged 100, lol. But they really seemed to enjoy it and each other.
     
  12. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    Well thanks for that Dan... I charge $300... includes engine and front brakes and matching paint on the tank and chainguard....... got a neihbor that is doing his own and i am just giving guidance and tech help...actually showed him how to order an engine... probably will end up installing his sprocket and building a front mount for him... will be cool to have someone just around the corner to ride with :)
     
  13. Dan

    Dan Staff
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    For all that, more then a fair price. When I was doing that, was pretty much mounting the kit.

    Was thinking about this thread today and Father son enterprises in general. Up until the last generation or two, that was the normal order. Family business. Farm, smithing of some sort or the whole pillaging thing. I owned a plumbing biz a while back and most of the tradesman I did business with were older guys who had gone hungry to build some thing for their families and the kids wanted no part. Even though it was an existing and now profitable gig. (sorry for the ramble, just found it upsetting)
     
  14. David D.

    David D. New Member

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    I remember those days Dan.... things were very different then... my dad didnt leave me a business but he was a machinist ... had me building things in the garage from as far back as my memory goes.... its in my blood now... and my sons.... :)
     
  15. bomb

    bomb New Member

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    I don't own anything, no house, no car, nothing. It's all in the wifes name. I ain't worth suing.
     
  16. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    They'd actually go after her, too.

    Anyone setting up a business needs to have liability insurance in place. Your homeowner's insurance won't cover it. At the very least, get incorporated through your state. That provides a firewall between your business and your personal affairs.

    Of course, if you're operating out of your garage/shop and live in a residential area which doesn't allow home businesses, you have another challenge on your hands.

    A guy down the street who does all sorts of grease monkey stuff in his garage just had a "whoops" happen and burned up his house. This is why there are laws about this stuff.

    I know these are just bicycles with little motors in them, but as soon as somebody gets hurt they're looking for someone to sue. And there are plenty of attorneys foaming at the mouth ready to take on the case.

    Just sayin' - do what you love to do and make a business out of it, but be smart about it, too.
     
  17. fundreamer1

    fundreamer1 New Member

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    May I ask what motors your using on this business venture?
     

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