Starting my own business

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by sisdavid, May 11, 2009.

  1. sisdavid

    sisdavid New Member

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    I love these bikes so much I am going to order a bunch from China and sell them start my own motorized bicycle business. Anyone have any advice? Is Alibaba a good place to buy them from? Ya, start my own business. Or am I crazy how much would a minimum order be and where can I get them any help is appreciated..wee.
     
  2. Finfan

    Finfan New Member

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    Entrepreneur -
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French, from Old French, from entreprendre to undertake

    : one who is willing to work 16 hours a day for themselves rather than 8 hours a day for someone else.

    scratg
     
  3. NunyaBidness

    NunyaBidness Active Member

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    From everything I have seen online about alibaba, I would STAY AWAY from them.
     
  4. eDJ

    eDJ New Member

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    First, I'd suggest you get in touch with the American-Chinese Chamber of Commerce/Small
    Business Assistance division and tell them about what your wanting do as a reseller here in
    the USA. They can provide you with contacts, shipping and logistics. It will be your
    task to figure out how many motor kits you can buy at a time and afford all the other
    cost of getting them to your garage where you can resell them outright or install them on
    bikes ready to ride.

    Home

    Second, you need to reatin a lawyer which may cost a few hundred dollars for unearned service
    so that if you need legal counsel you'll have it. This will include the two of you getting you set
    up as a licensed business etc all clear to go.

    Third you'll need a small biz accountant to prep your taxes etc each quarter. Depending on how
    able you are with computer programs like "Quick Books" and "MS Excell" to do your own weekly
    bookkeeping etc will determine how much of the accountant's services you'll need and the total
    cost.

    As a single proprietor you're a "one man band" where you'll be selling, installing, tending to
    problems that arise when customers return with a problem etc. And of course you'll be
    taking care of your business records. This if you aren't running an online store/eBay where you
    are selling and shipping on UPS etc.

    If you try to hire people to work for you, then you get into a whole other set of parameters with
    insurance, workmans compensation, and the like. But as a small one guy business you may be
    better served working at your own pace. If people want to buy a motor kit, then you'll have to
    figure how you'll stand behind these kits. Again your lawyer will know what your state would
    require with the sale of a "new" product. We've kicked the subject around here in the past
    as to whether anyone could make a living at this and what niche would be the best end of
    business to be in.

    But the secret to any businessmans success in the USA is having a good lawyer & accountant
    behind him. Fortunately there are plenty of these people around. You may want to contact
    your own local chamber of commerce about getting set up in business. Some towns have
    a senior business council of retired business people who help young beginners with advice for
    free.

    You will want to discuss setting up legal policies with your lawyer that will help cover you
    in the instances of failed motors etc and warrenty on them. Also your lawyer will know if your
    state requires any support for the products you sell with a parts inventory. But being able to
    start with all the legal bases covered may help keep this from turning out to be a nightmare.
     
  5. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Nah= screw that B.S.-

    Go for it! But start small- that's what I've been thinking. One bike at a time- if you can clear $100- $200 a build, then isn't it worth doing even one or two a month?

    I don't know what the market would be like- different in different areas I think-

    But ****, just sell them from home-

    all the details are secondary- follow up on wholesale leads as you get time

    I think bikes may sell better than parts- there's a whole lot of motor stores out there-

    E-bay might be a venue- particularly if you live in a heavy populated area for local pickup-

    goodluck
     
  6. dvddtz

    dvddtz New Member

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    Hey sisdavid, I bought 10 kits from a distributer that I found through alibaba.I paid $100 a piece for them in Nov. of last year,the prices are less now.Anyway I sold Kits alone,complete MBs,or I would install it on your bike.I did it from my house,my only advertising was me riding around on my own MB. I warranteed only the installation,but offered my assistance with any problem that would arise.I sold 2 a month average,and still have people asking me where to get on all the time.Ive givin my phone number to about 100 people and got about 10% call back.I sold my last one in March.I would talk with a lawyer about writing a waiver to protect yourself,start small and see how the market will be,I would imagine in Daytona it would be pretty good,Build a couple with surf board racks on them.With some advertising it could give a nice 2nd income if you stay local.I dont know about internet selling,seems like it would be a pain with shipping and all.I really enjoy building MBs so that,to me, was part of my profit.Go for it and have fun. David PS I think the smallest order on alibaba was 60, I think.
     
    #6 dvddtz, May 12, 2009
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  7. Creative Engineering

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    Kat,

    Ahhh yes the lure of easy money!

    I can certainly understand the Maverick path to self employment. The "let's wait and see what happens" before getting involved with legal/tax issues approach is as common as doing it the right way from the onset.

    The problem with this plan is that things CAN spiral out of control quickly. Motorized bikes are becomming very popular. It would be very easy for a first time entrepreneur to get caught up in a quick success scenario. Legal help is important when considering the sale of completed bikes. Without this in place; it's like wishing you had bought a fire extinguiser as you watch the fire destroy everything you've got. If you do decide to wing it and hope for the best...be sure to take your first profits and get things set up right ASAP.

    David,

    $600-$650 is a price point where most people see the value and will purchase a ready made bike with an engine. There's a guy a few towns north of here who is selling 5-6 bikes per week. MB's are getting popular in FL. At this price point you really don't need to scrounge for the cheapest kit. In quantities of 10 the most you'll save is $20-$30 per kit...and this will be with zero warranty. I would buy kits from a reputable dealer, and when ready to buy in lots of 10-20 ask for a concession...free shipping maybe. I would not throw away the value of a real warranty just to save a few bucks...you'll be sorry. If you are financially prepared to buy in volume...350 units is a good starting point. At 350 you can expect to pay about half of typical retail...$60-$70 per unit. At 350 units, you become a dealer. The dealers put warranties on thier kits, not the Chinese factories. So...once you become a dealer, you're back to the warranty problem again. If you get a bad batch, it's yours.

    Good luck with your venture...done right, I think a guy could squeeze out a modest living in about 90 days, especially here in Florida where the weather is good year round.

    Jim
     
  8. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Good luck and God bless....
     
  9. Outrunner

    Outrunner New Member

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    I suggest starting out at a CHINESE restaurant first! Then you could sit down
    and write down what you plan on doing, including returns, profits, warranty,
    law suits (look into incorporating) and on and on. Then decide if you can really
    apply yourself to do it!
     
  10. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    Jeez- what IS this about lawyers these days? They used to be a rare thing- now they ad on TV and have to be in our thoughts constantly-

    While they seem to want the rest of us to get a job, theirs seems to be to get a piece of everyone else's. Unless the suit is going to help you assemble bikes, try to avoid them!

    On the other hand, we all need to speak up, or the lawyers and politicians will decide it all their way: big expensive carrots that suck oil and make us work harder (and take corporate welfare bailout funds to break even)- Mandantory classes and special endorsements for motorcyclists and scooters- and never hold off on the insurance! USA Today had an article last month aboiut our suit legislators big push to clamp down on scooters- What's next? Bicycles even?

    So be vocal about your belief in this inexpensive and economical transportation.

    Corporate interests now control even more of the landscape out there, especially after this "mortgage meltdown"so rents are high-

    a guy with some spare garage space and know-how that can invest a couple of grand may make more money than someone opening a separate store- I thought about some piece-meal even out of my apartment- but I don't know the market. New 50 cc scooters are starting about 700- 800. So I think there is a undercut margin in motorized bicycles.

    Beyond what interefence the authorities may decide, I think the biggest challenge may be to get the word out there- ADVERTISING

    I thought I'd print some flyers on the old PC, and maybe a small running ad in a local penny sheet or paper-
     
    #10 Nashville Kat, May 13, 2009
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  11. eDJ

    eDJ New Member

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    Kat,

    I posted a strategy in the Motorbicycle General Discussion that may be more targeted at
    a low end business start up. It may be more in line with what you're thinking of doing.

    Ya see I don't know when I answer one of these post about how much seed money a
    guy is talking about plowing into his venture if it isn't stated. Some guys plow thousands
    of dollars into something like this as they HAVE it to plow with.

    Others work out of their hip pocket or hat trying to get started and hope things go their
    way and the angles decide to sit on their sholders.

    But if you're in any kind of business that's making some money the lawyers are to that
    business what Anti-Virus is to your computer. Think of them like a big bottle of Listerine
    you keep in the bathroom closet.......ya hate it but ya use it. If you start setting up
    motorbicycles there may be "other lawyers" who represent Honda, Yamaha, etc shops
    who figure you need put out of business somehow as you're a drain against the business
    they work for be it Honda, Yamaha etc. I'd imagine you could see and understand this.

    But if you haven't read the post in "Can Anyone Make a Living at This" in the General
    Discussion area where I talk about "Shade Tree Mechanics" it may be more of the way
    you want to approach a small biz start up. It's basic common sense stuff.

    Good luck if you choose to try it that way.
     

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