This is my first attempt at writing a blog so please bear with me……
I thought that I would share some of my observations so far regarding my first 4 months in business as a mobile bicycle mechanic operating in Angus, Scotland.
Things started very well with a lot of support from friends and relatives and word spread regarding the service that I was offering getting more work than I was expecting after the launch, which was great.
I guess that my first comment or observation is that as I have never been self-employed before, it has been the most difficult thing to get my head round. As well as being able to call the shots on when and where I work, I am also responsible for any decisions I take and have to live with the consequences. Other than me, there is no-one to report back to at the end of the month, no one to explain what went wrong to , no one to fix the IT issue and no one to hand you the salary slip. At the moment I wouldn’t change it.
Second observation is regarding my customers. I have to say that in general my interaction with customers has been a very positive experience. Most have shared my passion for bikes whether they use them for recreation, competition, commuting or a combination of these, and working in this environment is very rewarding. Whether or not they possess any mechanical understanding or interest is neither here nor there. It is in their reaction to the fact that I have hopefully resolved an issue for them, allowing them to enjoy being back on their bike. I do hope that level of job satisfaction never diminishes.
My third observation is that whilst the bicycle on the face of it is a very simplistic machine with a frame, wheels, drivetrain, brakes and controls, the possible combinations of bike type, wheel size, number of gears, frame materials and manufacturer specific standards creates a bewildering number of component options. The upside of this is that on every job, I don’t know what interesting challenge will be thrown at me. The downside, is trying to second guess the stock requirements needed to cope with this amount of component options. Just when I think I’m getting it sussed, another variation is presented. I love the variety in the workload but its a balancing act on getting the right stock on hand without building up an inventory of unwanted assets, and at the same time managing to keep my customers satisfied with a speedy turnaround.
My next observation is what a beautiful part of Scotland I live and work in. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me given the amount of time I have spent exploring it on both road and mountain bikes, but that previously has been balanced with being inside a factory for 40+ hours a week. Now that I’m out and about to all corners of Angus and beyond on a near daily basis, It has opened up my eyes to what is in the area, and generally how good the opportunities are for cycling in Angus.
My final observation is not a revelation and is something that has always been part of my working life and I hope it continues; that every day is a school day. Despite my 30+ years of amateur bike spannering and the city and guilds training/qualification I undertook at the start of the year, I am still learning something new every day. That learning could be directly related to fixing or setting something up on a bike, but could also be related to the running of the business, managing social media, or improving my woeful IT knowledge. As for my learnings on blog writing, I’ll leave that up to you to decide………