Agreed that this idea is a good one but not an original one.
Spannerland in New York started as several friends who needed space for their collections. It's not public. Hell, the location is a semi-secret.
Ryders Alley is maybe closer but that's a monthly garage that offers a kind of assistance to guys in Manhattan who like to ride. It makes bike life easier in the city thus creating its own customers.
What you're describing is different. There was a place called, "Privateer's Garage" in San Diego that didn't last long. You might find out what happened there. You might also talk to the Bring A Trailer guys in SF.
I suspect the issues that have closed the previous attempts at this are the obvious ones: How do you stop people from hurting themselves? How do you police the polices of the place without making people feel unwelcome? How to you make sure the tools are taken care of? Who cleans up? Do you interview someone before they work or do you let a squid on his new Gixer try to use a pneumatic tire changer? What's the plan when someone really fucks up their bike?
Its nice to think that people will behave in a garage the way we'd like them too but that's not always the case.
Then you need to think about the actual business model: Do you charge hourly? Monthly? How much? Will it be enough to cover your insurance (which will be a ton)? Can you float the months when no one is working on their bikes or do you need steady, monthly income?
Since you're now asking people for money, you might want to tell them what they're getting in exchange. If I send you $100, will I get 4 hours free in the shop when it opens? If I give you $1,000, am I a part owner? That's missing from your pitch. Also, what happens if you can't find a space? Where did the $200,000 number come from? It is enough to run the place for 1 year? 2?
As I said, these are all the issues that have meant that the people who came before you decided there were better and easier ways to make a living. If this is your dream, go for it.
CafeRacer screwed with this post 06-06-2013 at 08:56 AM