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Old 02-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
cccolin OP
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Starting a moto business.... life in hell?

Hey guys,

I've been a professional fabricator (museum exhibition, high end furniture, structural steel, retail design, other people's art, etc.) and college adjunct professor in sculpture for about 10 years. I'm really good at it, and I hate it. Well, I love teaching, but the current state of higher ed is really fucking sad, and I want no part of it after my experiences the last few years with profit hungry administrations. I also love making things, but not building huge ultra-expensive shit I dont care about that requires heavy lifting and athletic contortionism all day every day, being in someone else's windowless warehouse, on someone else's profit deadlines, etc.

I've been thinking about starting my own business for a while, originally fabrication/furniture. But it hit me, why not motos? add in that I have an awesome lady, also into motos, also a skilled fabricator with tons of mechanical experience, and what i lack... great organizational and people skills. and she's excited to start the business with me.

my holdup is that I used to work in bicycle shops as a mechanic, and I know from experience that the majority of bike shop owners are bitter cyclists who love cycling and have come to hate running a bike shop. and they are shitty people to work for, even when they are awesome outside of the shop.

So have you owned a moto business? What type? Did you find, to your surprise, that having motos be your income made you hate them or the business?

Thanks for the input.

Cheers

cccolin screwed with this post 02-19-2014 at 12:35 PM
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:21 PM   #2
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I have not worked in the moto business myself, but I have as a consultant, obtained all the permits necessary to open a moto shop, designed site plans, local, state and even federal approvals when necessary, etc. I've done small one man shops, medium size and working on a big 40,000 sq ft of building on 9 acres of land, multi brand dealership, our biggest hurdle will be a wetland impact and Army Corps permit.

Almost every job like that comes up with some kind of surprise for the client, not so much me, I see the property and see the issues
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
....
I've been thinking about starting my own business for a while....
...
....So have you owned a moto business? What type? Did you find, to your surprise, that having motos be your income made you hate them or the business?
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:38 PM   #4
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The old saying goes that if you want to make a million$ in the motorcycle business start with $2 million.

Been there, done that.

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Old 02-19-2014, 03:39 PM   #5
cccolin OP
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oh, the point isn't to get rich. Just to enjoy what I do.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
oh, the point isn't to get rich. Just to enjoy what I do.
What you said.

Still munching...
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #7
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yeah, i'd like to know, too. I feel like i'm pretty realistic about it, but would like to hear some opinions from folks that have been there. Although I realize no one that currently has a business is likely to respond publicly about that.

on that note, PM me if you dont care to talk about it on the forum.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
oh, the point isn't to get rich. Just to enjoy what I do.

if you enjoy not making any money youre in luck
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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I've been in the business a long time. I've worked in dealerships in sales, finance, parts, sales management, and as a GM. I've been in various positions with distributors and manufacturers.

I've also been a life-long racer, hobbyist, race promoter, collector, and ADVer.

I will tell you that there are times when I literally hate motorcycles. It's not all the time. But it happens more than you think. I have 7 bikes in my shop and there are days I can't stand to look at them.

Mixing your hobby with your livelihood is a love/hate thing. And it's not for everyone.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
Hey guys,
I've been thinking about starting my own business for a while, originally fabrication/furniture. But it hit me, why not motos? add in that I have an awesome lady, also into motos, also a skilled fabricator with tons of mechanical experience, and what i lack... great organizational and people skills. and she's excited to start the business with me.

Thanks for the input.

Cheers
The "why not motos" tells me that this is likely not a good idea.

If you intend to get into it, your passion for all things moto had better be more than "why not motos"

If you want to make money, do something else with your talent.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:54 PM   #11
cccolin OP
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The "why not motos" tells me that this is likely not a good idea.

If you intend to get into it, your passion for all things moto had better be more than "why not motos"

If you want to make money, do something else with your talent.

That isn't what I meant. My family and friends can tell you that I live and breathe motos. However, I think it makes some sense to get a little idea of what I'm getting myself into.

Its not about money. It's about making a job out of something I love.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:22 PM   #12
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I think the bigger question is if you'll lose your love for it before it becomes a sustainable business. Basing a business on a personal interest is a great way to scratch off a personal interest.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:57 PM   #13
cccolin OP
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I think the bigger question is if you'll lose your love for it before it becomes a sustainable business. Basing a business on a personal interest is a great way to scratch off a personal interest.

thaaaaaaaaaaat's what i meant. That's pretty much my question in a nutshell.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:27 PM   #14
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If you're planning a retail venture, unless you really like dealing with The Public (and by that, I mean all the irrational, dollar-clutching slobs who will try to pass off the costs of their poor decision-making skills onto you), I'd say find something else. If you are going into the service aspect, you need to figure out how to differentiate yourself. If you are planning on product development, you need to have good mfg/sales connections who will not rip off your IP.

*** Edit ***If you do go into mfg, do yourself a favor and plan ahead for how you are going to handle returns.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:22 PM   #15
steveWFL
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I think the bigger question is if you'll lose your love for it before it becomes a sustainable business. Basing a business on a personal interest is a great way to scratch off a personal interest.
+1, Beat me to it.

If you really want to hate all things motorcycle, sure open the business
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