Setting up shop: How do you compare on floor space allocation, hiring and the workshop?

As part of CyclingIndustry.News’ partnership with the Professional Bicycle Mechanic’s Association we’re able to bring you an exclusive look at a survey with over 540 of its members detailing shop diversity. Wondered how yours compares to the average (albeit primarily U.S.-based) store? Look no further…

How large is your business premises?

Over half of the 543 responses to the PBMA’s survey said that their store footprint measured shy of 3,000 square feet, with 10.5% retailing from a space under 1,000 square feet. As is to be expected, numbers tail off rapidly for store sizes over 5,000 square feet; just 6.5% had the luxury of a footprint ranging between 5,000 to 6,500 square feet. With franchise growth in the U.S. it’s interesting to note that 7.37% described their business as “mobile”.

What portion of your store do you dedicate to storage?

18.1% of the 539 who answered this question dedicated as much as 20% of their shop space to storage of goods or waste products. This was narrowly the most common response, with 15.7% allowing 15% of shop space to be set aside for storage. Making better use of space, some 14.1% dedicated 5%, or less, of their space to storing goods. Just shy of 10% allowed up to 30% of their space to be dedicated to storage.

What percentage of your shop is filled by the service department?

By far the general consensus of 537 responses is that bike shops are generally dedicating 20 to 25% of their store footprint to the service department at 20.6 and 13.5% of responses, respectively. Tallying with the percentage who outlined that they were mobile only units, 5% indicated that their business revolved solely around workshop trade.

How many staff work in your service department?

The majority of cycling industry workshops employ no more than four staff, with near a quarter employing just one dedicated mechanic, according to the 520 responses here. 21.5% employ two dedicated mechanics, 19.2% stretch to three and 14% rely on a team of four dedicated technicians. A further 15% recruit between five and eight, but very few stores recruit more than this number.

How many people do you employ?

A wide range of shops responded to the PBMA’s survey, with just 4.25% indicating that they were able to employ over 40 staff. For the most part shops were only able to employ a handful of staff; 16.8% employed one extra, 11.5% two additional staff and 9.6% three staff. Around 35% employed between five and ten staff, with additional numbers dropping off sharply thereafter.

Of your employee count, how many are female?

Just shy of 50% of the 352 stores to answer have recruited a female staff member. Interestingly, the highest number of shops chose to skip this question, perhaps indicating that the unavailable 0 was unable to be selected, potentially skewing the figures significantly. Around 20% employed 2 females, and 12.5 recruited three women to work in the business.

Was your organisation profitable in 2016?

Thankfully the vast majority of the 515 that responded to this question – some 80% – were profitable in 2016. The remaining 20% were not.

How was the first half of 2017 for your business?

Again, most are holding relatively steady in a difficult climate, with 41.56% stating that they have made a better start to 2017 and 34.35% keeping the business at similar levels. 24.1% are performing worse than this time last year.

How is the service department doing year-on-year?

In keeping with the general trend in the UK in recent years, trade in the workshop with the 524 respondents has primarily grown year-on-year; 48.3% reported enhanced trade. On the contrary, just 16% reported a decline in business for their technicians.