Name: Mark Chilton
Location: Oakleigh South, Vic
Type Of Shed: Absco Workshop 4.48m x 2.26m x 2.06m Classic Cream
Like the shed the website is a WIP – to be completely redesigned in a week or so. I really couldn’t justify the Workshop Sheds as I had recently closed my retail bicycle store as I was continuing to trade at a loss. I’m now glad I did. I am setting up to operate various bicycle related business activities. Mostly based from home and mostly using the Absco Sheds. It’s looking like it might work. The inside is ‘different’ I reckon. Still working on it but might have something in time. I rarely participate in offers such as this, but the service you provided was impressive; particularly in that you provided that seemingly rare commodity of timely communication.
First of all, I am not ‘crying poor ‘ here. I’m doing OK, just an owner of one of countless failed small businesses, moving on. So these are just facts.
As I said when I first responded, I closed my bicycle retail store almost a year ago (although still some paperwork happening – it’s very much easier to open than to close). As anyone who owns a small retail business will tell you; it can be a tough gig, and for many it is becoming increasing difficult. If one is big enough to have a few employees but not big enough to have much in the way of help with the critical ‘after hours’ business necessities; it can make for a long day, most days of the week, with very small financial reward. There are other less tangible rewards at times, though.
I closed for several reasons – many factors combined that resulted in several months of trading at a loss. A not uncommon tale of: high rent and to much stock, plus decreasing sales and reducing margins due to the ‘economic downturn’ and ‘on-line’ competition are examples. But perhaps the main reasons were the fact that the owner/operator of a business of this type needs to be a literal ‘jack of all trades and a master of most’. I loved what I was doing and had most of the skills, but I was just not skill/informed/experienced enough in some to survive. There was not enough time in the day and I made a couple of fairly critical errors. I call it my most expensive degree but also the one that I learned the most from.
With a business loan to take care of it was going to be difficult to return to the workforce, so I decided to take some ideas I had and try to move forward. I didn’t wish, nor did I have the funds, to develop any sort of physical presence and some of my ideas were going to take time to develop and grow in a business sense. I therefore decided to work part-time for a wage whilst both putting pen to paper in the evenings for and also set myself up to ply my trade from home. I didn’t think I would be able to find the space to set-up a workshop for bike repairs and associated activities from home as we are looking at dividing our corner block to help with finances. But, as the early pictures may show, I’m going to be able to. I have been slower getting set-up that I thought as a fellow business owner has taken on a couple of my ideas in partnership and I also provided me with casual work. But I’m about to take a break, during which time I’ll finish setting up and take care of some very patient customers. I’ll send some pics in a few days and we’ll see what I have managed to comfortably fit in. (There is room for the truing stand and a bike fit area but I’m a bit worried about the beer fridge and couch!!)