Over the course of the last 14 years I am not sure quite what I have achieved. There have been beneficiaries from my investment although I don’t know who has gained the most. It is probably HMRC. The landlord did OK, as did the local authority, hopefully my staff gained more than just their wages, my suppliers have certainly done really well and, hopefully, my customers have gained from my time and commitment too? As for my family, they have been the biggest losers.
Since opening the shop I have managed to contribute a lot to our state: over half a million in VAT, business rates, PAYE and a even tiny bit of personal tax (barely a penny of which has gone to making our roads safer). Small businesses do more than their fair share for the economy.
I have employed some really great people. Many have gone on to do their own thing in the cycle industry; hopefully all the better for spending some time with me. I certainly feel better for knowing them.
I may not have much to show for the 70 hour weeks, sleepless nights, disappointed wife and financial investment but I do hope that I have given some inspiration and motivation as that was my aim in the first place. My vision was always to inspire and motivate and, through my enthusiasm, generate the sales to provide an income. It started well but didn’t quite work out as planned.
I don’t blame the internet, the government nor Brexit for the lack of income but a country close to recession is a problem and living in a county that promotes car use has not helped either.
I was happy to work alongside the internet and encouraged users to visit with their new purchases. However, it is a little frustrating that the biggest online cycle retailer in the world is based in the UK and losses money. The location is not the problem but that they can turnover £345,000,000 and make a loss of £132,000,000 is bizarre.
We live in a strange world these days and having access to anything and everything on a phone has many benefits but I am not sure that we will all be better off.
Now it’s time to move on. To sleep through the night. To have weekends at home. To put my wife and family first. To laugh. Ride more. Run, walk, kayak, canoe, travel, ski, cook, read….Live . I’m sure the local riding community will get on fine without the shop. I’ll still be around and will be available to repair your bikes and adjust them to fit you perfectly. Watch this space (Facebook)!
Whilst I might not have anything to show for my service to the local cycling community I do take pleasure from the knowledge that I have helped many a rider. I have always believed that that machine with two wheels was more than just a bicycle, it is a passport to a better life, an escape, a stress reliever, a means to healthier body, a bringer of joy. A bike is something special. It is time to ride!
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