It has been almost a week since I registered Yipsan Bicycles llc. There has been crazy getting things together with all the government type form filling, opening a business bank account, trying to catch Don to get registered to go to NAHBS and of course all that there is to go with a modern day business.
The thing that pretty much pushed me over to commit to doing this was NAHBS, and the fact that I have to just commit and jump into the pro level. I am in a lucky situation where I could have just stayed as a hobby builder for any ten years or a lifetime. But I have been wanting to be a pro builder for quite a while already. I know most pros would say that this is not the way to turn pro, I did not have the classic trained up in a production environment kind of thing. I tried, but did not get in. also, most pros would also say you need to find your niche before going in, well, I do not have a niche, seems like most niche are kind of occupied. Do my frames top others, no, they do not. But they are pretty good by itself. Do I have customers lined up? No, not one, well maybe one since I was lucky again to have a friend who owns a bike shop to agree to be my dealer. Well, his wife rides one of my frames.
Enough with all the negative, I think by keeping a regular pace and work hard, there will be a tomorrow for me as a pro framebuilder. I may not be the next Sachs, but I am confident that I will have my little foothold in the field.
There are still a lot of loose ends that may mean I cannot show at 08 NAHBS, but only time will tell. I am more concerned if I have the absolute best stuff to show rather. All the expenses is also a concern. I cannot keep spending crazy but it looks like my next 6 months will have at least $10K worth of spending.
The feeling of jumping into an unknown is nauseating but I grew up sailing, so occasional puking is not a big problem. I will hopefully post this as my first blog when it became available. Thanks for reading.
Time goes by quickly while I was trying to register to exhibit in the next NAHBS, arranging for all necessary business necessities (insurance, website, graphics, etc……). Just trying to put up a simple one page website costed me lots of time, but anyway, it is up for now, a single page, single picture letting you know of how to contact me, but more will come as I have better pictures of my frames.
On the other side, I attended one of Serotta International Cycling Institute’s Advanced Fitting class yesterday. It was very informative and I get to meet many national and regional fitters to exchange experience which broadens my horizon. Equipped with such knowledge, I am capable of providing even better fitting services and of course design your next frame in the best possible way to fit you and provide the ride quality, build quality and aesthetic quality that you have been seeking for.
A small batch of tubing has arrived yesterday and I better inspect them and have them ready for a couple of builds that I have planned.
Wow, just got my macbook yesterday and have been busy trying to hook everything together. I have just successfully retrieve files from my old PC through our wirelss network, cool, but it took me some time since I am very new to Mac and really not good at all with computers. Anyhow, next up is to get the network printer to print from the Mac. Hope it will be smooth.
Oh, one cool thing now that makes a Mac not so different than a PC is the fact that it runs on an Intel chip and also the amount of software available to help. Case in point, I downloaded OpenOffice from OpenOffice.org, it is free and pretty much can replace Windows Office. I am sure there will be some restrictions, but most likely good enough for my purpose.
Well, more later, need to get everything ready.
wow, it has been too long since I last wrote. Work has been moving on and I think I should be able to hit the deadline to get frames for the show to my painter. Some other work has been slow though, but I have kind of expected that to happen. It is not critical for the time being but it needs to get on to be ready.
We have also been thinking of ways to promote YiPsan during the show but we have not confirmed on anything yet.
Just finished a 650B MTB with paragon sliders, it should head out to paint when I finish the stem on Friday. A fixed gear to replace my other one is also on the way, about half done. I am improving as I go but still see lots of room for improvement mainly in my efficiency rather than fit and finish.
Spending has also been crazy and I am feeling quite concerned. I guess I have to trim down on something else that I planned. And I know this is a constant for business – change!
well another long stretch that I did not write anything, mostly because I have been pushing to finish frames for the show. Now they are with painter, Keith Anderson, I feel a little relieved and was actually slacking a bit in the past couple of days. I did put together the photo taking area though. Fluorescent light fixtures given away by a neighbor together with a big roll of photo paper hung up creates an area where I can try to take some good pictures. Now I would like to see the first couple of frames back to start shooting. Work in the shop does not end though, there are still wheels to build, parts to line up and some headbadges to get ready for putting on frames.
wow, another 2 weeks! Christmas has come and gone and I have lost some time due to the festives. Things are going along, and most things are on schedule. The first 2 frames are back and pending for taking pictures. I am still learning to take good pictures and also learning as I go in editing them and making them into my website. There are so much new things to learn to make this happen, it is a bit overwhelming. But then, learning new things can be fun. Like using this mac instead of a PC, I just upgrade my mac OS to the Leopard that was released when I bought my macbook, it got me to learn more about backing up and also different settings and functions. Now, the next thing to learn is my all new Adobe CS3. It will help me prepare designs and web authoring and I am quite excited to do it. The only thing is the lack of time and concentration on my part.
A powdercoat frame had just been finished as well, it will be a winter randoneur type bike and I plan to loan it to a friend to test it out and give me some feedback. Also on design stage is a couple of bike I am planning to build for demo at The Bicycle Escape. Wow, even thinking of all this feels busy already.
Hope all is good with your holiday, happy new year to all.