Turning the old in to the new
When Matt Rump decided to refurbish some old bikes at the end of his garden and sell them for spare parts on eBay he never expected to turn that into a full service cycle shop in Kessingland, Suffolk. His business has since grown from this simple beginning to a shop that sells bikes, spare parts and a repair service as well as hiring bikes to the local community and tourists.
Matt explains the start of his story:
‘The bikes were going to be thrown into the local landfill and I just thought that with a bit of work I could restore the bikes and sell them as spare parts and at the same time reduce the impact on the local environment.’
With the spare parts selling on eBay quickly, Matthew decided to develop on this success and started asking people through the website Freegle to donate old bikes that he could refurbish and sell for spare parts on his eBay Store.
‘It soon got to the point where I could see this becoming a successful business. Where as many stores would only sell new parts or bikes, I was able to offer customers, through the recycling and refurbishment of bikes a cheaper alternative and it was at this time that I needed the finance to expand the business.’
Matt approached NWES to seek advice about taking his business further. Having put him on a five day training course to help with business planning, they then put him in touch with Foundation East’s Business Loan Manager, Peter Wood. To take his business to the next stage Matt required a small business loan of £3000 to help purchase new equipment for his office at home and additional stock to help with the high demand.
‘Working with Foundation East and Peter have been brilliant, they understood my idea and the plan and appreciate how difficult it can be for Start-Up businesses. Peter Wood was great, he never told me how to do it but always gave me great advice when I needed it.
‘I was confident that I had a great business from the results of the test trading that I had done online , but Foundation East agreeing to help finance the next stage of the business confirmed everything for me. They believed that I could succeed.’
Since taking the Foundation East loan CycleRecycle has now expanded into its own shop in Kessingland, Suffolk. From this store Matt is able to sell new and used bikes, spare parts and provide hire bikes to the local community and tourists. The company’s mission statement of promoting cycling in the region, saving customers money and providing excellent customer care and reducing the impact on the environment led CycleRecycle to win Start-Up Business of the Year for Lowestoft and Waveney.
‘It was brilliant to be nominated let alone win the award’, concludes Matt. ‘We always felt that the business could have a positive effect on our local community and environment and this award showed the impact that we have made. The future for the company looks promising and we are investigating how we can take this to other towns across the country and start challenging the larger high street stores.'