Part of following through on the decision to make a change, to take the leap into a complete unknown, involves having to write up a business plan. One section of the plan is to examine the "competition," so I've been researching existing establishments similar to what I want to do. Not only am I gaining valuable information about what's already out there, but I'm also finding more and more angles to take with my idea. Even just talking with a friend will spark another A-Ha moment, and I scramble to write down what occurred to me in order not to lose it. This happened yesterday when a friend texted me, asking about reflector vests and lights for her bike. When I replied, offering a couple of suggestions, I wondered how many others have wanted to use their bicycles for running errands or commuting to work but don't because of not knowing where to start to ensure comfort as well as a high degree of cycling safety. Then the idea occurred to me to have a clinic on what to wear as well as how to outfit the bike to enjoy running errands and commuting. I've seen clinics advertised--and attended one--on changing a bike tire, cleaning and lubing the chain, and learning the basics of braking and shifting, but I've never seen an errand running/commuting clinic offered. Seems to me that one of the obstacles to trying something is just not knowing where to start. My friend did what I suggested she do, texting me afterwards, and the exclamation point along with the smiley face were all I needed to know she was on her way to using her bike more often for transportation.
Having helped another woman overcome a cycling problem is the exact reason I want to open a women's specific bike shop. I spent the entire evening thinking about how this friend can now cycle with the peace of mind that comes from being prepared. And this morning, her FB status update showed her excitement about the new found freedom of riding in the dark but feeling safe in doing so. I, in turn, felt excited and happy for her.