I mentioned in Bike Fit that I was thinking about starting a bike fitting business in Kuala Lumpur. The seeds were planted when I decided to become a certified Retül fitter. Those seeds, to use a spring analogy, are bursting into bloom.
Not long after I got my certification, I decided to go for it. I know I will enjoy doing bike fits, and I do see a need for a bike fitting service in Kuala Lumpur. Encouragement from everyone I spoke to about my proposed venture helped a lot too.
My first step was to think of a name for my business. All the official steps to set up a business require a business name. I bounced a few thoughts around with my biker chick. We settled on Velo Fit.
Last week Retül notified me that I was officially a Retül member. That gives me access to the Members Zone on the Retül web-site. I can create a profile that visitors will see when they search for a Retül fitter in Malaysia. That got me thinking about a logo for Velo Fit.
I briefly entertained the thought of creating my own logo. Then common sense prevailed and I went looking for professional help. I started by asking my SIL Delani if she knew any graphics designers. Delani works in advertising, so the answer of course was “yes.” I didn’t take her long to come back with some options, and more importantly, costs. I had no idea what a logo designer charges. Alot, as it turns out. Anything from RM1,000 to RM5,000 / USD325 to USD1,625. One designer offered to select a typeface to suit a an existing logo for the bargain price of RM1,000 / USD325. I reckon I could do that, even with my limited design skills.
I cast my net further. I Googled “Malaysian logo designers.” I spent a few hours looking at on-line portfolios, reading reviews and deciding on a suitable design package. I dialed two contact numbers to find out if the design revision process would be conducted on-line or it I could speak to the designer. The end result is that for less than it costs to have someone select a typeface, I will work with a designer from logodesign.my to get a logo that I like. I will also get designs for business cards, letterheads and envelopes.
Now all I notice are logos!
A few weeks ago I started looking at exactly what I needed to do to register a business. The Companies Commission of Malaysia, properly known as Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM), has an excellent website that has all the information a neophyte like myself needs. My options were to create a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, or a Limited Liability Partnership.
On April Fool’s day I registered Velo Fit as a Limited Liability Partnership, or LLP. The choice of date was entirely coincidental by the way.
LLPs are new to Malaysia. The Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2012 became law in February 2012. Registrations of LLPs began in June 2012.
The advantage of an LLP is that any debts and obligations of the LLP are borne by the assets of the LLP. In a conventional partnership, the partners are jointly and severally liable with the firm. In short my biker chick and I, as partners in an LLP, are not at risk of losing all our assets if we are sued.
The registration process is done entirely on-line. Apart from a visit to an SSM office to activate a MyLLP account. Once I had an active account it took all of fifteen minutes to confirm that “Velo Fit” was available as a business name, to complete the registration process, and pay the fee to create a new LLP. The confirmation email from the SSM that my registration was successful came minutes later.
I have also spoken to Ray Ther about using some space at Van’s Urban Bicycle Co. Either in their existing shop or in their upcoming new premises. Sub letting space is ideal for me as I don’t need much. Hopefully an arrangement with Van’s will be confirmed soon.
The big financial commitment to this venture went down last week. I placed an order for the Retül Vantage system and the Levül Wheel Block. I also ordered some other pieces of equipment from Purely Custom and Bike Fit.
One key piece of equipment came from the Ace Hardware shop at Plaza Jelutong. I stopped there on the way home from last Saturday’s Guthrie Corridor Expressway ride to buy a 120 cm / 47 in box level. An essential piece of equipment because the bicycle has to be level before readings are taken with the Vantage system. Otherwise the reported angles will all be wrong.
Today I spent time looking at online appointment scheduling software. The package that looks the most appealing so far is from Acuity Scheduling. It is customizable, can be embedded into a WordPress blog, sends automatic booking reminders, and can process credit card payments.
Speaking of WordPress, my next task is to craft a Velo Fit blog page. That is where I will list the services that I offer, take online bookings etc. If logodesign.my comes through with a good logo I can always use their website design services when I am ready to have a standalone web site.
I plan to take my first Velo Fit appointments in June. I’ll do a progress report in a month.