[TheThinkTank] Thethinktank Digest, Vol 183, Issue 5

Lawrence Mohammed law at probikeservice.co.uk
Mon Jan 17 08:13:01 PST 2022


If it's helpful....here's how our gift economy model has evolved


  * Idea #1 [there was no external support or funding at this stage -
    just me running an experiment on my weekends]
      o This was literally a large mason jar where people could donate
        after having received a bike service or a lesson in bike
        maintenance (originally, there were four courses; intro, basic,
        intermediate, advanced)
      o   I didn't differentiate between parts (many new) or labour
      o Results
          + Takings after 8months (weekends only) came to around £2000,
            once parts were factored in, this more than halved
          + Only those well versed with cycling (and some mechanical
            knowledge) knew the value of servicing.  The perceived value
            of maintenance training varied even more widely
          + Some people HATED the donation jar and idea of 'pay what you
            feel', some loved it.  Most people who hated it appeared
            time poor and cash rich [I felt they wanted a simple
            transaction]
  * Idea #2 [now with some funding]
      o parts had to be paid for, even used parts [these have been fully
        cleaned, inspected, lubed/etc and where necessary - fitted, test
        ridden and removed - i.e not just a box of random parts that
        have been stripped and left]
      o there was now a bank account [people were given details and left
        to pay as and when they felt like it and how much they felt]
      o Results
          + A glass jar gave pressure for people for give then and
            there, also some people don't use cash (others only use
            cash) - for those who use cash, this has and will always be
            acceptable too
          + I refused to ask people to tick boxes on what disability
            they had or what ethnic group or sexual orientation or age
            they were...for same reasons previously given
          + Gifting roughly doubled
  * Idea #3 [how it's been running for the last couple years]
      o We have a 'value list' for servicing and training clearly laid
        out on the door of the workshop and (less clearly!) on the website
      o People pay what and when they feel called to.  There are no
        demands for payment.  If people ask why we operate this way, I
        explain about 'gift economics' and sharing economies (the
        workshop is adjacent to some of the most expensive bits of real
        estate in London - yet also within 15minutes walk of some of the
        poorest with 2nd highest rate of homelessness and child
        deprivation in the whole country)
      o If people haven't gifted anything and said they would, I will
        sometimes send them an email or call a few weeks later.
        Sometimes they've forgotten, sometimes they just won't want to
        gift anything...in almost five years of trading, a only a few
        people have done this.  We're known as the highest quality bike
        servicing enterprise in the area (we've serviced bikes for
        Olympic Medal winners) and our training is also second to none
      o We also have Paypal (linked to our account) and Coupay.  We are
        considering adding a crypto account for Etherium and Bitcoin
        when the business scales up
      o Results
          +  From servicing, _we take roughly 85-90% of what a 'normal'
            workshop would make_.  We gift bikes to victims of crime
            whenever we can (building up bikes from scratch is good
            practice for volunteers) and our community knows and likes
            what we do with many high earners 'overpaying' for the value
            of services and many people gifting parts and offering to
            gift skills and services (which often, we can gift on by
            bridging community connections)
          + We're the ONLY workshop that has not yet been broken into in
            the area.
          + Funding largely comes from revenue, not grants/donations,
            but this is good as it doesn't require intensive form
            filling....we are looking at digitising impact measurement
            and added value though

In service,

*Lawrence Mohammed*
CEO and Founder
Pro Bike Service C.I.C.
*+44 (0)77 222 58587*
*probikeservice.co.uk <https://probikeservice.co.uk>*

/::Olympic Park Site::
Pro Bike Service C.I.C.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Canalside, Hackney Bridge
London E15 2SJ
*map location <https://what3words.com/cuts.porch.logic>*


/
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