mono motorcycles review of 2020!
2020. A pandemic happened. The end.
However, in between……………………………..
2020 has been the most challenging year of our lifetimes. When we came into 2020 full of fire & ready to take on the new year, full of promise & positivity; we could not have foreseen that Sars-Cov-2 (Covid 19) had other ideas.
The mono motorcycles year started with us having extended our reception area, purchased a coffee machine & had all intentions of starting a monthly Coffee Morning, in addition to our popular Summer Breakfast clubs.
We had all heard of Covid 19 by this point, but like so many at the beginning of 2020, it seemed to be an SEP (someone else’s problem) a disease born in China, but not headed our way. How this changed so rapidly. By mid February, we had already heard of cases arriving in the UK & parts of Europe were already seeing a considerable spread across their borders.
We soldiered on. The WHO (World Health Organisation) had already declared Sars-Cov-2 as a Pandemic on 11th March 2020, but still this seemed to not be affecting us this much.
On Sunday 15th March 2020, we held our one & only Open Morning/Breakfast club & we remember clearly finding the whole ‘elbow’ instead of a hug to be hilariously funny. Little did we know, that within a week, all of our lives were to change forever.
As we watched the Pandemic take hold of our European neighbours & country after country either went into lockdown or declared a state of emergency; we all wondered when we would follow suit? During this week our phone had stopped ringing, just as motorcycle service season was meant to start. We were both very concerned about how this would affect us & our business.
On Monday 23rd March 2020 our Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation & told us that a national lockdown was to be put in place effective immediately. This meant we all had to stay at home, we had to keep 2 metres between us all & that all but essential shops, restaurants & businesses were to close.
A silent blanket of fear fell over the United Kingdom, as businesses were shuttered, households & families were separated & even loved ones, neighbours & friends became a potential carrier of what was proving to be such a deadly disease.
Following Government guidelines, we at mono motorcycles froze our diary, contacted all of our customers to advise them we had had to freeze their bookings & that we would be in contact with them as soon as we knew what was happening.
We packed up as many bits & pieces, tools, office equipment as we could & headed home. Daniel created a make shift ramp our of a door & two oil drums & Katy set up the office in the corner. We were both at a complete loss as to what this would mean for us, especially as being partners in life & in business; we both rely on mono motorcycles as a source of income.
We made the best of a bad situation. Daniel continued working on the eCub & Katy prepared activities & competitions for customers, friends, family & followers to engage with. At this point we soldiered on.
As time went on, we checked & re-checked the essential business list & realised all too soon that we hadn’t needed to head home. As a garage/motorcycle repair establishment, we could stay open. As we live & work together, we were able to move safely between home & work, not interacting with anyone else. Therefore, we moved back to the mono motorcycles workshop. We put Covid Secure plans in place & contacted our customers. Most of them decided to take advantage of our Covid Secure Free Collection Service & we carried on working as much as we could.
However, March is usually the beginning of the motorcycle service season & our diary is usually 6- 8 weeks booked ahead with service work. This year this was not to be the case. As the weeks & months went past, the work we were booking in was what we call ‘Winter work’ unfinished projects, repairs, detailing, etc. As the instructions were to stay at home & only essential travel; motorcycles were staying put in garages & therefore were not in need of servicing. For some, this has continued throughout this year & service intervals have been missed due to lack of use.
During the first lockdown we were lucky enough to qualify for a Government grant which enabled us to pay the bills for the mono motorcycles workshop. We continued to welcome work to the workshop & prioritised our Key Workers & NHS staff motorcycles.
It was a tough time as we watched Breakfast Club after Breakfast Club get cancelled & then our Summer BBQ. Ride outs all but vanished as most riders followed Government guidance & only made essential journeys. We soldiered on, welcomed wiring work, servicing for those who use their motorcycles as their Commute’s & project work.
In the middle of lockdown 1 , we celebrated Sprockets 1st Birthday & managed to raise some much needed funds for Amicii Dog Rescue in our auction.
As we came out of Lockdown 1, we were all too aware that Covid had not left us & we therefore had to continue to adjust our work & our lives. People did start to drop by to make enquiries, but due to Covid our reception area was still shut. Our diary suddenly became busy again & we began to book work into the Autumn & Winter months.
We did manage to get away on a postponed holiday in September & spent a week in a beautiful cottage in Devon, taking leisurely walks along the beach with Sprocket & enjoying some warm sunshine on the beaches.
Despite the damage Covid has done (& continues to do so) we have had some positives come out of this year & we are very much focusing on a recovery in 2021.
One such positive, was Daniel’s Son Nathan joining the mono motorcycles team.
Having finally moved in with his partner, Nathan had been asking us for some months if he could have a job. We looked into how to employ someone & ensure we were Covid Secure & on the 1st September 2020 Nathan joined the mono motorcycles team.
Nathan is a great asset to our business & thankfully having been brought up around motorcycles & having a Dad who is a Master Motorcycle Technician; means Nathan is familiar with his way around a motorcycle. Nathan has already shown his abilities by taking on basic servicing work, under Daniel’s watchful eyes & his nimble fingers are a great help during wiring & fault code finding.
One of the biggest realisations for us as a business was that during the entirety of this year, a good proportion of our workshop had not been generating any income, namely our extended reception/social area.
Understanding that Covid was most definitely here for the long stretch, we made the decision to return the reception area back to a smaller space & open up the workshop again. Katy’s Dad helped us return the wall of the reception area again (under protest that hopefully this was the last time!) & rebuilt the reception counter.
There was a double-edged reason for this & this is because we are in the process of applying for an MOT licence & we therefore need to maximise the workshop space.
We have spoken about an MOT bay since we started mono motorcycles & now seemed the right time to invest & grow & be able to offer our customers a whole Motorcycle Servicing & MOT experience.
Our application to the DVLA is in, but there are some considerable red tape hurdles to overcome, so although it will happen, it may not be for a good couple of months into 2021. However, our conversations have gone beyond just the MOT bay application, as this will generate us considerably more work & hopefully expand our customer base.
With the additional work the MOT bay should drive in, we are most certainly going to be looking to expand our team in 2021 & take on another Motorcycle Technician.
Our other positive news, was the introduction of another Rescue Dog in the form of Axle.
Axle having been found running with his litter around the streets of Romania, came to the UK as a companion for Sprocket. They are already thick as thieves & we are loving having the dynamic of the two of them.
We all need something to look forward to right now & therefore we are promoting our popular Breakfast Club’s return in 2021 & Covid permitting, hope to welcome you back from April to September, every 4th Sunday of the month, 9am-11am.
As we limp towards the end of this unprecedented year & get ready to wish 2020 a stern Good Bye! we can only be ever hopeful that the ‘New Normal’ which we will all be adapting to in 2021 & beyond, will allow us to rebuild, repair & rejoice in good times ahead.
We would both like to say an enormous Thank You to all our loyal customers, to our friends, family & supporters of mono motorcycles.
This year we have seen the trust of our customers extending from far & near, the kindness of strangers reaching out to us, the love & belief from family & the immense support from our friends & supporters. We have been humbled & overwhelmed by the gestures of kindness which have been extended to us this year & as we go in to 2021, we shall continue to offer a first rate service, strive to offer expert advice, continue to build on our outstanding customer service & welcome you all back to our social events.
Stay safe, stay healthy & we both wish you all a very positive & prosperous New Year 2021.
All the best, Daniel & Katy x