PLENTY of successful businesses begin with someone realising the service they are looking for doesn’t exist.

And that was the case for Callum McPherson when he struggled to find somewhere secure and accessible in Edinburgh to store his beloved motorbike.

He’d heard of garages and lock-ups in the US and Australia where bike enthusiasts not only parked, but worked on their motorcycles and chatted with other like-minded folk.

And when the 26-year-old discovered there was nothing like this in the UK, let alone Edinburgh, he set about setting one up.

Eighteen months on, Moto Stable is open in the Abbeyhill area of the capital and pulling in bikers with its 24-hour pin-code access, CCTV and friendly feel.

“Read the news and you’ll see constant headlines about motorbikes being stolen, joy-ridden and vandalised,” explains Mr McPherson. “In London last year 10,000 bikes were stolen. And Edinburgh is a hotspot for bike crime. My learner bike was vandalised and when I passed my test and bought a bigger, more expensive bike, I knew there was no way I was going to leave something that valuable on the street. That’s when I came up with the idea for Moto Stable.

“Finding the right premises was challenging, especially as this was a new concept for the UK. But people saw how good the idea was and I was determined to see it through.”

The secure garage premises is comprised of three railway arches with room for 30 bikes as well as a workshop space with shared tools, and a place where customers can relax and talk bikes.

This idea of providing a place to share and enjoy motorcycle culture was central to Mr McPherson’s vision for the business, which he hopes to expand both in Edinburgh and to other Scottish cities.

“I’ve met so many people from the motorcycle community and they’ve been really great in helping me get the business off the ground,” he says.

“Bring a bunch of bikers under one roof and you’re going to make friends and have good fun.”

Mr McPherson worked as a marketing manager in the technology start-up sector before taking the plunge himself, and is relishing the opportunity to utilise his knowledge and skills to grow his own business.

“I’ve always had lots of ideas but I got so much positive feedback on this I thought it must be the right one to pursue,” he adds.

“I love being involved in every aspect of the business. When you work for someone else you tend to be in one role but it’s been fun to take care of the real estate and accounting too. It gives you an understanding of how the business as a whole fits together, and you learn so many new skills along the way.”

And the young entrepreneur believes now is a good time to consider becoming your own boss, even if you don’t have lots of experience.

“Changes in society and the economy mean so many young people are getting out there and setting up their businesses on their own,” says the management graduate. “I have lots of friends doing the same, and there is plenty of support out there to get you started.

“Talk to as many people as you can about your idea. People sometimes advise you to keep your idea a secret for as long as possible so it doesn’t get stolen. But you get a huge amount of valuable feedback, learn a lot and get different perspectives from just going out and talking to people. It’s not the idea that’s most important, it’s having the perseverance to go out and make it work.”

The lifelong bike-lover also believes starting a business in an area you know about and have a passion for makes all the difference.

“I honestly can’t think of anything better than starting and growing a business you really care about,” smiles Mr McPherson.

“People talk about work-life balance but when you are an entrepreneur you love what you are doing and you are prepared to spend all your time doing it.

“When I’m in a place surrounded by bikes, talking about bikes, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

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