An honest and transparent chat about finances in the light of a possible event-free 2020

NewsPosted on 23rd March 2020

The bottom line

As you may know, I am a sole trader (SMK trading as PMBA Enduro ) I won’t beat about the bush, here is what the current situation basically comes to –

  • 2020 event receipts = £102,800
  • Cost of 100% refunds to everyone = £112,669
  • Cost of refunds for R1/3 = £34,500
  • Cash in the bank, readily available ~£70k – twice whats needed for R1/3 but 2/3rds of what’s needed if all the events get cancelled.
  • Total PMBA Enduro assets that can be sold ~ £10k
  • Total PMBA Insurable event losses for 2020 ~ £10k + costs of refunds (another 10k)
  • Total that can be made available to “the pot” eventually /after insurance payout £100k (of the 103k taken, £113k needed)

So if this week, or next month the government announce the cancelling of all the events this year, and like R1/3 everything needs refunding what will happen?

Well, with the events where racers have been emailed today, there will be OPTIONS as an alternative to the 100% refund.
Options offering a customised race top.
Option to donation some/all to North West Air Ambulance.
Option to transfer entry to A PMBA ENDURO VOUCHER, this is the one I really need a chunk of people to take, and below is why.

What's with the voucher scheme?

If you take a PMBA Enduro voucher instead of a refund you will be able to spend that voucher on any future PMBA Enduro event. If July onwards events run then of course the voucher will be valid for those, if events don’t run then it will be also valid for any 2021 event, 2022 event or in fact any future event ever.

There will be no time limit on using the voucher.  I don’t know what the future holds so I feel it’s unfair to put any restriction on when that voucher can be used.

Voucher holders could well get advance & discounted entries into future events – I can envisage 2021 entries at 2020 prices for voucher holders as well as advance entries should 2021 run as normal.

How do you know PMBA Enduro will still be around after all this?

This scheme is for precisely that point, to make sure it is and  I am.

I don’t want to do anything else but this, I’ve spent the last 7 years building up PMBA Enduro I’m determined not to let it crash and burn.  I can manage on the £94/week government sick pay, and that’s all its currently looking like I’ll get.  However I have no mortgage, no dependents, and a cheap life style;  its actually the very same things that in 2015 I was able to stop the day job and switch to doing events full time with £25,000 pot I saved up. For the record I also had to put money into the business in 2018; when I went solo, and when we had the “Beast from the East” cancellation, so I’m about £35k in, and only living costs out in that time.  Only 2017 and 2019 have created a profit over my living costs, and I’ve invested heavily back into the business to put on better and better events.

I’ll keep PMBA Enduro money separate from my living money, as I have done before, so that I can just pick up where I left off – ready with a van load of event gear to put on some awesome enduros !

Over the past years I’ve moved more and more to a lifestyle built around the event calendar, living in my van/truck at venues prepping before events and onto the next venue is loosely what I do.  Although this year I’ve already done a trip to Kirroughtree to plot that course and start on the admin …..  this is what I want to do, I know I’ve said that already but it needs saying again.  I know some other organisers have said they wont come back if the year or more gets scrapped, but I want to make sure I can.  I cant do much more than tell you I will be back, and hope you believe that I can be.  This life style of the events paying for me to ride and build, and do some advocacy volunteer stuff is what the future holds!

What MTB advocacy and volunteer stuff?

So some of you know I wear many hats, yes I volunteer for PMBA and am on the committee as “Events and communications officer” doing the social media, website (with Dan), liasing with Lancs CC over investment into MTB trails and rights of way repairs – Healey Nab currently top of those discussions with the damage caused from the recent felling to stop the larch disease spread.

Did you know I also do a chunk of the organising for the BNES series?  I’m generally one of the most active in BEMBA/BNES to drive the sport forward, including getting the multiple BNES organisers to work together to for 1 series.
Did you know I’m helping with bringing EWS back to Scotland next year, along with EWS-E; as I think it will be great for the sport; so have offered help a few years ago and that is on and ongoing. You may be surprised at my role over the race week – you heard it here first  😉
Did you know that 95% of Gisburn forest social media is actually me?  Gisburn Forest Bike Trails on Facebook and Instagram for the “Trailbuilders” is basically me with another volunteer hat on.

I don’t do these things for money, I do them because I like to promote many things MTB. I don’t shout about them now for any other reason than you to be able to judge me on my character and my dedication to MTBing and especially Enduro. – The Enduro organising lifestyle allows me to be able to do them. Please enable me to keep doing them  🙂

So come on, where has all the money gone?

This list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the bigger things PMBA Enduro has bought in the last 6 months with the entry money, and a chunk of this investment will carry onto future events/years although some items wont. There is about £40k listed below.

£7863 in insurance business/events/cancellation/truck
£1400/month standing order for VAT paid (I’m on the flat rate VAT scheme, paid as a %age of turnover)
£7600 on the race team/ambassadors. Including a Hope blinged Orange Switch for Matty, Kev & Leah’s race entry to Trans Maderia
£2300 on number boards
£2000 on 24 raw lithium cells to make my own powerwall to run the events off solar power …..
£2942 on other electronics and off grid living upgrades (including 4 x 350w solar panels, 100A MPPT, £400 washing machine and £250 fridge freezer for the camper)
£2217 on getting the truck through MOT (its a 1995, welding on door, 2 new tyres @£150 each, new stainless exhaust, service too)
£1200 on a powered barrow for trail building
£1550 on trail  builders (just started, so not much)
£1500 on 1st/2nd/3rd trophies for 6 rounds
£719 on biodegrade race tape (43 x 250m rolls, BNES/BEMBA Tape)
£667 on stuff for marshals+1400
£*** on EWS License fee’s for qualifiers
£ ??? on Facebook/social media ads – few hundred
£250 on hemp barrier tape (200 x 70m rolls, orange
£250 on website hosting upgrade

What items can you sell?

I really don’t want to be selling the ambassador bikes of Matty and Katy, and I don’t think you the racers want that either.  I do have a Orange Stage of my own that can go for sale ~£3000, I’ll keep the Alpine only.

I’ve a 24 seat Merc Mini-Coach that was going to be a camper but I didn’t have the time – £4000 if anyone wants it, 2004 Vario 614 with the awesome 4.2T engine  🙂

Mudhugger have already said I can sell the 80 Mudhuggers if events don’t run – thanks guys!

I’m not selling the trail building tools, truck, event kit  …… I’ll need all of those things when we can kick off with events again.

Want to hear all that from me, waffling on for 15mins with the information above?