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Bike shop

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by annaw5599, 20th Mar, 2016.

  1. annaw5599

    annaw5599 Active Member

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    Looking at purchasing an established bike shop in Tasmania and revamping to put in coffee machine and communal table / magazines etc. will do the standard bike shop things like services and sales.... but just wondered ... what else would you want from your local bike shop ?
     
  2. robboat

    robboat Well-Known Member

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    Good move to make it more friendly and inviting for people - too much lycra is scary....:eek:
    Depends on the range but some depth of spare parts or willingness to go the extra service to get them in....
    Treat all equally - and have some knowledge of recumbents.....rare!
    Another thing is to get a series of rides organised to keep people riding....social rides or race days.

    Good luck...
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Calling @pinkboy ;)

    Somewhere near a major scenic bike route (& walking/jogging area) - don't limit your market.

    Cafe including drinks not just coffee.

    Plenty of bike rack space.

    Mobile repair service.
     
  4. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    I'd think local knowledge on tracks would be good , even organise group rides
     
  5. MattA

    MattA Well-Known Member

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    Definitely have a big shop ride culture...

    If you can get your customers to feel like they belong and are appreciated, they won't consider spending their dollars anywhere except with you. And that will extend to buying a jersey with your name all over it!
     
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  6. Player

    Player Well-Known Member

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    All great points above. I would consider expert bike fitting service to be important, whether by you if you're capable or a decent physio or similar. Pwrhaps a strategic alliance with a clinic nearby.
     
  7. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    The shop rides are key to establishing, but keeping group size manageable and skill level appropriate.
    Service has to be great, i mean GREAT- What can you offer that online sales cannot?
    The biggest local mtb shop I know has set up a major online site. I think it is the only way to stay alive.
    When company's like Canyon, and even Isla Bikes start shipping to Australia, I'd be very nervous.
     
  8. vbplease

    vbplease Well-Known Member

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    definitely this.. People must really like a bike shop and want to support it.. Otherwise they will buy all their gear online, like me :oops:

    Things I look for in a bike shop - they must do a very good bike fit. Good deals on servicing.. Make the customer return by doing bundles for multiple services. Organise a good group ride which ends at your shop where you sell lots of coffees and snacks
     
  9. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

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    A friendly attitude and willingness to help...oh and great staff.
    A decent range and plenty of stock. Nothing worse than going into a bike shop with a fistful of dollars only to be told "sorry we don't have any at the moment".

    try not to stock the same crappy brands/kits everyone else stocks...some niche kits.
     
  10. annaw5599

    annaw5599 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone really great ideas. We were thinking the whole community thing is really important - agree it's extremely hard to compete with online hence the need for exceptional service and bike rides starting at your door step with coffee after. Luckily we live in a community where many people are keen to support their local business where they can.
     
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  11. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

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    Some great tips from others.

    Also don't forget to focus on the basics like returning people's phone calls, chasing down sales leads, and treat everyone like a VIP. That person buying a single, cheap product may be your next customer purchasing a $20k+ bike.

    Also check out what other bikes shops locally, interstate, and online are doing in terms of customer service. Basically competitor research.

    Best of luck and let us know how it pans out.
     
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  12. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    Then discreetly jack the prices up :p
     
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  13. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    There used to be dozens of LBSes (Local Bike Shops) around this part of Sydney, but now most of them have gone out of business. It's mostly just the big chains (see what I did there?) or those with a true USP who have managed to survive - those who service a specific niche and have a wide reputation where people will travel across town just to see someone.

    Now that people can buy stuff over the internet far cheaper than most B&M stores can, unless you are selling what people want and can't get elsewhere - or have a reputation for service and knowledge that surpasses what people can get nearby, then I think you'd struggle.

    What is your speciality? Are you roadies? MTBers? Free riders? BMXers? Who will be your target market? Who will be the people who say "you've got to go to this place - those guys really know their stuff"?
     
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  14. annaw5599

    annaw5599 Active Member

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    My hubby is an A grade road cyclist. Also triathlete / track cyclist. Can also mountain bike - so knows most markets well. Has managed a bike shop before interstate, but we have moved back to where he is 'well known' and the hope is that his reputation and knowledge will be valued. We are also lucky to be in an area where people are generally happy to pay a bit more for local service (older demographic)
     
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  15. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    That's a great start - I often hear people recommending that someone go see a specific person at a particular shop because of their reputation and expertise.

    One thing that I like about my LBS (Cyclery Northside in Chatswood - a Specialized dealer), is that their service area is right at the front of the shop - so the service guys are as much a part of the sales team and the customer experience as anyone else who works there - much better IMO than having this "secret" area down the back where the service guys hide away to do their things.
     
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  16. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    I think a bike shop is a wheelie good idea.

    I certainly fork out money every now and then to bike pedallers.

    Great way to lose weight, keep fit and flick the finger at car drivers lol..
     
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  17. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    I used to write advertising for small businesses. Bike shops were always run by a crazy who was much better at bikes than people....This genuinely was our experience based on working with thousands of small businesses around the country. Bike shops always were nuts.

    If you guys can buck this alarming trend your business should be good.

    Forget about price, and focus on the community/service and you'll nail it.

    The coffee/communiry focus you've described above sounds like you're well on your way to (sane) treadly success.

    I wish you all the best of luck!
     
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  18. charpj

    charpj Well-Known Member

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    All about the community. For me I will buy from the LBS generally

    Give the customer that 'bike rider attitude' and they will never return.

    I remember speaking with a bike owner and he mentioned a couple of interesting things. That he had to pay his shop lead rider for the shop ride, try and find a solution so people will ride for the love of riding (perhaps offer free coffee post ride, instead of paying the shop rider)

    He also mentioned that he gave them shop kits for people to ride in = free advertising. That may be costly but perhaps run a competition to give away 20 shop kits etc, build the hype. Use Strava data to get riders into different experience groups.

    Make it family orientated shop (talking about attachment rates). Greater value of having a solo male rider vs a male rider, with wife and two kids = selling bikes and attachments.

    With the cafe have a 10 rides = 1 free coffee + muffin card. Not a clunky rewards card, a cool little table they can walk up to and record the ride, make it a bit of fun let them leave ride comments on legs etc. Honestly system