Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Cycle Trade "Suppliers"

Bicycle Suppliers/Distributors/Importers/Wholesalers = Buy parts at trade and sell at RRP.

To make a reasonable profit from buying parts whether to stock or to buy for a repair. Parts will have a 30% mark-up and fast moving parts could have a mark-up of over 100%

But it doe's seems like some trade suppliers want all of the cake.

You may find opening trade accounts difficult to open whether you are a mobile business or a shop. Some suppliers favour shops, even though the shop owner may not be qualified to fix bicycles, yet they can sell new bikes to the public. The supplier can also sell the shop owner a lot of stock to fill his shelves. Or the supplier wants to only sell to shops that have a on-line shop.

You have suppliers that just sell a brand or two of bicycles, you have suppliers that sell basic workshop parts & accessories and or bikes and you have the suppliers who sell medium to high end parts "the well-known brands"  
"Many start-ups choose suppliers based on price, but reliability and speed are just as important. You will need a supplier who can deliver the right number of goods at the right time. Larger suppliers can often be the most reliable as they have resources to spend on back-up if necessary. Seek out suppliers who have been in business for some time and have a solid reputation."
  • Some of the suppliers who sell workshop parts and most of these parts are the same brands, may not sell to you as you are in the area of someone who buys and sells these brands. 
  • Some suppliers also sell to the public at trade prices. 
  • Some suppliers have the latest b2b websites while others have a out of date catalogues and you don't know the quality of the part or whether it is in stock, until you receive your delivery and the parts you are waiting for don't turn up or are wrong. (Having to send parts back can be costly and time consuming) 
  • Suppliers will also have a minimum order for post free. This may mean you have to spend between £100 - £200 for free delivery. 
  • Like many businesses, items can often be found cheaper on-line with free delivery, than from your trade supplier. 
  • Many small businesses never see their rep
  • Suppliers can also lose a brand or two and this means opening new accounts to continue selling these products.
  • No one supplier sells all parts/brands. 
Choose your business suppliers carefully and treat them well.

But what suppliers do Cycle Tech UK buy from?
We support our suppliers by sticking to our main suppliers and recommending to our new members.
"Price, reliability and speed are important factors when choosing suppliers"
  • A supplier that will offer technical help/support
  • Suppliers who have been in business for some time
  • A supplier who will send small workshop parts out postage free.  
  • A supplier who has a b2b website 
  • A supplier who sends out a rep to visit
  • Suppliers who are happy to support mobile bike businesses 
  • Suppliers who sell to our network members at a premier rate 
  • Next day delivery's including Saturdays 
  • Don't rely on one single supplier
But we can understand a supplier not wanting to support some new businesses whether mobile or a bike shop, any business must be working to a high standard, qualified and professional looking.

Don't go overboard on stock
"Product knowledge and understanding how your suppliers do business is key"
  • Do not over invest initially. Be cautious on doing so before you've built a relationship with your supplier. Or you may learn the hard way and place a larger order than you should have done with a different supplier to the one we have now. 
  • Learn what each of your supplier sells and are these other products in-line with what you want to sell your customer. 
  • Suppliers can be out of stock and you may need to look elsewhere on-line. And quit often the on-line seller will send the part and comes in a box from your supplier!  
  • Keep a order book or add to your on-line shopping basket to build a large order. 
Build a long term relationship

Reviewing your suppliers' performance at regular intervals can help you spot any areas for improvement. Check whether you are getting the best price, quality and delivery options for your business.
  • Have a plan in place if you switch suppliers to minimise disruption to your business
  • Do meet your suppliers at trade shows
  • Do call your supplier/rep and arrange for a visit
  • Do check your suppliers website and monthly news letters for special discounts of the month
  • Always make sure you are on the best price & payment plan, many suppliers give discount for paying on time and some charge you at a higher rate for being on pro-rota. 
  • Negotiating price with suppliers on large orders. 
Our Network will put you in touch with the main suppliers and trade contacts, to help you of to a good start.
  • By being part of our network you will have a list of all trade suppliers and what they sell.
  • Open accounts
  • Stock list of setup parts
  • Group email support
  • Meet and network at trade shows, including introduced to suppliers and open accounts 
  • Best deals on workshop parts, supplies and tools
  • Bulk buying with network members on fast moving workshop parts
Smart Business Builder

To help you on your business journey, we've created Cycle Tech UK "The national network of mobile bicycle mechanics" 

If you would like to receive a copy of our information brochure which provides further details, joining fee, including an overview of our business model then please contact the Managing Director Martin Wilkins Email:

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