Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Who needs bicycle sales anyway?

It's always nice to meet like-minded people and who recognise our business as part of the growing bike trade.

This week I met Duncan Moore, the Editor of the new Cycle Trade Magazine.
Who are promoting and supporting those in the bike trade and not just the well-known high street names. But also those who do something different to bring in more customers, promote cycling and know how keeping active with these new ideas brings in more revenue all year round.

Cycle Tech's UK main business is service & repair, though we do sell bikes, it's not important to our business for survival. While winter can be a quiet time for those is the bike shop, (especially the traditional bike shops, that are jam packed with new bikes for sale). January is proving to be our second profitable month of the year, for many mobile mechanics time & time again. With repairs, servicing and the fitting of parts to those jobs, to be the main core work at this time of year. The turnover of jobs is less than the summer period, but Cycle Tech UK find our main profitable work this time off year that our mechanics are doing is fitting more parts to each job they see. From the harsh winter weather, that plays havoc to wheel bearings, bottom brackets, cables, tyres, chains & cassettes. (Not to mention - Cleaning and degreasing bikes this time of year which is all chargeable) It's more of doing an "overhaul" then doing service and gear adjustments. As more people are cycling and doing more mileage, all year round and not unusual for all these people to own 3 or more bikes!!!!
Also many new bikes are fitted with poor quality parts to help keep the costs down. Those parts are "un-serviceable" that are hidden such as wheel bearings and bottom brackets. With replacement being the only answer with better quality to help keep the bike running smoothly and help keep any breakdowns to a minimum between servicing. So all those last year's models brought from September onwards, will require parts changing after only 3 months of use.

Specialized carbon bike just over 3 months old. No sign of
water ingress, just poor quality BB. Replaced with Shimano.

  
"There are still quiet periods, but generally it can be one of our best months"

Cycle Tech UK also offer other services that work well as being a mobile setup which helps to fill in the gaps of those quiet periods. WithCycle Event mechanical support, we work with some of the big names across the UK.
Teaming up with ParkTool School, with many of our Cycle Tech UK Members have become instructors and offer 1/2 day bicycle home mechanics school
Our Dr Bike and cycle clinics, work well for both our Members and with promoting more people to safe cycling. (Ensuring bike is in safe road use).
As for bikes sales, Cycle Tech UK offer new bikes, mainly to those bikes that have been condemned due to not being cost-effective to repair. Cycle Tech UK also work with each customer, to their needs, especially when it comes to Custom Bike Builds, from choosing the frame to components for the style of ride and use.   
But then there is always the bike in a box assembly, for those customers who choose to buy online and we work with online bike sale businesses, offering a backup support for warranty & repair work, keeping their customers happy and less returns. Many customers also like to have their bike sorted/ready for when the weather improves. The list can go on with the work/jobs available; frame swops, wheel building, replacing spokes, suspension service, disc brake service/replace/setup, bike setup/fit.
We also have mechanics who teach cycling/training, turbo/spinning classes as "add-ons" to their business, some have already been doing this before they started their bike business, which has given them a customer base. With the right mind-set, training and Cycle Tech UK's setup you can achieve more........

"Well my winter bike could do with a bit of attention on the groupset area. Been meaning to get this looked at for ages, so this may be the excuse I need. In particular one of the shifters has a bit of a rattle and the gears are a bit off. I fitted a new chain last week so mainly all ok - If you need to give him any prewarning it is a Specialized Allez with Tiagra groupset" ~ Typical comment from a customers friend who has recommended me to, now I have booked their repairs in at the same time!

Increased confidence for Cycle Tech's Members. Being part of a Cooperative helps achieve our common needs and aspirations of its members, sharing, supporting, being more visible that brings referrals with more opportunities & Increased business.
From Duncan Cycle Trade Magazine:


"Despite the fact that the first issue of CYCLE-TRADE will be heading to the printer in a little over a week, I’m still finding time to get out of the office once or twice a week meeting old friends and making new ones in the bike world.
The one constant in many of these meetings is that businesses which rely on bicycle sales are in the doldrums, but those that have other revenue streams are seemingly unaffected. Further evidence of that trend came earlier this week when I had the chance to meet Martin Wilkins the founder of Cycle Tech UK, a mobile cycle repair operation.
Cycle Tech UK is not only enjoying consistent levels of work, and therefore revenue, it is also growing as it looks to expand its national network. Here’s a business that has not followed the traditional route of opening a bricks and mortar store, and like lots of potential internet retailers before him, because he didn’t have a regular shop when he started, Wilkins struggled to get trade accounts. Now, however, his business has the buying power to negotiate deals with the main distributors. To me, it’s another example of how at times the bicycle trade can be its own worst enemy failing to support new business ideas simply because they don’t follow old-fashioned examples; no shop equals no trade account. Maybe it’s time to accept that the retail environment is changing and adapt accordingly?
Have a good week,
Duncan
Editor"

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