:the sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale.
:sell (goods) to the public by retail.
Believe it or not, the act of actually ‘selling things’ to people has never really sat well with me - Since before becoming involved in the bicycle industry I have always loved talking to people about bikes, bike stuff & riding bikes. As most of these conversations now inevitably happen in a bike shop quite often the other person has a need or desire for a bike, part or accessory. I have loved (& will continue to love) chatting through the options & helping that person find the best possible bike, part or accessory that fits their criteria. So far so good! BUT, then comes the money bit, & as I say that has never really sat that comfortably with me, but it's the necessary evil of retail.
As followers of the Propel Bikes facebook page will already be aware, the lease on 216 High Street will be ending in early 2019. This gives me the perfect opportunity to take stock of how PB operates & see how I can make it a) more efficient, but more importantly, b) serve customers better.
It's no secret that High Street retail in general is on its ar$e. Major, well established chains are disappearing at alarming speed & the bicycle industry is no different, with shop closures running at their highest rate since the 1960’s. Evans Cycles is the recent media headline example of this. High Street rents are too high, coupled with business rates & all the other overheads necessary (insurances, utility bills etc) just to keep the doors open you can see why now is a good time to ‘Evolve or Die’.
Fortunately, ‘Retail’ isn’t the only part of the Propel Bikes business model. In fact as I said in the opening paragraph it happens to be the bit that I’m not really that keen on, & as such it makes sense to cut it loose.
:the action of helping or doing work for someone.
:perform routine maintenance or repair work on (a vehicle or machine).
This has always been the most important part of what I do & is the foundation on which Propel Bikes was built. Helping people, by whatever means, with anything related to bikes or cycling. Whether that is giving advice or recommendations abouts bikes or parts & accessories, or routes & rides, clubs or races it’s all fair game - If its associated with bikes I’ll help, or at least try to.
Then there is the part of providing a service which is easier & more obvious to put a value against. Actually ‘doing work’ for someone, whether they simply don’t know how to do it, or don’t have the time to do it themselves, or don’t have the tools or equipment to do it or would just rather it was carried out by a professional.
I LOVE making people's enjoyment of their bikes better - I love servicing bikes, building bikes, upgrading bikes, fixing bikes, cleaning bikes & then when that’s done occasionally riding bikes. Propel Bikes is evolving into a business to be able to service the needs of its customers, & their bikes more efficiently.
So when customers ask me “where is your new shop going to be” or “where are you moving to” the short answer is ‘not a High Street’! With the retail side of Propel Bikes gone I won’t need such a large space as a whole, but a larger workshop is a must! Furthermore, one of the most important elements will be customer convenience, & I have positive & quantifiable plans to take all the hassle out or getting your bike serviced.
Full details to come in the next post………. I promise xxx