My mates new bike shop

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  • My mates new bike shop
  • alexxx
    Member

    free cups of tea and cake on sale

    robhughes
    Member

    superb knowlage of everthing. 😉

    Xylene
    Member

    I go with cake, cake, carrot cake, brownies, coffee, cake, anything made locally by grannies that resembles cake with a good 80 years of baking experience.

    Some cake.

    Seats in store for bored wives/husbands.

    Even a bike shop with a proper coffee bar would be excellent, sit and drink a real cup of coffee (paid for) whilst thinking about what to buy

    Premier Icon matthewmountain
    Subscriber

    I like to be able to actually see into the workshop, and pop my head in to see whats going on and for a chat. I also like to be able to take the bike in and say "please can you have a look at this problem?" bike into stand a 5 minute quick fix and no charge. In return I'll buy something as I'll feel guilty!!

    Andituk
    Member

    Make sure I can browse everything in peace. Things being behind counters pee me off, I want to pick things up and have a look. I also don't want to be asked "Are you ok there? Can I help?" every 30 seconds.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    A scantily clad Joanne Whalley servicing the bikes whilst attempting the world hula hoop record.

    Or, if that proves a bit difficult:

    Friendly, non-patronising service.
    Good selection of clothing.
    Well priced servicing by experienced mechanics.
    Stock at various price points.
    Tolerance of idiotic questions.
    Discount for long term customers.

    sambob
    Member

    decent parts, perhaps being able to hire out bike tools from the workshop?

    Is this the extent of his market research! Asking people who buy online? If he wants to make money he will probably have to sell and mend dull commuter bikes, stock inner tubes, high viz vests, altura dayglo tops and I'm boring myslef just talking about it

    angryratio
    Member

    No bull, honest realistic pricing. Good phone communication.
    Maybe a text when bike is ready to pick up/parts that have been ordered.

    Always carry simple everyday stuff.
    Cabinet full of ready to buy bling.
    I.e. always have an xt chainset in stock.
    Sometimes you need to be able to buy one.

    Wheel building/ or employ someone who can.

    Having been through the experience of buying a new bike recently, taking a female buyer seriously is very important … I'm reasonably au fait with bikes and have owned a few in the past, but what really annoys me is when you are treated as if you have no idea what you're looking for/talking about. I found an enormous range of attitudes in the shops I browsed in. Needless to say, I bought from the shop where I felt I'd been treated with respect and taken seriously.

    Oh, and having more than just M and L bikes in stock!

    MarkyG82
    Member

    gun range? 🙂 nice.

    I also like to see in the workshop. better still, have the maintenance area in plain view. shouldnt have anything to hide when working on bikes.

    honest staff. if they dont know something, just say so. then find out.

    Oh and somewhere to hang without feeling like a third wheel.

    druidh
    Member

    * Price match any and all on-line suppliers
    * Have everything in stock, all of the time. For clothing, have all sizes and all colours of each garment. Make sure there are a few of each in case someone else comes into the shop before me.
    * let me try on all garments, shoes and helmets and then go to order them somewhere else.
    * Provide free demo bikes – for a weekend. Don't charge for cleaning them. The demo fleet should include every size of every model.
    * Let me in to use the workshop and/or borrow all the expensive tools I can't afford to buy myself.
    * When I do need something fixed by a mechanic, it should only cost me a packet of biscuits and I should get it done while I wait.
    * Opening hours should be 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
    * The staff should all be keen riders and should be skilled and knowledgeable about all of the types of bike in the shop.
    * Free coffee while I mooch around the shop talking to the staff.
    * Have a comfy seating/play area for he partner and kiddies so I don't get distracted by them.
    * When you have a sale, make sure you have my size and preference.

    Hadge
    Member

    Honest advice – that's a laugh. The vast majority of shops will always always tell you what they stock is the best – end of! That's because they will make sales and hence a living from it. Being helpful and not being a know-it-all and friendly is a nice place to start.

    * Price match any and all on-line suppliers
    * Have everything in stock, all of the time. For clothing, have all sizes and all colours of each garment. Make sure there are a few of each in case someone else comes into the shop before me.
    * let me try on all garments, shoes and helmets and then go to order them somewhere else.
    * Provide free demo bikes – for a weekend. Don't charge for cleaning them. The demo fleet should include every size of every model.
    * Let me in to use the workshop and/or borrow all the expensive tools I can't afford to buy myself.
    * When I do need something fixed by a mechanic, it should only cost me a packet of biscuits and I should get it done while I wait.
    * Opening hours should be 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
    * The staff should all be keen riders and should be skilled and knowledgeable about all of the types of bike in the shop.
    * Free coffee while I mooch around the shop talking to the staff.
    * Have a comfy seating/play area for he partner and kiddies so I don't get distracted by them.
    * When you have a sale, make sure you have my size and preference.

    I think you should run a bike shop.

    Also, a load of turbo trainers rigged up with some proper LT trail bikes and surround sound, so when its raining outside or the Audis in for its service, I can still ride with my mates

    Decent staff doing the maintenance – who are honest about how long it will take – but not with a three week wait to even drop the bike off.

    Maybe a bit unlucky but I definitely get better and cheaper service at local garages than the nearest LBSs

    Alex Berry
    Member

    Your mate could do well to go have a look at Racescene in Barnsley. They have picked a niche market, with good margins and offer excellent service, and avoid trying to compete with the internet market…up until 6 months ago i'd never heard of them, and dont have any affinity other than a satisfied customer (even though my campag veloce is playing up)…

    monsta
    Member

    When I worked in a bike shop I asked the boss why there wasn't a coffee machine and area where people could sit and chat to the staff and he said "because there are some people who'd drink all my coffee and sit here all day, chewing my ear off about some bike technology they'd read about in a magazine somewhere and why wasn't I stocking it and how much better it would be for my customers. And they wouldn't do any riding and then ask why I wasn't riding. And then I'd have to do wash up their mugs and coffee rings left on my counter…"

    ojom
    Member

    I also like to be able to take the bike in and say "please can you have a look at this problem?" bike into stand a 5 minute quick fix and no charge. In return I'll buy something as I'll feel guilty!!

    if only staff would work for free nor represent the highest cost to a business eh.

    the margin on your average purchased item would go nowhere near covering all the 5 minute jobs that people need doing.

    you'd think all the car manufacturers who make thousands per car would service it for free anytime you turn up as well…

    "chill out" areas in bike shops are a bad idea i'd imagine.

    timc
    Member

    Good customer service… essential!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Druidh, you cynical old spanner monkey, you. 😀

    One (excellent) local shop has a list of all the stupid things they have been asked for just above the sales desk.
    I must admit to checking it occasionally just to make sure I'm not about to commit bike shop social suicide. 🙂

    Another local shop has just fixed Ms Spanners' Hope brake lever this morning, for free, for the second time, with a smile, whilst she waited – thus saving our ride today.
    This is why I never buy anything bike related from the internet:
    Buying from the shop, we get excellent service, great advice and more often than not a discount.

    Cooksons in Whitefield, Blazing Saddles in Hebden Bridge and The Cyclery in Uppermill are all examples of how to run a superb bike shop.

    ojom
    Member

    Druidh, you cynical old spanner monkey, you.

    He is not on tools…. and if he is this cynical after a year of 3 days a week then i worry for the future… 😀

    MarkyG82 – Member
    gun range? nice.

    I also like to see in the workshop. better still, have the maintenance area in plain view. shouldnt have anything to hide when working on bikes.

    HATE IT ! Sometimes when you're working on a bike you may need to do something unorthodox with a mallet or (heaven forbid!) make a silly mistake and have to undo it … I hate having people watch me when I work on stuff.

    Workshops are dirty places, staffed by dirty men with a packet of Jelly Babies lying next to him … And as soon as customers can see in .. some manager always decides that it has to look clean and professional now … which is a pain when there's grease and muc-off, mud and oil dripping from every component!

    No point pricing things 'keenly' at a shop .. just do RRP and offer price-match … cos half the customers don't care that it's 15% cheaper on the net and those that do won't be impressed if you take 10% off (they can get 15% off on the internet yknow)

    Good wheelbuilder essential – as is a Mechanic who can TALK to customers – it shouldnt come to it but it often does and some customers will downright INSIST to talk to the mechanic

    Nice to have a bit of choice .. Don't just buy EVERYTHING off specialized or bontrager .. mix it up a bit.

    Always helps to have a 'bling' cabinet with some King headsets/hope hubs to catch the attention of the odd middle aged man..

    An old race frame on the wall would be sweet .. Old manitou / bradbury hanging from the rafters gives you kudos 😉

    Forget all this free tea and coffee nonsense.

    A decent range of common spares and consumables. Knowledgeable bullshine free staff. Thats what I personally want from an LBS. When something breaks or wears out I want to be able to replace it. When I want something complicated or expensive I ant knowledgeable staff.

    inkster
    Member

    Make the workshop the heart of the shop. I always like to talk to the ACTUAL mechanic whose going to work on my bike, from experience things will get lost in translation.

    I only trust 2 shops to do repairs now, one has the workshop in a garage outside, so you can natter to the mechani, {and bribe with biccies,] without the owner breathing down his neck. The other is a fixie type shop in central MCR run by ex downhillers who will usually do your bike same day if you drop it in by 11.00 in the morning. Outstanding!

    Sympathise with shop owners when it comes to stock levels when they have to compete against crc /evans etc. So servicing/repairs is where they can get an edge.

    sambob
    Member

    coffee/ hot choolate machine, friendly staff and bling cabinet. Depending on where you are, running stuff might be a good idea aswell. My LBS, (Bike Factory Whaley Bridge) do fell running stuff for example. They also have some Planet X Frames & bikes. IMO this is a good idea as quite often people want to try before they buy, especially on bikes 1k plus.

    glynP
    Member

    A friend of mine has just opened a new bike shop and wants to know what you, as purchasers, would like to see in a shop, obviously he has to make money, but what gets your goat about some current shops and what do you like about others? We all know that a friendly service is good but what else will make it a great shop.

    inkster
    Member

    p.s. LIke to talk to the mechanic working on my bike but definitely leave them alone to do their thing, bad form to loiter!

    PikeBN14
    Member

    Price – if everything is RRP people will buy online/elsewhere, probably after popping in to the shop to check out colours and sizes!!

    I worked in a shop where customers could come and talk to me when working on a bike, It was a nightmare took ages to do anything because customers kept coming in, Its best to keep workshops out of the way, You can usually speak to a mechanic if you ask. If I owned the shop i'd have put a wall up because it would have done my nut in paying my mechanics to talk to customers also the health and safety of letting the public in.

    The best thing in a bike shop is when a sales assistant doesn't know they say so rather than making it up.

    Coffee machines should be kept out back for staff to offer to customers who are waiting, rather than having it on the shop floor giving customers the opportunity to loiter.

    OR

    A Bike shop with a SEPERATE cafe is a good idea.

    juan
    Member

    This is why I never buy anything bike related from the internet:
    Buying from the shop, we get excellent service, great advice and more often than not a discount.

    Agreed. My last expensive purchase has been a pair of hope hoops wheels from the LBS. LBS price was about 150 £ more that CRC or whatever, but:
    I got them NOW. I get them checked and trued every month or so, for free. Last time I had a budget for tyres, they knocked out some euros to fit my budget. I can pop in any time for free coffee (but them I am in France, so coffee is an institution). We have riding every week. They basically taught me how to ride (yes you know useful tips to improve speed and smoothness no need of useless skill courses and some saving too). We had a nice new year celebration, we are going to a BBQ in a few minutes. When I was building a bike for the SO they gave me a fork they had around. There is a huge human dimension in the shop. They organise rides, shuttles days in italy I know their families and so and so. All that stuff, priceless.
    So the best advice I could give your mates, is to:
    be as knowledgeable as possible
    be as human as possible
    and have an excellent mechanics. What will makes your living is not the 4000€ bikes, but rather the 400€ ones and the odd 40€ workshope bill…

    hora
    Member

    Offer a cheap fitting service for customers who have sourced their goods cheaper on the internet?

    hilldodger
    Member

    Coffee would be a bad idea, you have all the stwistas moaning about the bean/roast/grind 😉

    What will makes your living is not the 4000€ bikes, but rather the 400€ ones and the odd 40€ workshope bill…

    Exactly right, running a bike shop for the benefit of the top end of the market won't make money – friendly service for the local riders, commuters, new cyclists will.

    If the area is right try local rides, link up with schools (maybe offer discount for new riders), offer C2W builds, check if local authority has any cycle activities and try to make the shop more than a shop !

    hilldodger
    Member

    Offer a cheap fitting service for customers who have sourced their goods cheaper on the internet?

    Or even better – keep almost no stock but let customers order online and have it delivered to shop on the condition the shop fits the parts.

    Maybe a bike/internet caff type set up ????

    so in other words you all want the moon on a stick, i have been in the bike trade for 11 years and there is no way that coffee machines are worth while in the shop unless you pay one person to stand around and chat to customers which is not viable, popping into the workshop for a chat is against h+s and distracts the mechanic so they are not working as efficiently as they should, go d i could go on, why dont you open your own bike shops and implement these ideas then you can have a look at what the real world of retail looks like.

    nickegg
    Member

    I've seen my LBS transform from selling a nice range of mountain bikes to pretty much doing nothing but Cycle to Work type bikes. He no longer has top end frames on the wall or any demo bikes as he claims people will just get the bike online for a few quid less…not really true IMO.

    The trouble is i think he's just handing business to another LBS who is far more passionate about the top end stuff (Road and MTB) and therefore sells more of it.

    Also, his interest in MTB just doesn't seem to there anymore. I get alot of jokes/rolling eyes whenever i mention tubeless for example!

    hilldodger
    Member

    why dont you open your own bike shops and implement these ideas then you can have a look at what the real world of retail looks like.

    I'm not sure many posters have any connection with this 'real world' of which you speak 😉

    hora
    Member

    Or have one of every size so a customer can try before he buys online?

    Or………think with a commercial head instead for the way bikeshops should be going:

    Only carry seasonal lines – low end bikes/cycle to work scheme – a sort of Halfords. Along with a small workshop.

    Then have a mail order website for accessories/components and frames.

    Nichegg – How many "top end bikes" do you think are sold compared to "cycle to work type"?

    To most folk £500 is a lot to spend on a bike. The vast majority of the bikes I see are in the £300- 700 range. "high end" is a very small slice of the market and many folk will buy n the net anyway

    A bike shop needs a niche / USP but selling high end parts is doomed to failure. You cannot stock enough and you cannot compete with the net

    DT78
    Member

    Hmmm, I have effectively just switched my LBS allegiance. Why? Usual LBS isn't open on a sunday, I needed a BB re-taping for a frame I was building, take it into other LBS and after a little begging they did it there and then, for free, whilst being quite busy. (I did offer to pay as well)

    Whilst that may seem poor business to the others that have posted – I will now be going there for the day to day bits and bobs I need and the stuff I can't repair myself, and my next c2w bike. I also found out they offer 10% off retail to my employer and will fit things purchased there for free. So my next headset will be coming from there to…

    Don't do things like charge me £10 for having a dirty bike, or if you going to do that, then actually clean it….rather than it being a fine!

    Other stuff – try to create a community feel, night rides, maybe offer to organise trips to morzine etc..

    I also really like the Drop-off cafe at afan. Having something like that near me, (with an adjourning bike shop) would be fantastic

    nickegg
    Member

    TJ – Sorry, that was my point. Top end stuff doesn't pay the bills. I understand why he's doing it.

    lcj
    Member

    From my point of view it's easy: price

    He has to compete with internet companies to get me through the door. I don't care for cakes and tea (although the aforementioned rifle range might help) I'm going there to buy bike bits. I want to do that as cheaply as possible.

    If I use a bike shop over the interweb it's somewhere that will price match CRC or others e.g. cyclesurgery

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