Sure, when we started Swicked we had a business plan and obviously needed to sell some bikes to keep it alive and hopefully feed our family once in a while, but our true goal was more than that.
We want to enhance the cycling community and help riders enjoy their experience more than ever. So we always put the ride ahead of everything else and just hope the rest falls into place. Clearly I don’t have an MBA, but I do love bikes.
Whether it’s quick service to get you back on the bike, a fun event for your family, or just lots of group rides to get more people in the trails and pumped about riding, it’s what keeps us going day to day.
With that said, it’s not always easy to see our successes.
Yeah, we have new riders come out on our group rides, we have good turnouts to our youth events and we help prevent lots of people from missing their next ride by getting repairs done same day, but what about that huge smile that I get when I hit the trails? I just don’t get to see it that often from other riders. If it does happen, I am still at the shop, none the wiser.
So I tell myself that people are riding more and smiling more and that we’ve encouraged this a little bit, but it’s really just a guess…until last Friday. We recently had a guy in the shop looking to get into mountain biking. He seemed pretty excited about it, so we set him up with a great bike and the essential gear he needed to get rolling, and off he went. At that point it wasn’t much different than most other bike sales.
A couple of weeks later he dropped in to have his bike checked over before a big weekend of riding. He showed up and explained how at first he was second guessing his purchase and was actually PO’d at himself for spending all that money on a bike.
But then he started to describe his first two rides and, well, he was just at a loss for words. Next thing I know this big burley construction worker who looks a lot like Grizzly Adams leaned in and gave me a big bear hug.
I probably should have been scared or at least weirded out a bit, but this guy was so stoked about riding he could only communicate it with a giant hug and a massive smile. That’s what it’s all about!
As a business owner, maybe I should concentrate more on profits and losses, but whatever, blah, blah, blah. I’d rather just get a few more people out on bikes and when they realize how fun it is and that huge smile hits their face, that’s my success!
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’