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  1. #1
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Living the Dream

    Yes, I'm utterly insane...and well on my way to becoming a bike shop owner.

    To be fair, I'm only a third partner, but it's actually more desirable than my previous plan to buy a shop then run it all by my lonesome. My partners are the owner of the shopping center the space is in and the center manager who is also a local race promoter.

    For those of you that don't know the backstory, a year ago I walked away from buying a shop (and consequently, my manager job) due to the owner wanting too much for it. I knew this due to having just completed a business planning class through a local college and had to walk away from not inconsiderable sweat equity invested over six years there.

    More recently, a few weeks ago I was contacted by the landlord and manager of the shopping center. They asked me details of my previous purchase attempt, but it appeared they already knew the answers. The shop was in the process of being sold to a man from out of state. When they met him they immediately realized that he had zero qualifications to run a bike shop (i.e.: Doesn't ride, never worked in or ran a retail shop, no bike repair or other business skills, etc.) and would not likely be a successful tenant, especially if overpaying for the purchase. When they approached the owner as to why he'd sell to someone that unqualified, he balked at their "interference" and went ahead with the sale anyway, then informed them that the shop was moving elsewhere.

    The landlord and manager both want a bike shop as part of the center's dynamic, so they asked me if I would be interested in starting a new shop as a partner and owner. They're supplying the space, the financing and management expertise and are depending on my experience as a shop manager to run the daily operations. Believe me, I was looking for the flaw in the silver lining and have yet to find one.

    The new shop will be in the same space as the old, so business should carry some momentum right from the start. I designed and performed all the previous buildout, so all in all I'll be working in a space I created, doing business according to how I feel it should be done right, and with a long term vision agreed upon by all partners to be at the center of all cycling-related activity of our town, hence the name: "The Hub of Pagosa". May 1 is the tentative opening date.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  2. #2
    shaken, not stirred. gnome's Avatar
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    and good luck.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"
    vBulletin: snafu

  3. #3
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnome View Post
    and good luck.
    Thanks gnome...I'll need it!
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  4. #4
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I want a Hub of Pagosa logo jersey or t shirt. Where do I order? And you already know my feelings about this. Congrats.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  5. #5
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    I want a Hub of Pagosa logo jersey or t shirt. Where do I order? And you already know my feelings about this. Congrats.
    You just did.

    We are planning to go with mainly branded merchandise. This town is a tourist destination...and for good reason. We intend to make it even more so and would like to follow the model of shops like Poison Spider in Moab carrying all sorts of cool shop-branded merchandise. My partners are already in contact with a professional graphic artist and web developer. Hopefully within a day or two we'll be able to see some sample logos and make a decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  6. #6
    Banned.
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    I'm jealous.

  7. #7
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    I want a THOP coffee mug. Congrats! This'll be my excuse to road trip to CO...never been. Can't wait to hear more details...like what bike lines will you carry?

  8. #8
    Free @coasting RUOkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    You just did.

    We are planning to go with mainly branded merchandise. This town is a tourist destination...and for good reason. We intend to make it even more so and would like to follow the model of shops like Poison Spider in Moab carrying all sorts of cool shop-branded merchandise. My partners are already in contact with a professional graphic artist and web developer. Hopefully within a day or two we'll be able to see some sample logos and make a decision.
    Once you get the design, and set up a website, post your link so we can all support your shop. I'll wear a Pagosa Springs jersey!
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie53 View Post
    Being full of crap and depositing it here consistently is really nothing to be proud of.

  9. #9
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tspek View Post
    I'm jealous.
    Don't be just yet!

    I still have to survive a couple months with no pay!

    Quote Originally Posted by skijor View Post
    I want a THOP coffee mug. Congrats! This'll be my excuse to road trip to CO...never been. Can't wait to hear more details...like what bike lines will you carry?
    Bike lines are still being negotiated, but rest assured, we'll be carrying at least one of the top brands. The coffee mugs are a great suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    Once you get the design, and set up a website, post your link so we can all support your shop. I'll wear a Pagosa Springs jersey!
    I most certainly will!


    Oh, wait...will Internet Brands then charge me for posting?
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  10. #10
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I like the THOP thing. Sort of like IHOP. The coffee mugs really tie into that that theme well. Now we just have to figure out a way to work in some bacon. So now I want one jersey or shirt, xl or xxl depending on cut, a mug of THOP coffee and some bacon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  11. #11
    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Congrats!

    Now where are the Foosters Specials?

    *cough*I-Need-Some-Tape*cough*
    *cough*I-Need-Two-700x23c*cough*
    *cough*I-Need-handlebar-bag*cough*

    Darn... I think I'm catching a cold... *cough*

  12. #12
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Hell yes!

    I will be needing most of a Campy groupo and some wheel builds.

  13. #13
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Sounds awesome!

  14. #14
    GATC
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    good luck!

  15. #15
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    Once you get the design, and set up a website, post your link so we can all support your shop. I'll wear a Pagosa Springs jersey!
    me too!
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  16. #16
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    You're doing what most of us would love to do. Congrats and enjoy!

  17. #17
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    Excellent! Best of luck to you.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  18. #18
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    You're doing what most of us would love to do. Congrats and enjoy!
    Thanks! I will!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS View Post
    Excellent! Best of luck to you.
    I thank you sir.
    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Hell yes!

    I will be needing most of a Campy groupo and some wheel builds.
    That may be arranged, although our focus will be on local service. From me to you, we can probably work something out.
    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Congrats!

    Now where are the Foosters Specials?

    *cough*I-Need-Some-Tape*cough*
    *cough*I-Need-Two-700x23c*cough*
    *cough*I-Need-handlebar-bag*cough*

    Darn... I think I'm catching a cold... *cough*
    While our focus will be on serving the local community, I do look to this as an opportunity and springboard to move ahead with some other ideas. It'd be nearly impossible to compete with online vendors for price (nor do I want to), so any website activity will be focused on branded merchandise. If we come up with some cool stuff I'll be sure to post about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    I like the THOP thing. Sort of like IHOP. The coffee mugs really tie into that that theme well. Now we just have to figure out a way to work in some bacon. So now I want one jersey or shirt, xl or xxl depending on cut, a mug of THOP coffee and some bacon.
    You sir are one of the most brilliant dorks I've ever met. A bacon jersey is a stroke of genius. You know we'd sell those like pancakes...or with pancakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  19. #19
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    OK want to stay in business? Practice the best customer service possible. Customer service, customer service, customer service... it will make or break a shop. And find a good mechanic and pay him some money so he stays put. Concentrate on clientele - either go cheap and family, or single speed weirdness, or bike club chic, something... and then market to that clientele... market and customer service.

    I stopped even going to bike shops - they don't have product, lousy mechanics and poor service - I do better online so do most other people - remember that!
    ______________________________________________________________

    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  20. #20
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    T
    While our focus will be on serving the local community, I do look to this as an opportunity and springboard to move ahead with some other ideas. It'd be nearly impossible to compete with online vendors for price (nor do I want to), so any website activity will be focused on branded merchandise. If we come up with some cool stuff I'll be sure to post about it.

    .
    What you will have in spades... have I said this enough... is CUSTOMER SERVICE! That's the only thing local shops can offer over websites.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  21. #21
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    OK want to stay in business? Practice the best customer service possible. Customer service, customer service, customer service... it will make or break a shop. And find a good mechanic and pay him some money so he stays put. Concentrate on clientele - either go cheap and family, or single speed weirdness, or bike club chic, something... and then market to that clientele... market and customer service.

    I stopped even going to bike shops - they don't have product, lousy mechanics and poor service - I do better online so do most other people - remember that!
    Wordbiker is a Shimano trained race tech. He can wrench with the best of them. Shimano pays him to go to races. Just so you know. And he has a huge heart. Customer service will not be an issue.
    He even gives away old bikes to kids. Want some proof? He mailed this to my boys.



    There is much more I could share...............
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  22. #22
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    OK want to stay in business? Practice the best customer service possible. Customer service, customer service, customer service... it will make or break a shop. And find a good mechanic and pay him some money so he stays put. Concentrate on clientele - either go cheap and family, or single speed weirdness, or bike club chic, something... and then market to that clientele... market and customer service.

    I stopped even going to bike shops - they don't have product, lousy mechanics and poor service - I do better online so do most other people - remember that!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    What you will have in spades... have I said this enough... is CUSTOMER SERVICE! That's the only thing local shops can offer over websites.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Wordbiker is a Shimano trained race tech. He can wrench with the best of them. Shimano pays him to go to races. Just so you know. And he has a huge heart. Customer service will not be an issue.
    He even gives away old bikes to kids. Want some proof? He mailed this to my boys.



    There is much more I could share...............
    Thanks Jeff, but I'm actually a licensed USA Cycling race mechanic. I did work for Shimano last year at Blast the Mass in Snowmass, but most of my experience is in the shop and at the 24 Hours of Moab where my team has provided neutral support since 1996.

    Thing is, Pam is exactly right and our focus is completely on what services we can provide beyond just price. Our plans include offering spinning classes in the off-season, training camps with certified coaches for all levels, mountain and road bike shuttle adventures, demo days for customers to try out product before buying, high-quality rentals, fitting services, local trail and route information, event promotions, local and regional advocacy, youth programs, skills clinics, movie and cycling event showings, and I will personally be teaching the Park Tool School curriculum as well as regular free clinics, some for women only.

    The trade term is creating a "sticky", a reason for people to come by, see what's happening and want to get involved. If we do have a web store it will be used to market unique branded items and perhaps some of my kookier (but cool) ideas for products made right here, many in my own shop.

    Hopefully all that will be enough to gain and keep a loyal clientele, but more importantly, to benefit the community we live in.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  23. #23
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    I'm glad you've got a business plan that includes service type revenue. I tried unsuccessfully to convince Platypus when he started his store to offer to set up workshops / conferences at the larger corporations & public offices. Topics should focus on living a healthy lifestyle, including commuting to work. Make sure to charge for your services, and hand out tons of advertising for your shop. My guess is that your service revenue will top your retail sales.

    OK, time to jump off my soapbox.

  24. #24
    Bring May Flowers aprilm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Oh, wait...will Internet Brands then charge me for posting?
    They have to catch you first. Congrats!!

  25. #25
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    I'm glad you've got a business plan that includes service type revenue. I tried unsuccessfully to convince Platypus when he started his store to offer to set up workshops / conferences at the larger corporations & public offices. Topics should focus on living a healthy lifestyle, including commuting to work. Make sure to charge for your services, and hand out tons of advertising for your shop. My guess is that your service revenue will top your retail sales.

    OK, time to jump off my soapbox.
    Nope, those are again great thoughts.

    Our strength is decidedly in the resources and service we can provide. Many shops focus almost solely on the retail aspects of their business, the service often seen as a begrudging necessity. If as Pam says there's no reason to go to a shop when it's easier and cheaper to shop online, then instead of pissing and moaning about how the internet is stealing sales, the answer is to get busy and create new ways the shop can serve the needs of their customers. Having a good sense of the marketplace, service is nearly my sole focus.


    Please, feel free to chime in on how a shop can better serve you. Most folks just vote with their feet and never give valuable input so that positive changes can be made.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

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