I have read lots of articles over the past few years about independent bike shop owners moaning about the internet killing local bike shops etc. While I agree with this to some extent it isn't all the internets fault.
I have worked for two big companies within the cycle industry, had my own shop and now run a bike repair business, so have a good knowledge from both sides of the fence, from a retailer and a distributor.
The biggest problem with bike shops is that see the internet as being this big bad monster who steals all their business. This isn't true, well not completely. While you can't compete with some of the prices on Chainreaction or Wiggle, you don't have to compete. As a rule I don't price match, well 90% of the time I don't have too. What we do at Bike Repairs 4U LTD is have a business model and works with the internet not against it. What I mean by that is that when a consumer comes in store, we tailer our service and price according to the customer. What we offer is three things the internet doesn't.
1. A face to speak to. We aren't a computer screen or a voice at the end of the phone. We are here to speak directly to you face to face. To look at your bike and diagnose the problem on your bike and give you advice.
2. Quick turnaround. We offer a 48 hour turnaround on all repairs and services, normally with 24 hours. We don't want you to be without your steed more than you have to. We want you back out enjoying riding as soon as possible.
3. Honest, Professional Service. We pride ourselves on honest professional competitively priced service. All our work is carried out by mechanic trained to the highest industry standard, Cytech.
These three key aspects of our business provided us with a core business model that has seen our business flourish and will continue to flourish for years to come.
While I am not nieve that people will still buy parts online and want parts and accessories cheaper, but if a customer comes in wanting a part fitted they bought online am I going to turn them away? NO, I am not professionally suicidal! There are shops that won't fit a part that the customer didn't buy from them, that is purely cutting your nose off to spite your face. You have a potential customer for life if you look after them.
While some people read this blog, their will be doubters and people saying I am wrong but, I believe in what we stand for and what we want to achieve in business and are flourishing.
Support us and we will be your friendly bike shop for years to come.