Editors observe David DeKeyser and his spouse Rebecca Cleveland owned and operated The Bike Hub in De Pere, Wisconsin, for almost 18 years. Last yr, they offered the enterprise and real property to every other store-based totally in a nearby network. DeKeyser’s previous columns are here.
Regardless of 1’s current station in lifestyles, in case you had at one time labored in a motorcycle shop, you most likely recollect the time with fondness. I am no extraordinary and can consider with vibrant readability learning all the behind the scenes secrets and techniques alongside the inebriating odor of rubber and Tri-go with the flow on every occasion I walked in the door.
The romanticism of the motorbike shop in lots of cyclists’ minds ultimately turns to thoughts of what it would be like to have their own keep. I sure did, and people’s goals eventually became reality. My romantic dream of motorcycle save ownership appeared something like this: Wake up and go for a journey on stunning trails and roads, then get to the shop a little early putting on a pot of coffee, getting the tunes cranking whilst sizing up the day’s repairs and motorcycles to be built. The day would glide alongside effects, whilst making people smile turning in new motorcycles and perfect upkeep.
The day would stop with a couple of beers placing around the now-empty work stands with workforce and perhaps a fortunate purchaser with the name of the game handshake, jaw jacking about 1,000,000 subjects, however all to do with bikes. Oh, and I would make enough money to now not fear approximately cash, not necessarily wealthy, but most significantly enough to experience without a doubt great motorcycles! Your personal desires can be to come to be the next multi-keep rich person or to very own a simple one guy repair keep. Whatever it’s miles, cross for it if that is what you’re wanting!
The delta between romantic daydreams and reality is typically great. Anyone who is aware of knows. As a shop owner, have you ever taken a step back to reevaluate now not just what your dreams are, however most significantly, to assess whether you are dwelling the existence you believed motorcycle store possession could give you? If now not, what’s the problem? Too many payments and not sufficient cash? Well, it’s something for unique columns and actually wherein I like to attention — the nuts and bolts of bicycle retail price range and the way to make the most of them. However, nowadays I need to address something deeper, to get a little sensitive feely if you’ll: Your happiness and pride as a bicycle store. As a store, you’re bombarded with thoughts of factors you are purported to do to enhance and grow your business. But many things might not be in direct alignment with what keep possession gave the look of as you daydreamed of the “life.”
I recognize that we struggled with our very own store to maintain our desires in alignment with reality often. I had a few heated conversations through the years, specifically with those attempting to steer me to order and inventory more bikes, increase our allegiance to unique manufacturers, or even to make bigger our enterprise to include extra places, which in the end wasn’t what our desires of keep possession gave the impression of. The standard push usually boiled down to if “you aren’t growing, you’re dead.”
One of my favorite business quotes got here from Edward Abbey of everybody: “Growth for the sake of boom is the ideology of the most cancers cells.” That made feel to my wife and me as we desired to have a commercial enterprise that we not best-loved owning, but served our needs as properly, and if we drove for a steady boom the store might quick emerge as the owner of us.
Are you served or the servant of your business? Think about that for a minute. While it is noble to serve, by way of the easy act of jogging a brick-and-mortar commercial enterprise, you’re honestly serving many in your network atmosphere, from employees to vendors, the nearby bank and all of the neighborhood corporations you do commercial enterprise with, not to mention the clients you serve. Be proud of that reality regular and don’t fall into the lure of thinking “being a member of the community” manner giving reductions to people who like to trip bikes and might afford to race them in your keep jersey.
Find a manner for you individually experience you are serving. For many, that allows you to live your existence as your preference, proudly owning your business can be sufficient. There are save owners who love to sag rides, do motorcycle roadeos, construct trails, or serve on committees, but if that is not for your wheelhouse, don’t do it. We slowly eliminated ourselves from a number of the traditional shop possession “should do’s” and centered heavily on running a super shop that customers could anticipate to find a bike that matches their desires, or have maintenance finished when we said and well.
“Minding your personal business,” literally is the most fundamental aspect you may do to enhance your commercial enterprise. That’s truly what the lion’s proportion of your clients are seeking out, do not lose sight of that truth. If you’re run too ragged serving outdoor of your business something is incorrect. We additionally ran our save to serve our needs, by means of focusing on matters that would make us happier. We valued day without work so our keep was in no way open Sundays, for instance. We focused closely on profits, as we desired extra cash … However not so badly we might stay depressing lives to get it. Conversely, perhaps you’re definitely taking part in the sport of bicycle retail to the point that commencing some other save might feed your want for assignment and offer the spark you want to keep your pleasure. Don’t assume I am announcing your dreams must be similar to mine. There’s a present-day capture word right now: “you do you,” and it applies to your enterprise as properly.
Never lose sight that your shop is yours.
So how do you get back for your dream situation? It is pretty simple, but notice I do no longer say it’s clean. What is your leader’s complaint? Too many hours? Not enough riding, or loose time with a circle of relatives? Not feeling in control of your inventory because of laborious demands from companies? Too an awful lot of drama and handholding of personnel? Perhaps you are simply bored or don’t experience challenged enough? Any store owner has skilled those extra subtle problems and that they may be extra corrosive on your intellectual and commercial enterprise’s fitness than overlooked payments or different monetary troubles. Many stores were destroyed that had been or could be doing first-rate financially while the proprietor lost interest, the vendors oversold the store, or the person has become a terrible pressure.
Lastly, do no longer ever lose sight that your keep is yours. Not emblem X’s, not your employees, and now not your customers. Own it the manner you need to and smile, you’re residing your dreams. Remember each day that it’s you who signed the personal ensures, not the salesclerk. You signed the hire and write the assessments, not your clients and employees. Don’t let those data harden you, however, allow them to embolden you to understand the business is yours. If you are a success, anyone around you is too. Don’t lose sight of your entrepreneurial side and realize you may exchange your business to align with your desires. Now go trip one of these fancy bikes you sell!