Back in 2003 I was in between businesses and for years had talked about opening a bike shop. Although my experience in bikes shops over the previous 25 years had been good, it was never great and the local shops I had dealt with were too concerned about the bottom line and not as concerned about the customer experience. In addition, the local shops that I dealt with were too much like walking into a big box store.
I wanted to create a shop that had the feeling of being a ” hangout ” and did not represent all the “bullshit” that so many other shops possessed.
I was riding through Woodstock one day in the summer of 2013 and the building we are currently in was for sale. After meeting with the realtor and seeing the building, I went home and put the plan together. Woodstock has that small town appeal and is within close proximity to the local trail network.
Thus, I hired employees that had the same passion and experience with/for bicycles that I have. Throughout the past 13 years, all of Out Spokins’ employees have been avid riders, racers and enthusiasts of cycling. The bikes and the product that we carry are what all of us personally would ride and use. Therefore, we can talk about the pros and cons of such. I don’t BS my potential customers and don’t expect that my employees do in order to make a sale.
I have never paid commission but pay a very respectable wage/salary to my employees. All of our employees are required to be able to assemble bikes and to do a good deal of maintenance on bikes. My belief on this is that they can better speak with the customers about the bikes, components, ride quality. All the pros and cons.
There have been many changes within the industry making it more and more difficult for the shops to earn a living but despite the squeeze, we have never changed our philosophy on customer service.
Out Spokin Bicycles