Getting ready for opening day 2011- home made fixtures and small space.
Editor’s Note: This is the third article from Siren Cycles’ founder Brendan Collier. While it’ll touch on his bike brand, the focus is on the romantic notion most of us have of one day opening a little bike shop to call our own. He’s done it, and now he’s chronicling the experience for us. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we do! Read the full series here.
We opened our shop in 2011 with more ideas than capital. We had to make the best of the resources we had (or could get) and it broke down something like this:
At the lead up to opening day, we focused heavily on triage repairs for weekend visitors, and selling the small bits & pieces one might need during a weekend of riding. We didn’t need much space to make that happen, and I didn’t have much to spend anyhow. So a small shop would work to get us off the ground.
In early spring of 2011 we found a small space, something on the order of 250 sq/ft in a quiet complex just off the beaten path. Hidden in plain sight, as I like to be. We signed a lease and set out to make something fun & profitable of it. A notable advantage of being in a multiunit complex came to light when we outgrew our first space and needed to move into a larger space – a problem easier to solve in-house and beneficial to the owner as well.
Space has been a tricky figure to get right, and keep right. Our startup plan was built on organic growth- slowly building the demand for cycling in our town, starting with word of mouth. We were very limited for overhead in terms of inventory & rent. As time has passed and the business has grown, we’re outgrowing our second space, albeit at a slower rate. The need for space is a riddle, and solving takes some looking at a number of factors, from proportion of retail sales to service revenue… to the value of exposure in a certain area of town.
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