If you’re going to start a business, it’s hard to beat something that fuels and funds your passions. Mike Cachat started JensonUSA in the most haphazard of ways, as a teenager, and against his father’s wishes. Now it’s one of the largest online mail order bike parts companies in the world. His early startup methods are a little different than how we’d do it today, but his ingenuity is inspiring (and entertaining). From there, we dive into the nuts and bolts of running a massive business with tons of inventory and a huge payroll, plus how they market through social media, traditional advertising and affiliate programs. Consider this your crash course in running an online store, with equal parts good advice and what not to do!

For more photos, show notes and links about Gary and BOA, head over to The Build Cycle!

10 COMMENTS

  1. I started riding about 8 years ago when I worked down the street from the Jenson warehouse/will call. I would ride the trails behind the building and was constantly picking up random gear/parts/clothes while chatting up the staff. The employees I met with were always super helpful, personable, and just plain fun to talk to. I ended up moving away from the area, but I make a point to stop by when I’m in town to say hi and pick up something small while I’m there.

    I’ve not come in for months at a time, and still when I walk in Steve at the front counter will stand up, come over, give me a hug, and ask how my riding is going. I’ve bought so much stuff from them over the years because their customer service is second to none, let alone their pricing being super on-point. Jenson kicks ass.

  2. Mike and the Jenson crew are really top notch. He brought some of his employees on a Western Spirit multi day trip here in Canyonlands and I really enjoyed getting to know them. I think I might have even snapped that photo!

  3. The guys who invented the local bike shop killing mail order travesty are now a start up story? WTF. Glad I work at a shop that refuses to hang your parts ordered by mail order or the internet.

    • Big deal! They’re filling a need which clearly your business is not. Went to a shop Saturday to pick up a mtb bb; had to show up twice because they opened 35 minutes late then the mechanic argued about which bb I have then quoted me $67 for a bottom bracket that was $15 online. No thanks I’ll support actual charities not failed business concepts which add no/limited value.

      • The sad part is guys like the aforementioned probably will be scooped up to be a service manager or lead bike mechanic elsewhere once his shop closes, with a more galvanized opinion ready to destroy yet another business.

What do you think?