With 2017, the shop is entering its 10th year. Ten years! Dang, that went by fast. It’s reported that only about 1/2 of all small businesses will reach a 5-year anniversary and only about 1/3 survive 10 years. Not playing with favorable odds from the get-go. But here it is and it’s time to reevaluate the focus of the shop.
Not long after I opened, Grant Peterson from Rivendell came by the shop and asked me “what’s your focus.” Well, I’m not sure. It’s a bike shop so I’ve got inventory for bike riders – you know, lights, racks, tires, maps, seat bags, pedals… But what’s your focus? Who is your customer? You can’t be everything to everyone – especially since the shop is in a small, rural market.
The focus is the Black Mountain Cycles range of frames and parts/accessories that enhances them. And because of that, 2017 will be a year of refocusing. I’ve got a fair amount of inventory of stuff that seems to collect dust waiting for that one person who steps into the shop and needs that one item. While it’s great to be able to make that one person happy, carrying that inventory comes at a cost, a real cost and a virtual cost. The virtual cost is me having to look at the clutter every day. Why the heck did I buy that only to have dust from my dirt parking lot settle on it. Dusting sucks. Dusting a whole bunch of small things sucks even more. Can’t someone just buy this? Why do I have so many of this item? Why do I even have that? Oh yeah, I probably sold a couple in quick succession and then thought, well, I better stock up on this one. Not too smart, there, Mike.
So, 2017 will be a year of refocusing. Reorganizing. Reselling. The focus of Black Mountain Cycles is Black Mountain Cycles. It’s a bit premature to think I could turn the Black Mountain Cycles brand into a stand-alone bike brand without the retail space. The retail space gives the brand a unique position and a space for folks to come into the shop and check out the collection of vintage road and mountain bikes and maybe pick up something from the stuff I’m going to want to liberate in my refocus effort. Need a Cue Clip? I got some that I need to see disappear. Need a first-gen Shimano R600 50/34 compact 9 speed crankset? Yeah, that’s got to go too (and it works fine with 10-speed too). There’s lots more. Too much to list so for the time being, there’s just going to be a table full of stuff that seriously needs to find a new home. Shifters, derailleurs, fenders, panniers, seats, tires, handlebars, forks, 10spd wheels… If you’re in the area and need something, please stop in. I’ll pour you some coffee and you can peruse the stuff.
In the mean time, framesets keep moving out the door. The new run of black and red cross frames are moving out steadily (if you’re thinking about a 56cm size, don’t think too long, they’re almost gone). I’ve got more road frames on order (estimated June/July arrival) because it seems a review in “Bicycling Magazine” does give sales a bump up. And in between it all, I’m working on some new frames. More later. In the mean time, here’s a couple of shots of the shop from today and from a few days before officially opening. Just a little change.
(What’s playing: Ken Booth Everything I Own)
Well, Hello There