Well it has been very sad, but while I was away it was agree amongst the directors of our Bicycle Business that we would close it down.
Its hard to see something you have put time, energy and money into and see it not work. The powerful message has been that retail in Australia is a tough game. We certainly made our fair share of mistake and loads of learning occurred over the three years.
We tried all we could in the last 12 months to pull things back on track but between poor cash flows and the changing market in retail and the bike industry here it got away from us. My motive for being involved was to obviously have a successful business, with people who I respect and to be part of a great learning opportunity. We did grow from one store to two and this probably proved to hurt us more than we realised until the last 6 months. Our staff were fantastic in the main. Many of the guys went above and beyond, but we did have the usual experience of staffing challenges. Motivation, responsibility and support all become very clear elements to how we engaged with them. Again we made plenty mistakes but did try to provide opportunities to those working with us.
As a business we had a vision, we planned big and we generally had great passion for building the business into something we could be proud of. In the end things really dropped away. Chasing our tails and covering issues with suppliers become a huge drain though and the juggling act with cash flow took some huge skill but all created stress and frustration as to why we just couldn’t get the business on the front of the curve.
My update here is about about sharing but also saying to many who were part of the experience, thanks you. To those who shopped with us here in Melbourne it was great to be able to provide this service and to those we enjoyed riding with it was great to be able to share cycling and the joy of cruising down the road together. The riding will go on obviously.
From a directors perpective the three of us where rowing friends who had an idea to set up a bike store. We will go our different ways with business and the work we do but I am happy to say we are still friends.