So, I have a friend running this bicycle business.
Actually he sells a lot of stuff: bicycles, roller skis, accessories and all sorts of equipment for spring and summer fun, and winter stuff like skis, poles, spiked tires for winter cycling, winter cycling shoes/gloves/suits…
He’s doing okay, but — like many business owners — he could always do better. He wants to do better… But he needs to fix his systems.
For example, he services bicycles for his customers. The services aren’t scheduled — usually people will just call him when they want it fixed or just checked to see if it’s ready for the season.
He does have a “system” for keeping track of repairs, parts used, and other details, for a particular customer’s bike. It started life as a spreadsheet, then he put together some software.
But his software doesn’t do what he needs it to, and it’s not optimal. So he asked me if I could come up with something better.
I could, of course. This is what I do.
In fact, with my background as a pretty successful business owner, I could come up with a lot of ideas he should incorporate into this business-wide system not only to make bicycle repairs easier to keep track of, but also benefit other areas of his business.
Just off the top of my head, here’s what I suggested:
- Keeping track of changing customer data and contact information
- Keeping track of customers’ bicycle repairs and parts used
- Keeping track of when things happened
- Automatically schedule time for a new yearly service for each customer
- … and send out reminders by text message
- Integrate all this with an email system, so he can send customers and clients promotional offers from time to time
- Allow him to make a note of what else his customers buy, so he can offer them products and services relevant to them personally
These are just a few of the things he could do with a fully integrated back-office system. It could save him a fortune in time and money… but I hope you can see how it could also make him a lot more money in regular services, increased likelihood of people servicing their equipment in the first place, and increased sales from more frequent and relevant promotions.
It’s a sound investment, because I estimate that he could make his money back within three months. After that, it’s all profit. Because this isn’t just a software solution for my clients. It’s a business solution. It solves business problems.