Dave and I were talking about the Wheelhouse pre-order that just went in with our supplier, and then looking forward at the HOT BUNS (which I always capitalize, because if PRO deserves all caps then HOT BUNS sure as cinnamon does) pre-order. We were talking about marketing and pricing and positioning, which is pretty much what we always talk about. At one point he said, "As long as it moves the chains forward, I'm all for it."
Dave is not a guy to suffer cliches lightly, so it was no small surprise to hear him utter this one. Maybe because it's a sports metaphor cliche, and he's a fancy pants sporting goods company executive, that it's OK to work into the vernacular. Or maybe he was being ironic. He's talked before about "hitting singles every time at the plate." Today he also warned about "treading water." But you never hear us long for the home run, and we've scored enough points that we don't need to consider the hail mary either. We have put up a couple of bricks though. But each one has been balanced out by a shot that hits the post, so our heads are still in the game.
But the concept of moving the chains stuck with me the rest of the day, as it really is how we think about growing the business. We try to do as much as we can the way we'd want a company we're paying $800 - $2500 of our hard-earned dollars to act. We respond to emails, we answer phones, we apologize when we screw up, and we try to find ways to make our customers' ownership experience as remarkable as possible. (Note that I didn't say their purchasing experience. We know pre-ordering is a truncated value proposition, which is why we knock off even more money from our ridiculous low prices. That Benjamin in your pocket? He says we're sorry about the wait.) Little things, attentive to what our customers want, maybe even a little empathic. This business is consistent execution more than big ideas.
Today - right now in fact - we're rolling out something new for our customers, in part to say Thanks for Ordering, in part to add a little more value to doing business with us, and also to try to retain some mindshare between the months and years between when you bought a bike or wheels from us, and when you may need another one. It's called the Self-Service Course, and it's our take on supplying our customers with all the kit they need - from gruppos to individual components like shifters, cassettes, chains, derailleurs, bars, stems, posts. The stuff you need when you buy a new frame from us and want to build it up, the parts you go through a couple or three times a year, and maybe the strategic upgrade from time to time.
We're still adding a bunch of categories. Next up are tires, tubes, nutrition, trainers/rollers, car racks and balms, salves and lotions.
To find the Self-Service Course, just click on the "Store" tab on any page of the site and use the red arrow on the right side to scroll until you find it. In each category there are 6-9 choices - high quality (but not unduly extravagant) kit from our most popular suppliers.
The Self-Service Course is open to anyone, but our customers enjoy Special Member Customer Preferred VIP Exclusive Pricing. We send you a promo code that knocks all the Self-Service Course prices down by an amount we cannot reveal out here in the open. We're aiming for really good deals, but not jaw-dropping prices. You may find a better price on the interwebs somewhere, but you're going to have to skip a workout to find it. When you need something, start with us - you may not need to look any further.
I'm going to start emailing customers with their Special Member Customer Preferred VIP Exclusive Pricing individual promo codes this week, but if you can't want just drop us a note here to cut the line. If you've bought wheels from us, your code is good for 3 months. A frame gets you 6 months and a complete bike is 9 months. Buy another one of any of those things and we add the time to your code.
Oh, and we're giving you 3 codes to give to your friends, good for a week each. They're only good for the Self-Service Course but maybe your friends will nose around the site a bit and find that those RFSC 38s are as really friggin sweet as their name implies, and pick up a set. We'd rather you're the hero than some cycling site we could advertise in instead.