We get five to 10 new business inquiries each week coming in through our website. Many of these are from start-ups, so we're positioned to see what trends are affecting the industry in real terms, not theory. In fact, I personally follow up with many of these inquiries so I can understand their business, their concerns and issues, and find ways to help them. This is what I love.
I'm very fortunate because this daily activity gives me a unique insight into what's going on in the retail bicycle dealer industry. It puts me just far enough back from the front lines to be able to identify trends that aren't always as easily identifiable when you're in the trenches. Many of these trends recently became more clear to me, so I wrote an email to some of the industry heavy-hitters (many of whom are also friends), commenting on six of my observations. Interestingly, it struck a chord with at least a few, including Fred Clements, the executive director of the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA). He used my insights in an article he wrote for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Needless to say, I'm honored. Thanks, Fred. You can read Fred's article on his blog or on the BRAIN Web site.