How One Local Bike Shop Found a Workaround

If you go to Granbury, Texas, for the primary time, you’re struck by the friendliness of passersby, stunning historic buildings and the sheer variety of cyclists cruising up and down Foremost Road. Leonard Nuckolls seen too. 

An avid bicycle owner himself, Nuckolls opened Morphine Cycles in 2011 to serve the wants of his area people. The complete-service store carries every part it is advisable to pedal like a professional, together with e-bikes, new high-end choices and a collection of used bikes—a few of that are uncommon.

The store was rolling proper alongside till COVID-19 put a spoke in Morphine Cycles’ wheel. A number of nationwide lockdowns slowed or stopped the stream of supplies and completed items, disrupting manufacturing throughout the board. We’d heard good issues popping out of Granbury and wished to know the way Nuckolls managed to sort out provide chain interruptions to maintain his bike enterprise on monitor by the pandemic.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

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We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the bicycle business provide chain exhausting. What was it like for your online business within the early days of COVID-19?

It was wild as a result of, like everybody else, we didn’t know what to anticipate. Fortunately, biking is taken into account important in my group. We didn’t should shut down the shop, however the first couple of weeks have been scary—foot site visitors within the showroom slowed down considerably after which went utterly useless. We stopped ordering new stock, and I believed, “oh boy, that is going to be dangerous.” However then I circled and we have been offered out on-line. 


On-line gross sales in lots of sectors skyrocketed in the course of the peak of the pandemic. What do you attribute this to in your business? 

On the time, gyms and health centres throughout the nation have been pressured to shut, pushing thousands and thousands of individuals to search for different choices. That’s when curiosity in outside sports activities like biking peeked, and our on-line gross sales exploded. We rapidly jumped again into ordering new stock—till producers finally ran dry.


With this lack of latest stock from producers, how have been you in a position to pivot and preserve gross sales?

We have been already within the behavior of shopping for high-end bikes on-line, fixing them up and promoting them off. So, we continued to experience that wave however on a extra intense scale. On a daily day, I buy 20 or 30 used bicycles and so they’re offered both on-line in our showroom. The used bike facet of our enterprise has been extremely handy. It retains stock rolling in when model new bikes are merely unattainable. 

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Shifting ahead, how do you see your business adapting? What are your plans for the longer term?

I’m always studying up on this topic and attempting to determine it out. However no one is aware of at this level. So far as I can inform, I’ve two choices: I both make plans based mostly on the place we are actually, or I take a shot at nighttime and guess what this would possibly appear to be a yr from now.

For instance, I’ve simply submitted my 2022 order to bike producers. Sometimes, putting an order just isn’t a scary factor, however I’ve obtained possibly one quarter, or lower than half, of what I ordered for the 2021 season. If the rest of my 2021 order comes by in December and I obtain my 2022 order in its entirety in January—I’m in a troublesome state of affairs. 


Lastly, what made you select Small Biz Sense for your online business pre-pandemic?

Years in the past, once we added the service facet to our enterprise, we have been searching for an answer that would maintain us organized—a bicycle service division is a busy place. We spoke to different bike retailers, and Small Biz Sense got here out on high, particularly for service. It’s really unbelievable how properly Small Biz Sense handles every part and with ease.

As well as, earlier than switching to Small Biz Sense, we have been promoting our used bikes by third-party platforms like eBay. Promoting straight from our personal web site has been nice for us. With assist from Small Biz Sense, we’ve considerably improved our margins on the used desk.

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Making ready for the longer term at some point at a time

With a little bit of elbow grease and old school creativity, this daring enterprise proprietor has whittled the pandemic right down to however a bump within the street—one he hopes will finish very quickly.

Nuckolls explains, “I’d like to let you know, ‘Oh, I’ve bought this nice plan for the way I’m going to unravel this,’ but it surely’s actually day-to-day.”

Are you able to take your retail enterprise to the subsequent stage with Small Biz Sense’s one-stop commerce platform? Speak to considered one of our specialists to see how one can get began.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.