The secret sauce to Global Bikes’ BEST series is the investment in payroll for an employee to be in charge of the event. The one-on-one experience the riders get from ride leader John and the rotating support staff can’t be replicated by volunteers or club ambassadors. The ride we attended, store operations manager Robert Ford along with owner Brandee Lepak rode in support positions, switching off between riding mid and sweep.
The best ambassadors for your shops are your own employees. Yes, you pay them — but they also know your product inside and out and are committed to the success of the business. Long term, keeping your ride leaders in-house will be cheaper and more reliable.
Build shop planning and execution into their schedule.
John spends one to two hours a week planning the ride. From route building, promoting, and planning - he does this in 30 minute spurts before the store opens or after the store closes to not take away time from the sales floor. The ride itself is 2 hours from arrival to completion. In all, 3-4 hours weekly spent on payroll for this event.
Your ride leader should run the program start to finish — from prepping before week zero until the last rider rolls in on week five.
This creates an investment between the employee and the riders, and a measure of trust. Giving a staffer something they can take ownership of is a great way to keep them engaged, and keep them independently developing as an employee.
Your ride leader should have the heart of a teacher.
They will tend to be your top sales people. They see how new riders interact with their bikes in the moment; what the hang-ups are, the vulnerabilities, and coach their participants on how to be more comfortable. They can determine on the fly how to encourage confidence and build trust.
Rotate leaders and staff as needed – burnout is a barrier to success.
If someone does a beginner ride for five weeks in April and May, shift them into more advanced groups for June and July.
Offer snacks and drinks after the ride.
This simple step keeps attendees in the shop looking at the new gear, asking about services, connecting with other riders about what they like and works for them.
Keep track of sales associated with rides.
Track and record the return on investment to help develop other rides around what works best for your shop and your needs. This includes tracking: sales of bikes, component upgrades, apparel, nutrition, accessories and services.
Use Ride Spot to help streamline processes.
Leaders can create the event and route in one place instead of using different platforms to list ride, route, and promote. You can also track attendees, how often they are riding before and after events, and what bikes they are utilizing. Valuable data for helping connect with the attendees.
Brandee Lepak says “Just try it.”
In Part 3, we will talk about using Ride Spot to organize rides and the best tips and tricks to track the revenue associated with group rides.