In an effort to support local bike shops from around the country, Loveland based cycling website, VeloHut has dropped their online store. 

What do you think about their new concept to make up for that lost revenue?

Read on…

Simply put, we love our local bike shops and small online web shops. From our local shops here in Northern Colorado, our friends in other states or around the world, to those awesome small web based shops trying to make their way, the last thing we want to do is hurt their business no matter where they are in the world. We realize LBS’s and small web based businesses are being undercut all the time and owners probably hear the phrase, “I can get that cheaper online”, more than they care to talk about. We have decided that we do not want to hinder their sales, we want to find a better way to work WITH them, rather than against them.

Don’t get us wrong, online business is GOOD business. Websites and shops come in ALL sizes. For every market there is a place for the “large” online sites. We just want to find a way to work with the small ones so that we can help them better compete in this highly competitive market. Just because you can’t find your favorite brand at your local bike shop doesn’t mean the LBS across the country doesn’t carry it. Or maybe you just haven’t found that awesome small web business that offers that special touch to their products and service. We are developing a way where LBS’s and small shops (web only or local) around the world can – in a way – come together and be more competitive in the “online” world.

We completely understand how difficult it is to get a small business off the ground and maintain that business. VeloHut is also a small business with a very small team trying to catch a dream, so we know what it is like. Although we are online, we are much like our brick and mortar friends. We strive to be a different type of web business by offering that family feel, much like our favorite bike shops are run. We like to know our followers and appreciate them like any small business. We might not be able to shake the hands of our visitors to the site, but we do our best through a social aspect to try and accomplish the same goal.

So, we have decided to get behind LBS’s and small web shops all around the world by removing our store. Now, we are sitting ducks and currently “flying blind” until we get our next project off the ground which will involve bike shops globally, as well as, other bike related small businesses, including small web based businesses. Why not just wait until we were ready before we pulled our store? We wanted to show we meant business. Why would anyone support our new venture if we don’t support theirs by pulling our store immediately after our decision was made? That’s our thinking.

This is a big change in direction for VeloHut and we aim to build up support for what we are doing both from customers of LBS’s and small web shops and from shop owners themselves.

The “Localized” Package

We will be offering a package that will accomplish our mentioned goal of helping small bike related shops all around the world be more competitive with a localized approach but also extend your reach if you choose. By building a community of cyclists, bike shops, bike cafes, small web shops and more, we know we can make an impact through a highly targeted set of eyes.

This “package” will be priced so that you don’t have to flinch at the idea and will be available to LBS’s as well as any other small businesses (web or local) that are bicycle related for a flat rate of $100/year (at launch, $60/year). Better yet, we will also be sharing $10 of the fee to a very well-known bicycle related charity, the details of which we are currently working out now and will finalize in early January. This is yet another thing we are very excited about!

Our goal is to drive our traffic to you, our fellow small business owners. It is our primary goal to build a community around bicycle related small businesses. We want the decision to be easy. In partnership, we want to achieve a common goal – getting more people on bikes, anywhere in the world and sharing the love of cycling.

How can you help right now?

We are very confident that this is the right direction for VeloHut but we’ll need the help of the community to pull this endeavor off! You can help us by spreading the word by sharing this page, following us onTwitterFacebookGoogle+ (pick your poison), join our Strava Club and/or our forums. All of these features help us to build that community as part of our grand plan to help change our path and succeed at our endeavor to building an incredible cycling community around bike shops anywhere in the world.

If you’re a bike shop owner, you can use the “Contact Us” button to your lower left and let us know you’re interested in signing up when we are ready. Or, use it to ask us questions! Either way, we want to hear from you so we can hear ideas of what you’d like to see on VeloHut that would encourage you to join.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget, please spread the word!

Special Thanks: We’d like to thank Rich at DnA Bikes in Tamaqua, PA and Vincent of Velo + from Lenexa, Kansas for the input and feedback.