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State of the Hub

by Josh Lipton

I’ve decided to take a stab at a new practice this week by doing my first of what I hope to be a weekly summary of our business activities and developments. I’ve decided to post this here on our blog at Bike Shop Hub both for our customers and our team, internal and external. Whether or not I get a good rhythm going with this (I’ve failed in some past attempts), at the least, I hope that this week’s affairs provide for interesting reading.

wandertec-bongo-bike-trailer-heavy-load-fort-collins-cropI’ve been working towards defining the purpose of all of our blogs a bit more specifically. I’ve found that blogging within an organization has been the most successful when the blog has a clear agenda to keep things moving forward. While inspiration starts and stops with various ideas for the blog, if there is a core purpose, the blog will continue to grow and foster opportunities for more inspiration to pop up. So here are our current core agendas for our 3 blogs:

The BikeShopHub.com Blog: Post this weekly “State of the Hub” post with the goal of clarifying, documenting and spreading the word about our direction and progress. Post product reviews on bike bags, bike racks and children’s cycling products that we carry. Post overviews, roundups, histories and news stories relevant to specific categories of bike bags, bike racks and children’s cycling products that we carry.
UtilityCycling.com: Bring clarity and elaborate on the topic of utility cycling. The approach is to define utility cycling by breaking it down into different categories, subcategories and topics.
BikeTrailerBlog.com: Publish our readers bike trailer photos and stories. In addition, post other stories, reviews, news and information about bike trailers.

robin-bike-rack-robot-man-dance-cropWe’ve come up with a new slogan for the BikeShopHub.com “The Bicycle Accessory Experts”. The slogan represents both our current expertise in bike cargo trailers, bike bags, bike racks and children’s cycling equipment as well as our ambition to continue to expand our realm of expertise into other bicycling accessories.

I’ve had some recent considerations on the Bike Shop Hub team’s approach to brainstorming ideas. As a growing business involved in technology and cycling, we have a broad array of inspiration to draw from as we move forward and grow. I have to say, it often feels like we are overburdened with too many ideas. I often feel the burden of explaining how an idea, while perhaps very intriguing, is often far more difficult to integrate in, fully adopt and fully move forward with than it might appear. The resulting benefits of many ideas would have to offer more promise in order to justify the cost of implementation. At the same time, it is important that we maintain a good flow of ideas and find a balance that fosters the generation of ideas without having them become over burdensome.

With this in mind, I hope to encourage an environment where we can let ideas flow freely without worrying about the fact that most of the ideas will likely not come to fruition. While an idea may never see the light of being fully adopted, it adds to the power of a stream of ideas. It may build up momentum in combination with similar ideas or it may serve to communicate something more subtle than the idea itself. In fostering an open exchange of ideas, I am also considering it in the context of specific meetings where parts of our team meet to openly exchange and kill off ideas. I use the term “kill off” to express the idea that we could become comfortable with the process of sprouting ideas and quickly tearing them down as needed without growing overly attached. My hope is that this process can help us thresh our way through the thickets of ideas, to emerge with the real fruit.

Our Internet Marketing Agenda:

  1. Developing new marketing channels (currently feeds of our product database into shopping networks).
  2. Maintaining & growing our current channels (currently Adwords & Google Shopping).
  3. Developing analytics reporting on the success of our marketing channels.

Our Products Agenda (shop content):

  1. Rewriting and adding images for categories and brand descriptions
  2. Catching up on writing product listings mainly in BikeBagShop.com and BikeKidShop.com.
  3. Adding in more messenger bags, balance bikes, and trailer-cycles to our product lineup’s at BikeBagShop.com and BikeKidShop.com.
  4. Begin writing our new expert articles
  5. Preparing for better photography and video by investing in new equipment and setting up our photo area.

shopping-cart-cargo-bike-on-route-66-cropOur Website Interface Agenda (web programming):

  1. Building our link massaging tool that allows for rapid intuitive cross linking of our content.
  2. Cleaning and organizing product description pages and their option pages.
  3. Setting up photo arrays and methods to display more product info on sub-category pages
  4. Working towards a broader spectrum at Bike Shop Hub with a forum, photo gallery, Wandertec manufacturing section, Extrawheel section and more integrated in (we’re considering getting started into Drupal for this).

Our Wandertec Manufacturing Agenda:

  1. Setup relationship for manufacturing of the Wandertec BONGO load bed.
  2. Get our current batch of 50 BONGOs powder coated.
  3. Get back into brainstorming ideas for the BONGO rail system.

Current Promotions:

Last Week’s Blog Posts:

Last Week’s New Products:

Last Week’s New Sponsored Riders:

 
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