The first six months of taking over an existing business with Andy Storey of Prendas Ciclismo (episode 166)

Andy Storey is the owner at Prendas Ciclismo, an online business that sells cycle clothing to customers worldwide shipping up to 2,000 orders per month, with an excellent reputation in the marketplace – over 6,000 positive reviews on TrustPilot. Andy bought the business from his former boss last year, and is targeting 10% growth for his first year in charge.

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About the business

  • eCommerce Business Structure – Online Only
  • Product Range Scale – fairly niche
  • Based in the UK, sells worldwide
  • Platform – Shopify
  • Plugins: Zero, Google Shopping, Mailchimp, Parcelify

Listen to hear how Andy got started in eCommerce

Another Brick in the Wall

Before taking a position at Prendas Ciclismo, Andy Storey worked in IT for a very large corporation. He felt like a cog in machine, stuck in his position, until a conversation over a beer presented him with a new opportunity. The downsides of his IT job far outweighed the positives, so Andy joined the team at Prendas Ciclismo and happily adjusted to the small company environment. Fourteen years later he finds himself the boss of the company, which runs close to 50% repeat business from customers.

Listen to learn some of the joys of working in a smaller company.

The Value of Specializing

Prendas Ciclismo runs on a very lean supply chain, selling cycling gear that easily rivals top end items, but without the same markup. Because the company remains small with less overhead, they are able to provide more affordable products for the passionate, experienced cyclist. Cycling is a hobby people tend to get engrossed in, which opens to the doors to a clear, specialized market. Prendas Ciclismo sells unique retro jerseys, which some customers buy out of nostalgia, while others just enjoy hi tech clothing with a retro look.

Replatforming

Previously on Magento 1.9, Andy found himself at a crossroads with the advent of Magento 2. He’d found Magento to be time consuming and costly as a platform, so instead of rebuilding on the newer version, he jumped on a Shopify offer that included data migration in the cost. Replatforming onto Shopify has proved to be a positive experience.

Listen to learn the importance of looking at multiple platforms to find the best option for your business.

The Team

Prendas Ciclismo remains a small team with just 4 people, yet they don’t outsource anything other than production. Everything is done in house: picking and packing, fulfillment, product photography, web pages, and ad design. Every employee understands the products they sell firsthand. Every employee cycles to work. This creates an authentic voice for the company.

From Employee to Boss

When Andy’s former boss wanted to retire, there was no one other than Andy in a position to take on the business. The deal had to be right for both of them, affordable for Andy to carry on and beneficial to the outgoing owner. Now 6 months in from the transition, Andy’s embracing the hard work but happy he made the decision. Time and financial constraints come with his new role. One of Andy’s first moves was to conduct a customer survey, which provided helpful insight into product gaps and the wants of their customers.

Listen to learn about the benefits of customer surveys with open-ended questions.

Changes in Advertising

Around Christmas time, Andy ran a promo code in a well-respected cycling magazine with tens of thousands of readers. Though it was a great offer, only a handful of people used the promo code, which proved his suspicion that magazine ads simply aren’t working anymore. He’s since experimented with Facebook advertising and podcast sponsorship as means of growing their customer base.

Listen to learn the importance of testing different forms of advertising.

Most Awesome Thing Right Now

  • Customers’ loyalty to Prendas Ciclismo, as evidenced by their 6,000+ positive reviews on Trustpilot.

Listen to hear more about how….

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Email your customers. Don’t rely solely on your social media presence.

You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…

Tool Top Tip

  • Buffer for scheduling social media posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Growth Top Tip

  • Try to sell something that’s unique. It’s crowded out there.
    If your product is not unique, it just becomes a price war with Amazon, which is a war you won’t win.

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