Wolfe Cycles is a retail business which also has an associated service and maintenance business. Operating under the tag line of “Your cycling experience starts here”, Wolfe Cycles serves the community and leisure niche of the cycling market. The firm employs 3 full time staff and 2 part time staff and is in business for 28 years. The maintenance business handles the servicing of a portion of the An Post bicycles fleet.
Why participate in the programme
The business owner, Jim Wolfe has recently completed a business degree at night. Jim was looking for something which would help him with the practical aspects of delivering growth in his business. Jim had seen an offering which looked interesting and relevant, but the cost was prohibitive. The funding available from ManagementWorks for a programme with a very action oriented approach meant that Jim could opt to participate.
Experience of the programme to date
Jim has found the programme to be very positive for him and for the business. He describes a “general awakening” in terms of how he sees the business and how he can work on focused initiatives to improve it.
One technique in particular has helped Jim to focus on improving the business. Known as the “five ways” model, developed by ActionCoach (one of ManagementWorks providers), this model allows Jim to focus on the factors which build his business model. For example, working on specific techniques to bring more potential customers to his shop and working on techniques and offers to increase the conversion of visitors to the shop to customers can all help to drive profitability.
Jim finds that the mentoring sessions allow him to clarify and check ideas for implementation with his mentor. This sounding board helps Jim to think through his plans prior to starting something new.
Impact on their business
Jim has found that the programme has had a significant impact on his self-motivation and as a result his ability to motivate his team. Jim finds that working with other business owners is very positive. The diversity of backgrounds allows for the sharing of ideas and previous experience which means that even if not immediately relevant, ideas and contacts can be referenced later if/when needed.
A key impact for Jim has been the level, timeliness and usefulness of the information he now has available.
Jim is developing his system to track sales per day by product and service and to compare that to the same period 12 months ago. A specific growth target has been set and an incentive plan agreed with his team to reward achieving the goals set. This is the first time that Jim has established a target and related incentive system.