Friends Darren and Blair teamed up to buy bike business Cyco in 2015. Now, the pair offer bike products and services out of their shop in Kingsland. They spoke to us about how Plus by ASB has helped them increase their productivity and gain insights into their business.
Tell us a bit about your business and how you got started?
Darren worked for the original owner of Cyco for about 14 years and when the opportunity arose to buy the business in 2015 - Darren asked me if I would help him evaluate it. In the end it worked best for us to buy it together.
The focus of the shop is on keen cyclists who look for quality products and want good honest advice and their bikes serviced by experienced bike mechanics.
What are some of the challenges you’ve encountered operating a small retail business in NZ?
Finding the right premises was the first challenge we had. We were lucky that the location in Kingsland was available and it wasn’t too far from where the shop had been in Ponsonby. The other challenge was finding suitable systems for point of sale and accounting that integrated well.
Which apps do use to help run your business?
We use Vend for point of sale and this integrates reasonably well with Xero. We have a website but all our sales are from the shop and not online.
What were the pain points you were encountering in your business before you started using Plus by ASB?
We needed a way of getting a snapshot of what was happening and we didn’t have the time to evaluate our sales history to better understand everything. We didn’t know our average sales, most popular items and those that were giving us the best margin.
How has Plus impacted your daily productivity? How often do you find yourself using Plus?
We use Plus to check on the trends. Seeing what is happening with average sales values and returns as well as presenting a snapshot of bank balances at the same time means that you don’t have to go to each system to get an overview.
What is your favourite Plus insight or feature?
Average sales basket and daily sales compared to prior periods.
From your experience using Plus by ASB, which types of businesses do you think would also benefit from using Plus?
I think mainly smaller businesses who use a variety of systems and don’t have time or staff who can analyse the data to understand the trends.
What advice do you have for other Kiwi businesses wanting to be a success?
Start off with a clear plan and vision and realise it will take longer than you think to get the business established and achieving what you want. Get the right staff on board who have the drive that you need to make things happen and are flexible enough to help out when required.