This all rocks; I could add a few things to 1), including that bike
coops can help emphasize the the usefulness of bike dealers as opposed
to mass-market retailers for bikes, something that dealers always like.
Also as part of 1)-c), if you regularly pick up you are doing them a favor by getting junk out of there!
One thing we occasionally do that helps the cycling community here is recover stolen bikes. That may not be something that you want to talk about--the fact that bikes are stolen at all... but it goes a long way to making sure that people don't think we're just some sort of chop shop. Every now and again I get a call from someone saying "do you have any used Colnagos?" or something and I have to say, "look, we're on your side. You don't have to ask me weird questions, just e-mail me a description of it and we'll keep a look out."
A major thing that we do that is probably not unique to us is that we connect the "town and gown" around the university of Penn
For our part, the non-competition part has been a bit of a tightrope on occasion--for instance, some shops here (Philadelphia) also offer maintenance classes and something like our Urban Survival Biking course. One shop stopped giving us donations of used parts when they found out that we did in fact sell some stuff that was surplus to the needs of the youth program (They are since out of business, though, and no other shops have complained about that. We always take pains to point out that donations may be sold or recycled, not 100% go direct to a youth, even though everything ultimately benefits the youth program)
Jonathan Morrison wrote:
That sounds beautiful to me. I forgot to mention there are distributors there too, QBP, Wilson, etc, etc.,...
The audience there is mostly bike store owners, manufacturers or distributors. Thus the seminar would need to come at the angle of how we can help them while they are helping us. We would need to at least touch on:
- Why Collective Shops compliment [and not compete with] Retail Bike Stores.
a) Refer customers that don't have enough money. b) Our bike prices fall in that vacant range between thrift stores and new bikes. c) Tax deductions and recycling sources for for your old parts and bikes.
- Get extra PR (Public Relations) and Goodwill Points for your Store / Company.
a) Free advertising when TV, Radio, or Newspapers report on a mechanics' clinic, bike drive, or Kids' Earn-A-Bike class and sees your shop or company participating or sponsoring.
- Reliable mechanic training.
a) Core Volunteers are qualified mechanics and potentially future employees. b) Have a new employee? Send them over to volunteer and get more experience
- Cycling community
a) Community Bike Shops create community, and which causes more people to ride. b) Set up relationships with new customers when they buy a brand new bike, they can take a mechanics and riding class at the local Community Bike Shop -- when they do they can get a gift certificate back to the original Retail Bike Store. Second visits are key.
- Needs of Community Bike Shops
a) Needs. b) How you can help.
- Examples of successful programs.
BTW, Has anyone been to the Bicycle Leadership Conference (http://bicycleconference.org/)?