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  1. #1
    nuke the wales
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    Slow season at our shop

    I am a mechanic at a local bike shop and our slow season is in full swing, for the last few weeks I have swept the floors cleaned cabinets and any menial organizing that keeps me occupied through the day. Sorry to ramble so my question is what do other shop employees do when it is slow thanks for listening

  2. #2
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    clean the bathrooms, mop the floors, do the glass on the doors, dust the displays, detail the baseboards. At least that's what I do when I get overly bored.

    More importantly work on ideas of how to get new customers into the shop. Think about what you can contribute that will make the shop better next season. Do you need anything installed at the shop that you think will make it more organized, presentable, customer or employee friendly? Your the one with the tools, get to work at it.

  3. #3
    nuke the wales
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    I agree with everything you said I didn't mean this thread to be a complaint area I feel very blessed to have my dream job and a wife who understands my passion. I did take all of our overflow spoke selection organize them and put them in a brand new bin

  4. #4
    fly on the wall
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    I've never worked as a bike mechanic or know anything about the goings of shop operations, but what does it mean for slow season? Is your area under snow this time of year, or is it so cold that people ride less?

  5. #5
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    winter time in upstate Ny we did XC ski sales and service ( bindings, waxing and edging) along with ice skate sharpening. your in Colorado, does the shop your at do anything like that?
    '11 Jedi
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    '01Rocket88< ran over it.. always do a full walk around!
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  6. #6
    nuke the wales
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    Our area is interesting it is a desert climate so not a lot of snow but there is an abundance of outdoor activities in our area. We are a small to medium sized town but we have 8 bike shop all pretty close to each other so there is a lot of competition and a few shops already do ski and board rentals. Mainly I was curious as to what other shop employees do to pass the time be it serious like cleaning or fun such as shooting rubber bands and playing practical jokes

  7. #7
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    aww got'cha! We used shoot pellet guns. One wound set up/ strategically hide 5-8 targets in the stock room. then the one who setup the targets would follow the someone with the "weapon". Going in tactical style, enter the stockroom and hit the targets with a counting system. if the target can see you you can see the target and given a 5 count to hit it. I had a good one once. hid a target in a dark corner inside the branches of a plastic Xmas tree... i got everyone one with that one! but that was many many decade ago...aww the good'ol days., how i miss thee..
    we also used to build jumps and trials obstacles out of pallets
    '11 Jedi
    '01 Straight8
    '01Rocket88< ran over it.. always do a full walk around!
    '00 Homegrown

  8. #8
    Me ride.
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    Get the customers in the store when they wouldn't normally come in?
    There are about 3 bike shops withing a mile of each other where I live.
    Some have group bike rides throughout the year.
    Some of them have free bike maintenance classes in the Spring/Summer/Fall only...why not have some in the winter months? Temps here fluctuate wildly in December, and folks still ride their bikes. Last weekend it was near 70. Today about 45.
    With classes held in winter, they can get a jump on the fair-weather folks, and buy bike stuff for themselves or friends for Christmas. If they buy a bike from your shop, you can spend some extra time showing them basic bike stuff, and they'll leave knowing your shop went the extra mile for them and want to return.

  9. #9
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    educate yourself!
    Shimano has a training website called S-Tec where I spend a lot of my time learning about Shimano stuff. it's a great way to get caught up on new techniques.

    Reading stuff on the Park website (Calvin's Corner and such) is really helpful.

    3point5.com is also a great website to spend time learning product knowledge.

    maybe now is a good time to tear down an old fork and learn how to put it together quickly and efficiently too.

  10. #10
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    how about holding customer training classes? I"m not a shop tech, but a decent mechanic. I took a repair class at my LBS years ago, helped immensely with fixing my own stuff.

  11. #11
    fly on the wall
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    I too live in desert region, where the year is either blazing summer or freezing winter, with no middle ground. No snow, but the wind...there's always wind. The bike shop in our area uses social media to put on group rides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It gets people pedaling during the winter, and more chance for people to need to get their bikes worked on.

    That shop also has some bright red kid tricycles hanging in the back of the service area. I asked them what they were for once, and they just chuckled and mumbled something about mischief.

  12. #12
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    Air compressor shenanigans, such as using it as a blowgun to launch various projectiles at cardboard boxes. Kiddie bike races with your fellow employees. Hop on the smallest kids' bikes in the store and race them around the shop. Attempt to mail one of your co-workers in a bike box. See who can bring in the worst music that is still vaguely customer safe. But the best one I've ever seen was a co-worker who came in with his girlfriend and disappeared into the back of his van for 3 hours.

  13. #13
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    cut an inner tube in half near the valve. tie one end of the tube in a knot. fill the tube with powder or some sort of shrapnel. tie the other end. hook it up to a compressor. turn on compressor. run!

  14. #14
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    I don't work in a shop, but I think a well organized, well written blog is a good idea. Once you get it set up it should be easy to update throughout the year.

    A website as well. Maybe find some way to streamline an ordering process and try doing some mail order?

    Major store overhaul? 69 cent/sq ft ceramic tile and some paint can go a long way in giving a shop a facelift.

    Some sort of a bike expo? What about a launch party when you get new 2013 bikes?

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