History 2016

Hi, my name is Nikolai, my mother calls Kolya, friends Kolyan. Now it’s fashionable to do business openly and tell a story to yourself. I thought that I had a rather interesting story, in which there are many lessons for myself, and maybe someone will learn what is good from my mistakes. I would like to tell the story of the origin and development of the BearBike brand, I will complement the narrative as it develops.

How to choose a bike

Or how I hired myself. I saw fixes in 2011. Picture on pinterest. And fell in love. Then there was free money from another business, which I spent completely on the first purchase. Everything is serious: rented a warehouse (garage on Skhodnenskaya), thought out logistics (the first year I delivered bicycles to clients by taxi), made a website (a ready-made template for little money). Time was full and the first bicycles parted from the truck. Zayana became the first friend and assistant, who always inspired confidence that this was normal and everyone started like that. She designed the first marketing materials and did a lot of useful things for me and the business.

Oh yes, I started with the distribution of PureFix, an American brand. It was organized by several young men, graduates of Standford. They raised some wild investments, showing investors a ten-page presentation. Hired a marketer from Trek. Such a beautiful American story. They are great guys, but they were very busy with marketing and investment rounds. The purchase looked something like this:



- "Hey guys, we need a bike!"
- "Nivapros, here is the contact of a Chinese woman, she will ship to you, and pay her."

Everything was going great. I ordered another batch and it did not fit into my garage. Then I just arrived at Pushkinskaya, where a room was empty next to my friendly shop, and filled up these rooms with my great ones. The next day, the director of Izvestia laughed to tears at my seizure and allowed me to continue to rent occupied rooms for a store. So fixcycles.ru found its first home. Almost overlooking the Kremlin.

In the same days, Nikita joined me, who became the first permanent employee, ally and friend. Nikita very quickly figured out everything and became a reliable support.



Calls.

Once the guys from a friendly laugh shop showed a letter from the Chinese, which literally read as follows under the photos of my bicycles: "Do you want the same bike? Easy! Fast, high quality, cheap. Buy, hurry up!". It was the first call that just because anyone could jump over me because of such Chinese.

The second call was when, having arrived at an exhibition in Germany to meet with representatives of the Americans, he discovered that they were negotiating with other larger players in the Russian market. At that time, for three years I had successfully sold them great, invested in advertising, worked on recognition. And here, you understand, that at any moment they can say "thank you, but we give the market to another." It's like working at work, and you get fired. But unlike dismissal, it’s not so easy to get into a competing company. Another American says, “We have a good account of Russia. I’ve bought a new Tesla, and what are you driving?” I was not confused with the answer and said: “On the bike and metro.”

The third and last call happened immediately after the collapse of the ruble, when I asked the Americans to meet and lower the prices for a difficult period in order to maintain an affordable price for people, I received the answer essentially "learn to sell the same product for expensive." September was on its nose and it was necessary to act.

Remember the Chinese woman from the previous chapter? Here she writes to me: "Kolya, let me sell you the same bicycles cheaper." So BearBike was born. Handsomely? Not really. The first batch arrived ready-made and I tested the market on finished bicycles. I also bought several frames and tried to assemble bicycles myself. But the problem turned out to be that when buying components in Russia, bicycles were very expensive.



Calls.

We found an investor. He is an extremely modest and non-public person, I will call him BB. First, Igor brought the idea of ​​making a bicycle on a belt, like a headliner. I posted a simple ad on different sites "we want to assemble bicycles in Moscow, we need an investor." Despite the crisis, there were several reviews. But the first responded BB. We met in a cafe on Paveletskaya. They told themselves that we know what we are doing, what super-duper bike we will build on a belt, it will cost some fifty thousand in retail. VV is a wise man, he listened to us and asked: “But will you sell the assortment only? So my son bought a lot from Kolya a couple of years ago, can’t get enough of it, can you turn this story off?” And then we realized that we were so carried away by the projects of the future that we forgot about the current achievements. Corrected.

"How much money do you need and for what?" And then we sat in a puddle, as there was no answer. Just a comedy:



- "And how many do you have?"
- "Well, how much is needed, how much is there, how much is needed?"
- "Pss, Kohl, let's eight ..."
- "Don’t give twenty ..."
- "Maybe ten?"
- "So you guys count and call."

Well, here we were ashamed, figured, counted, etc. We met many times, discussed. As a result, on the very new year, they shook hands. As I later found out from serious financial analysts who professionally work with businesses in the early stages of development and growth, it is a common problem to understand how much money is needed for a number of reasons: used to working without money; it’s hard to really appreciate the big picture; you don’t corny know the cost of all necessary services, since you haven’t tried everything in your life, etc.

And I also realized that the cool financiers who work for large salaries also do not know anything in advance. And someone will surely tell you about the mythical uncle-getter from Siberia, who has so much money that he will now dump you a pack. And with such surprise, you read the investment reports in a bunch of incomprehensible projects that solve the next global problem of collective combing of smooth-haired cats in zero gravity.


The team is people.

In the winter of 2016 we became sharply more. Everything used to be simple and clear, I’m Nikita, Nikita yes.

Igor came to work in February. He brought a friend Volodya with him. By the way, Volodya was for a long time the head of the warranty workshop at Stels and over the last year of his work he personally repaired, tuned and assembled nearly 3,000 grand ones (three mother of his thousands are big, stunned!).

For Volodya came a group of pickers who worked in the shops during the day and came to us in the evenings. I note that neither Volodya nor Igor ever said anything bad about Stels, and when someone regularly tries to pin them on the topic of Stels, which is usually scolded, if you are a "hard worker" and a "bike loafer", they always answer: "В Stels has the best bikes for its price, and some models are more expensive than their money. "

Seryozha also joined the staff. Serezha is an amazing person - a photographer, artist, carpenter, bicycle master. He has a well-known Viter project and an excellent carpentry workshop Bark beetle. I used to order photographs from him. He joined the team and took up our appearance and activities. He did great. But they did not agree with Igor's characters and Igor's explosive disposition forced Sergei to leave. I hope that Sergei and I remained friends. Seryozha, if you read these lines - it’s great!

So there are sales, there are purchases, there is an investor. assembly is, marketing is. Fly!


Why all these letters?

The text is long. And perhaps you have already forgotten why I am writing all this. Now is the last week of 2016. I decided to take an intermediate result. Tell how it is all inside. Next year I will supplement this story with new chapters. Nikita, Volodya, Igor and I, Nikolai, have put a lot at stake for the sake of our beloved business, and we will do further, more and better.

A huge number of plans, ideas and desires are ahead. Stay with us!
Sincerely, Nikolai Sadchikov
December 2016
History 2017

We promised more personal. This is our story, our 2017th, our cycle life without cuts. And we want to share it with each of you.

From the first days of 2017, it promised to be fun. The transport company, which we remain loyal, was drowned by the volume of parcels, and the whole team spent the first days of the year on the phones, explaining to customers that the positive emotions from owning BearBike would block the negative ones associated with the long waiting for the parcel.

In general, we can say that 2017 is a series of strange coincidences and breaks, which in the most unexpected way led to a positive outcome.

Don't neglect dating.

Stels and Forward are almost peers who have always been not just competitors, but direct rivals. Working at Stels, Igor (now the product director at BearBike) just heard about Forward that morning at the company begins with the sacrificial burning of the idol of bicycle happiness and replacing the stickers "made in China" with "made in Of Russia. "

At the exhibition in Sokolniki we met Lech (Lech, hello!), an amazingly talented engineer and amazing open person. Lech - Product Manager Format (premium brand of Forward, which produces the coolest Vela for world-class sports). He said that the guys in Format themselves design frames in Perm, and the factory team in real-world racing tests ready-made prototypes.

- Good fill! - we said.
- Why do I need # #%% ("I see no reason to distort the truth")!
Come and see for yourself! - retorted Lech.

At the end of January at 5 in the morning we left the plane gangway in Perm. At minus 30.

While they are selling my day, I already left tomorrow.
Lech met us as good and long-awaited friends. Perhaps we covered every corner of the factory. Saw a bunch of cool ideas: how to organize a warehouse, storage, maintain a tool that you immediately began to use with yourself.

The plant was very impressive. We are used to seeing workshops in China to the horizon. The Perm plant is small, we were surprised optimized space. For example, pipes for cutting are fed from a pipe warehouse through a small window immediately into machine located in the pipe processing workshop. For welding frames, technologies from auto and motorcycle production are used. One can see how this factory was filled with machines for years, gradually mastering new operations. A very lively story.

Surprisingly, upon learning of our arrival, Maxim decided to meet us (one of the first co-founders of the company). Our departure was at seven in the morning, and a bottle of whiskey in a secret bar provoked a rich and instructive conversation. In a striking way, no one at the Forward during the visit asked about Stels, although the companies have been friends for many years into the gums. "

- When they leave me, the first thing they do is run to Nachevkin [the main owner of Velomotors is Alexander Yuryevich Nachevkin]. But while they are selling my day, I already left tomorrow. I’m not very interested in what the "Stels", I have my own way, ”said Maxim.
- Here you are a tough guy, we thought.
Turns out the place matters.

All winter we were looking for a place for a store. A store is needed. It is extremely necessary. Though the smallest. Opportunity to come and touch the bike before buying or see how your favorite sneakers fit in with the color of the frame, is priceless. Though supply and exceeds demand, many landlords stubbornly prefer to sit without income than to move on conditions. In theory, there are many options, in practice, none are completely satisfied.

What was our experience?

- A small store with a small warehouse in the center in Izvestia. But it’s hard to find, no parking, not all goods in stock, and you need to wait a couple of days until we bring it from a distant warehouse.

- A large store within the third transport ring. Finding us is also not very easy, but with parking problems No, and the goods are all in stock.

As a result, we chose a small (44 sq. meters) show room with parking and 1 minute from two metro stations (Tretyakovskaya and Novokuznetskaya). The store is easy to find, goods are brought from a warehouse in Lyubertsy. April 2, 2017 we made a fun party in honor of the opening.

With the opening of the store, the flow of visitors has changed. If before people came to us mainly on Friday and days off, now traffic has become uniform throughout the week. It turns out a convenient place really matters. People often come to us in the afternoon, choose and order delivery closer to the weekend.

It also happens that people pass by on their bike, immediately fall in love with BearBike and leave on a new one.

"Marry me!"

The coolest and best event in the life of BearBike 2017 was the arrival of Masha. She brought order to our social networks. Pateliva resourceful, persistent, talented, smart and, oh gods, how attractive she is!

At the peak of the season, the main problem is not to lose requests on social networks. Each request is a potential purchase of your goods. And there may be too many requests, especially if your offer is really interesting.

So a few tips:

- Hire an SMM manager. Believe me, you can’t pull it yourself, even if you have a tiny business. SMM manager saves you invaluable time you can spend on business development.

- Gather a list of frequently asked questions and answers to them. This will significantly reduce duplication costs. same answers.

- The SMM manager is unlikely to be a specialist in the assembly of bicycles, but his task is to provide prompt and qualified answers to all incoming requests. Masha gracefully solved this problem.

Several times a day, Masha collects questions in social networks and throws us a telegram group. Anyone who knows the answer to the question, he writes, Masha copies on the network.

Masha, we love and adore you. It’s clear that you do not need four suitors, but at least accept us as brothers. And you, reading this text, remember that the first to see your appeal on social networks is a charming girl.

Look at yourself from the side.

In the spring for several months, we invited art director Sasha, who was asked to link together in a single style BearBike in the eyes of the consumer.

In fact, we were looking for a corporate identity, but it was necessary not to come up with it again, but to see in our past works the general traits and highlight them. Sasha did it "with a bang": "Guys, you have very bright big ones, but at the same time everything is concise. Let's simplicity and restraint will be your corporate identity! ". Sasha also came up with the slogan" BearBike -bicycles for city ​​"and did a bunch of everything. Sasha, you're cool :)

May, snow, apocalypse.

Spring 2017 did not come in March, nor in April, nor in May. It was a warm and snowy winter. It was snowing in May! Present white cold fluffy and prickly! The local market of Moscow traders fell three times in May. We pulled more or less through original product and sales nationwide. But things did not go very vigorously. There were no options left.

Igor flew at random to an exhibition in Shanghai, where he hoped to meet Maxim. (Note: Maxim is one of the first Forward co-founders. Forward is the name of the factory that launches its Forward brands, Format and Altair). One should have seen the surprised expression on Maxim’s face when he was suddenly offered to buy a stake in BearBike.

First reaction: "I don’t need your bebike. But I desperately need the people who did it. Let's make an agreement. There are always points of contact. "In a couple of weeks, Maxim came to visit Moscow. He rode our greats, - and the winding path began in a few months.

Our task at that time: to find financing for BearBike, even if it will cost a share in our business. And even if we have to work at Forward itself. But Forward had his own, sometimes elusive, logic.

Forward either suggested buying a stake in BearBike, or saying that under no circumstances would he do it. Us then they were invited to work, then, during interviews, they changed jobs. Then send the documents, then do not send. we We are waiting for you, come! Why did you come?

Make sure all team members have the same conversation position.

At one point, the three of us: Igor, our investor and me, were invited to Perm to discuss intermediate agreements.

Igor and I partly swam in numbers, our eternal shame. But the most amazing dialogue took place between our investor and Maxim (Note: Maxim is the owner of Forward).

In September 2017, Bear Bike enters with the following balance of power:

I (Kolya): from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nizhny Novgorod Street I am developing the dealer network Altair, Forward, Format. From 18 to Pyatnitskaya: I am the CEO of Bear Bike.

Igor: he left for Perm, where, in addition to his new job, he also lobbies for BearBike.

Nikita and Vova: shocked by what is happening, but with a stony expression on their faces, they continue to pretend that nothing has changed, so it should be, we are working on.

In September, we brought a new collection and showed it at an exhibition in Sokolniki. She attracted a lot of attention and received a lot of positive reviews.

We rolled our lips that we received universal recognition, and now dealers and other exhibitors will line up for our new collection. And she is good, oh how good!

- Cool are great. Take for implementation in season, the standard answer we heard.
- It's cool, I’ll take it for myself and friends, but we only sell MTB for 15,000 rubles, - mentor muttered.

The bottom line is one intention and compliment.

And then fate again brought us in time with the right person.

In St. Petersburg there is a terrific brand Shulz - cool folding great. When we are asked if BearBike will have a fold, we always reply that we can’t do better than Shulz.

Sasha (the owner of the company) is known for his integrity and crystal honesty in business. After the exhibition, he gave invaluable advice (a copy of the conversation from the telegram):

Igor:
- How do you manage to collect people in pre-order? All three days they tell me: great - fire, I take to a free warehouse. Like the market is not clear, etc.
Sasha Shulz:
“I think you yourself can make all the money.
Sasha Shulz:
“You don't need the rest.” They are not needed until they themselves understand that they need you.
Sasha Shulz:
“You have a great product and you will sell it yourself.” I also have it, but they started to want to shop for me, if they want, so you can not bend.

Charged with positive, we went further.

Perm-Moscow-Moscow-Perm-Perm-Perm-Moscow.

The second half of 2017 was in constant trips between the two cities. The forward delayed negotiations on the fate of BearBike, made promises, but not money. At some point, Igor got the audacity / stupidity and pushed his Chinese partners when they arrived in Perm, with an offer to invest in BearBike.

We must pay tribute to the wisdom of the Forward leadership, who understood the motive of the demarche and were actively involved in the negotiation process. At the end of November, they signed the final version of the collaboration business plan.

And the most difficult thing began - again to develop a sales market that is used to working with completely different products. But one phone call was a symbolic start to a new life:

- Hello, hello. I'm Denis. Vitaly gave me a number. I read all about you. I fell in love with your product. Guys i really want to be with you. I don’t know what to buy yet. But let me throw you some money. Let your advance lie down.
In December, we made sales of 1.3 million rubles, which was an absolute record for this month. And confidently entered the new 2018 year.
History 2018

On approval by the editor-in-chief ...