Fun fact: Did you know that the paved road became mainstream not because of cars but because of bicycles? Yup! Asphalt surfaces weren’t widespread until the 1930s, and the improvement was lobbied for – and paid for – by cycling organizations. With that said, the modern cycling communities all over the U.S. are still going strong. In the bicycle friendly community of Hillsboro, Oregon for example, biking is alive and well, backed up by local bicycle shop, Orenco Station Cyclery.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS
Orenco Station Cyclery was founded in July 2015 but existed as another business in 2013. Sole owner David Strickland purchased the business from its two previous owners. OS Cyclery is a bicycle facility that offers world class bikes, parts, accessories, and repair service. They carry Felt and Norco as their main bicycle lines, but also provide a nice selection of refurbished bikes. They also rent out bicycles to the community.
“We can perform almost any repair or rebuild on a bicycle and work with others in the industry when specialty issues arise such as when a carbon fiber frame or some other components are damaged that needs welding or those kinds of repairs,” Strickland shared.
While most hobby shops have a reputation of being intimidating, especially for beginners, OS Cyclery is known for their welcoming, friendly, and non-intimidating environment. They treat all their customers the same, whether they’re an experienced biker/enthusiast or just in the starting phases. Like most small businesses, OS Cyclery provides that personal touch that big businesses lack. They treat customers as more than just business by actually spending time with them to get to know what they need/want and make sure they get it. Their walls come alive with modern murals that reflect the culture of both the biking community and the city.
“My vision is to have a world class business that never loses its roots for being friendly and non-intimidating.” Strickland expressed.
The business also shows support to events such as Tour de Cure, Whole Foods Earth Day, and some community events. The previous owners started weekly group ride that is still on going, currently having close to 600 members signed up! You can sign up on the OS Cyclery website here.
ABOUT THE OWNER
Strickland was born in Seychelles, a small group of islands in the Indian Ocean. He moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old and to Oregon 10 years ago. In 2014, he stumbled upon the business, back then under a different management, by accident while he was on a bike ride with a group. After managing the original shop for about a year, he found out that the owners were looking to sell the business. After a few weeks of discussing with the previous owners, they agreed to a deal and he took over the shop.
The original concept of the shop was food and bicycles. Initially, Strickland just wanted to progress and improve on the existing concept when he took over. However, after a few months of running the business, he realized that the food wasn’t working, especially since the area had started growing in terms of restaurants as well. With this, Strickland decided to tear down all the food stuff and expand the bicycle shop instead.
Strickland started pushing the rental part of the business because of all the gorgeous riding trails Hillsboro has, such as the Banks to Verona trail. OS Cyclery found success in the markets all their services cater to, and with that, Strickland pursued expansion. Small business expansion is often the next step for entrepreneurs with a successful first business. Most of the time, they decide to open a second location or open a different yet somehow still related business – Strickland aimed high, successfully, and did both. He now has a second location for OSCyclery in Newberg, Oregon and has also started an electric bike rental business for wine tours called E-bike Toorz.
ABOUT THE AREA AND COMMUNITY
Strickland describes Orenco Station as the Rodeo Drive of Hillsboro, with the number of businesses that are located in the area. Orenco Station is located in the east-central area of Hillsboro. The area has over 40 local businesses from restaurant, retail, and service type. It also has living areas around, creating a complete package for consumers.
“I think Orenco Station is growing and becoming more known, but I’m still amazed at how few people know of this awesome are ever since it started getting developed since, I believe, 2005,” Strickland shared.
SMALL BUSINESS CHALLENGES
When asked about the different challenges that he encountered when getting the business off the ground and while currently running it, Strickland cited getting the word out is one of them. To help with this, he worked on getting a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) position for OSCyclery. This has helped put OSCyclery near the top of organic searches on Google and other search engines for bike shops in the area. In this day and age, most businesses who get their name out on the digital sphere see a positive difference in their business due to the amount of people they can reach. For business owners who are on the fence about this, here are some good reads: Marketing Trends for Small Businesses, Social Media for Small Businesses.
Finding good and professional employees is another challenge Strickland experienced. In running any business, hiring good people is crucial – but for small businesses, especially. Unlike big companies, most small businesses depend greatly on their small number of employees and can’t afford to hire people who will be detrimental to the business’ productivity and success. With that being said, small business owners tend to be extra careful in their hiring process. For tips on how to hire for your small business, check out this blog post.
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Find your dream,” Strickland said when asked what advice he would give aspiring small business owners, based from his experience. “Then work very, very hard… long unrelenting hours. Never give up.”
OS Cyclery can be found in 1114 NE Orenco Station Pkwy
97124 Hillsboro, Oregon
Contact them at (503) 610-4105
Visit their website: OS Cyclery Website
Visit their Instagram page here: OS Cyclery Instagram
Visit their Tours and Rentals page here: E-Bike Toorz