Small business wanting to expand

i have a small business selling unicycles and have ambitions to become the leading international unicycle seller so if anyone has any advice on how i could do that.

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Ultimately, you probably need to innovate on some part of the unicycle. Make proprietary hardware that everyone wants and only you have. Sounds like saddles could use some innovation; maybe handlebars.

Then sell everything else at competitive prices.

okay thank you i will get on saddle research now

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What’s your website?

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That would be a good reason not to purchase from said store.

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Not if you want that hardware. Whoever owns Shlumpf (spelling?) probably owns that tech right? Or the Kris Holm seat design, etc.?

Make a good thing and be the only one that can (reasonably) make it. Then sell it. Could someone else design and sell a geared unicycle? Sure, but its a ton of work and Schlumpf (spelling?) already has a lock on that market right now.

Interesting examples. At the risk of speaking on behalf of others, AFAIK both Schlumpf and KH are passion projects. They both have day jobs. Ok, in Florian’s case his day job is building bicycle gearing systems, but the point is that they both built unicycle products because they wanted something which wasn’t available off the shelf.

The main thing stopping anybody building a Schlumpf hub or a KH saddle isn’t the proprietary nature of any technology involved, it’s the high investment and low return involved. In other words, it’s only worth it if you really really want the thing to exist.

Open standards (or at least de facto standards) are better for everybody.

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Sure sure. I don’t disagree with any of that.

All I’m saying is that if you want to attract unicycle customers - I think you probably need to offer something that isn’t already offered. The current sites already have really good customer service. Shockingly good, in my opinion. And if a new digital store front opens, prices alone probably aren’t going to draw everyone in.

Its just my 2cents humble advice. Make a thing better, and then sell it. Give me a reason to want to buy from your store other than ‘you are new and offer the same stuff’. Unicycle dot com has Nimbus, and Mad4One has its proprietary stuff (I think seats/handles, and some mechanism).

Also, very minor and kind of irrelevant - but I bet both of my examples are patented. OR AT LEAST they are only distributed to certain sites/vendors. If I wanted to sell Kris Holms seats - would they distribute in bulk to me? Eh, maybe, but I think it would have to be a discussion at least. And then again, maybe they wouldn’t at all due to agreements with current folks.

It could be, if patents and intellectual property are involved. Sorry, don’t mean to drag this on - we mostly agree I think - I just wanted to add this. My wife deals with patent stuff a bit so its something we talk about.

That sounds better to the ear than “make proprietary hardware that everyone wants and only you have”. It depends on your philosophy. I would rather sell (and pay for) craftsmanship than secret sauce ideas.

Heh, and I work in open source software, so we may be coming at this from opposite angles.

If we’re ever in the same part of the world at the same time let’s go for a ride and a (possibly proprietary) beverage.

Sorry for the tangent @ellie03 :bowing_man:

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Ah! I love open source! Pushing for that for textbooks lately. Big fan of R as well.

Sounds great! Thanks for chatting :smiley:

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I would buy a super strong 22.2mm seat post even if it sold for like $100. I have an old Hunter unicycle that only takes 22.2mm seat posts and virtually nobody makes them anymore that works with the KH seat. So I am looking at a unicycle that originally cost almost $1000 back in 2002 becoming obsolete because of a single part!

The KH seat post supply that I bought is slowing evaporating because each one breaks given enough riding time.

Of course there are not many people like me with my particular problem, but I think a shop that catered to custom orders, perhaps on the side, could do well. That is a serious problem with the unicycle market – you buy some hardware and it stops getting made and you’re screwed when you need a replacement.

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Municycle.com.au has the standard 4 bolt ones for sale

https://www.municycle.com.au/catalogue/cat/222mmDiameter.html

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Have a machinist make you one. It should be an easy project, especially if you provide an extra seatpost to them so that they only need to join a 22.2mm tube to it.

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No, not at all. He sold the bicycle gearing branch over ten years ago to Haberstock Mobility.
Have a look here what he invents and produces:
https://www.florianschlumpf.swiss/index.php/en/

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I advise you to ride a unicycle yourself. Not a few shaky meters, but as a hobby and almost every day. The worst unicycle manufacturers are the ones who have no idea and produce things without testing them themselves. If you ride your unicycle to work every day (that’s how I do it, for example), you can test many things: new tires, tubes, forks, saddles, pedals and get to know the properties and differences. You will also get to know the advantages and “quirks” of the materials (steel, aluminum).

If you don’t ride a unicycle, forget it. It will be difficult.

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Could you be more specific. Do you need advice on any certain topics for businesses or need to know where to look? Il let these guys deal with the unicycle aspect :slight_smile:

yeah i think i should focus more on the business aspect at the moment and maybe innovate a new kind of unicycle once the business aspect of the shop is fully up and running.

i do ride a unicycle however i have never been known for my creativity but i will have a big think and possibly buy some more unicycles

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What do you do for payments/invoicing bookkeeping etc atm? Probably want to try out using paypal,i24, google sheets or really any free option while you figure out what you need. First step would maybe be to ask your consultant for advice or what you need.