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Meet Stu Clott of Anywhere Bicycle Repair in Kearny Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stu Clott.

Stu, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started the business on 1/1/10 with a small tool box and the little bit of cash in my pocket in hopes to satisfy the demand for high quality, fast turn-around bike repair. I drove around in my old pick-up truck repairing bicycles at the customer’s house or work by appointment. The first year I worked a full-time job at a bicycle shop while attempting to grow my business which added up to 70-80 hours weeks. It was a very tough first year, but by the end of it I proved to myself that the demand is out there, I just had to find it. At the start of the second year I made the leap and quit my full-time job to focus all my attention in my new business. That second year I doubled sales and saved enough money to buy a 16′ box truck. I retired the small pick-up and built a self-sufficient repair shop in the box truck. The box truck satisfied the demand of my customers for a few years. By 2013 I was starting to turn down business because I could not physically satisfy the demand for service because I could only drive so much in one day. So by September of 2013 I took a big leap and rented a shop and hired two full time employees.

With the increased resources, we continued to make a profit even with the higher expenses because we were able to say yes to all the demand. We discontinued the on-site (box truck) service and implemented a pick-up and delivery service. The pick-up and delivery service increases quality control because the bike comes back to the shop to get serviced. Fast forward 4 years to today and we are still in the same location and continuing to grow 10% year after year.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Anyone who owns a business will tell you it is not easy. And if they say it is, they are lying. One of the biggest struggles is cash flow. There is always a bill to be paid so having enough cash to grow is one of the most challenging tasks of growing a business. The other big struggle is managing your own employees. Thank the higher powers that I have amazing employees, but even so, walking the fine line of discipline and communication is a daily struggle.

Please tell us about Anywhere Bicycle Repair.
We are strictly a repair shop (only shop in town who does NOT sell any bikes) which allows us to take our time and make sure every bike leaves our shop 100% perfect. We offer a guaranteed 24 hour turnaround on all tune-ups. (No other shop offers 24-hour turnaround all year round) We offer on the spot service for all minor repairs. When requested, we are also able to perform full service tune-ups on the spot. We offer pick-up and delivery with a standard three day turnaround, or same day turnaround if requested. (No other shop in town offers pick-up and delivery). We offer premium on site service for our customers who need their bike and/or bikes and cannot be without it. We offer a fitting service with our expert fitter who covers not only the fitting, but nutrition, stretching and personal goals. We strive to offer every customer as complete an experience as possible when they come into our shop.

Our one of a kind weekend Pit Stops is now a trademark in San Diego. (We are the only shop in town who does this) The community refer to us as “The Banana Guys”. We have received this nickname because we put out three pit stops throughout San Diego every Saturday stocked with water and bananas that we give out for FREE. These pit stops have 10-15 gallons of water and 80-120 bananas depending on the weather and the time of the year. The Pit Stops are also unmanned so anyone in the community are welcome to take whatever their heart desires. Since the beginning of these pit stops over a 6 years ago we have given out over 7000 gallons of water and over 94,000 bananas. (We have a running tally of water and bananas at the bottom of our website homepage) The response from the pit stops we have received over years has been amazing. People come into the shop and email us to thank us for the generosity and the help we have given them. We regularly hear stories from cyclists who have run out of food or water on a hot day and our pit stops are their savior.

I am most proud of creating a business that met the specific demand of the weekend warrior who needs their bike every weekend so we make it happen.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Great question… I am known to make more emotional decisions rather than rational… but most entrepreneurs will tell you the same thing… But I cannot say that I would change anything because the money I have lost over the years with the mistakes made had to be done. There are no rules to owning your own business so there is no way to get it right unless you lose some money by doing some of your own testing.

Pricing:

  • Complete bike tune-up is only $50!
  • ABR Signature tune-up including a detailed cleaning is $95!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
David Schaffer

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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