“Every colleague has shaped the way Cycle Republic is developing. It’s really satisfying to see how we’ve created such a great business.” Carl – Central Operations Manager
- There are a lot of employers out there... What made you choose us?
Over the years I’ve followed my passion and worked in most departments across the group’s cycling focused businesses. Two years ago I was given the opportunity to help shape and grow Cycle Republic to a national chain of contemporary, premium bike shops. The opportunity to be at the sharp end of developing such an exciting concept was too good to turn down. Two years on, there are loads of exciting opportunities left to bring to life – but we’ve made an amazing start at an amazing pace.
- Tell us a bit about your role…
In essence, I’m the link between our growing number of shops and the wider group. I take the pain and hassle away from shop colleagues, helping them focus on customers. I manage the CR implementation of the group-wide strategic projects, ensuring that CR is involved in these projects, and develop new business processes to bring ideas to life in our shops.
- What do you get up to on a typical day?
The day job is really varied. From spending time helping shop colleagues, developing new business concepts and processes, through to shaping how group wide projects will impact the CR way of life.
I spend about two days a month in shops, which is the best bit of the job as I get to experience what life’s like ‘on the coal face’, experiencing the challenges and successes our shop colleagues face, talking to customers and hearing what they think of our shops, and helping colleagues back at the support centre understand how we could get better!
- What’s the best thing about working here?
It sounds corny, but it’s the people! We have a great team with a ‘just do it’ attitude in CR. This is the reason we’ve achieved so much in two years. It’s also really rewarding to be part of building such an exciting business. Every colleague has personally and directly shaped the way CR is developing – it’s really satisfying to see how we’ve all created such a great business.
- What challenges have you faced and how did you deal with them?
As CR is a new business, we’re learning every day. Sometimes this means that we need to move quickly to adapt to our new locations, new customers and new business opportunities. This is easy to do with a small number of shops, but we often compete with the priorities of the wider group. This can mean that we need to help our group colleagues – to help them see why “doing something different” is right for CR and right for our customers and to help them see the benefits of the swift changes we need to make.
- Tell us about the training and development...
Our group really supports colleagues who want to develop. The culture is about providing the development opportunities and each colleague owning their own development and taking the opportunities that are offered. In essence, if you want to develop, this is a great place to be!
- What's been your biggest achievement?
We’ve achieved so much over the past couple of years that this is really hard to say… I’ve really enjoyed taking an idea and seeing it come to life in shops, whether that be to make our shop colleagues life a little easier or whether it be to provide a new avenue for customers to interact and shop with CR. There are too many of these to pick a single one, but to see an idea you’ve taken from paper being launched in shops is a real buzz!
- What do you think makes someone successful at Cycle Republic?
CR really rewards people who think openly and don’t assume that just because we’ve always done it that way, we shouldn’t try to change. If you can find a simpler, faster, more efficient, or more customer centric way to do something, you’ll find CR a great place to be!
When you’re thinking differently to others you need a fair bit of resilience and self-belief. This is really beneficial when you’re trying something new.
Finally, you need to be able to laugh – both at yourself and with others!
- And, to anyone thinking about applying, what would you tell them?
You don’t need to be a cyclist, but you do need to want to understand cyclists and premium cycle retailing. If you can roll your sleeves up, be creative, be prepared to ‘get stuck in’, and have some fun along the way, then what are you waiting for?