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Small business of the month: Temple Cycles, Bristol

As part of its Think Small programme, Earnest is interviewing a number of small businesses to understand the changing business models, challenges and ambitions that are spreading across the small business market. 

This month the agency spoke to Matt, who runs Temple Cycles – a bike shop in Bristol, which creates beautiful, vintage-looking bikes to sell across the world. 

Unlike many of its competitors, Matt wants to create products for life – something he believes has been lost in lieu of disposable products that support our commercial world.

Many bike manufacturers bring out new models every year, slashing the prices of the previous season’s bikes, and building bikes that (potentially) are not made to last. Temple Cycles want their customers to buy once and for the bike to last for life – with owners passing on their bikes through the generations.

“Our inspiration comes from seeing old bikes from the 70s still being ridden around today,” says Matt. “We want our bikes to be handed down through the generations, on the road in 20 or 30 years’ time and still going strong.”

B2B marketers should pay attention to this crucial shift in business models as Matt is not alone. Many big businesses presume start-ups are all about short-term fads and trends. Similarly, perhaps because of their own drive for short-term gain, big brands tend to deliver messages that are too focused on the here and now. It’s time for a shift of perspective. 

Marketers must buy into the long-term, big visions that many small businesses like Temple Cycles have, especially those run by a younger generation, as they have a long road ahead.

The Trip: Temple Cycles, Bristol

A mission beyond business

Matt’s vision for the future is not just to grow the size and reach of his business; he has a bigger ambition. He wants to grow the number of people cycling in and around Bristol, educating people about bikes – how they are made, what makes a good quality bike and how owning one can improve your lifestyle.

Like many small business owners, Matt’s passion is at the heart of his business. He wants to connect with other professionals who understand this and feel similarly.

“I see myself as much more than just building a bike shop, I want to build an industry and to change the way people see cycling in general. In Britain, people’s perspective of bikes is not how it should be. I want to create a shift in opinion and society’s attitudes towards my product. I want to help grow the bicycle industry,” says Matt.

“I want to design bikes that blend what I loved about vintage bikes and what I love about modern bikes. The fundamental idea is to create bikes that are well-styled and should last a long time if they’re looked after. It may come back to bite me in the arse, but it’s the only way I can see to help people change their relationship with their bikes."

To join the conversation use #SmallBizB2B.

Think Small: How to market to small businesses

In this marketing success pack, B2B Marketing and Earnest offer advice, opinion and first-hand experiences of targeting and engaging small businesses owners.

Learn how to target small business owners

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