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NBDA: From passion to profit, Consultant guides bicycle retailers to financial success

Published June 18, 2020

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Think you're ready to own a bike shop? Enthusiasm for bikes will only take you so far. That's where Dave DeKeyser comes in.

"Bicycle retailers are passionate about the product," he says, "but too many fail to bring that passion to the business side of owning a shop."

DeKeyser knows because he's been there. He has 30 years of industry experience and owned a shop in Wisconsin for 18 years—a profitable one. And yes, DeKeyser says with the right knowledge and a focused approach, owning a bike shop can be a great way to make a living in an industry you love. After selling his highly profitable bike shop in 2019, he started P2 Consulting Services to help retailers close the gap between passion and profit.

"The recipe for success is pretty straightforward. It's just not as fun as riding a bike," DeKeyser says. "There's an overwhelming number of people who do not think bicycle retail can be lucrative and I believe it sets up many retailers into a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The churn rate of bike shop openings and closures could be enough to turn off potential retailers, but DeKeyser says the failure risk is proportionate to the amount of planning a retailer has done. He helps retailers understand how to control margins, choose and turn over product, leverage key performance indicators, and manage expenses.

DeKeyser's decades of experience is an important part of the equation when it comes to helping his clients. "I learned some lessons the hard way, and I can pass that along so my clients don't have to," he says. Lessons like managing cash flow in a seasonal industry and training staff well so owners can de-stress and carve out time for a personal life, too.

He admits there are a lot of people out there who want to advise speciality bicycle retailers on how to be successful. Often they're vendors with a product they want you to carry or a software package they want you to subscribe to. As a neutral party, DeKeyser has one goal: a shop owner's success. No long-term commitment required, although he also works with long-standing clients, too.

"Starting any new business involves risk and I'm always honest with my clients about it. But I'm here to help retailers make data-driven decisions to give themselves the best chance at success," says DeKeyser. "I share their passion for cycling, and when retailers do well, the industry and this sport we love thrives. It's that simple."

To get your bike shop started on the right foot (or get back on track) with P2 Consulting Services, email Dave DeKeyser at

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