You are here

NBDA forges ahead on a tighter budget

Published December 20, 2017

Editor's note: For more on the changes at the NBDA, turn to the January 1 issue of BRAIN.

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (BRAIN) — Following the departure of its president, Todd Grant, in late November, the National Bicycle Dealers Association is looking to continue its programs but running on a tighter budget. The move to cut expenses is in response to income loss from its traditional sources and over-investment in capital spending.

Brandee Lepak, NBDA board chair, said the board has made "substantial expenditure reductions" and is operating on a bare-bones budget.

"Right now we are in a really great place," said Lepak, co-owner of Global Bikes, which operates four stores in the Phoenix metro area. "We're able to slash our expenses, we've protected our revenue stream, and we've gotten the association to a place that it can run on a bare minimum."

The NBDA has one full-time employee, Sara Michaels, the operations and administration manager. It contracts out the publication of its newsletter, Outspokin', to an editor and graphic designer. Lepak said the board would eventually like to hire a new executive director — but at a lower salary that is partly based on incentives.

The NBDA's primary income sources are Interbike, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, which the NBDA publishes, and the 71-year-old association's membership dues.

At the same time that revenue sources declined, the organization spent its cash reserves to boost programs and make the organization more responsive to retailers. The board had instructed Grant that it wanted to tap into the NBDA's reserves and put some of that money to work.

Grant boosted the NBDA's staff and launched or expanded programs such as the Profitability Project (P2). He also negotiated the purchase of Barnett Bicycle Institute from founder John Barnett.

In 2017, the NBDA received about $130,000 less than it had budgeted from both Interbike and the magazine. While that was painful, it was overshadowed by the increase in the organization's spending.

For now, the NBDA has enough cash to continue and Lepak said others in the industry are reaching out to the association to help it through its financial difficulties. QBP, for example, has offered two top executives, Lori Richman and Todd Cravens, to oversee the three P2 groups that meet annually.

The popular P2 programs bring noncompeting retailers together from different regions of the country, where they can delve into one another's businesses and learn from the others how to be more successful.

Lepak said the association is bullish on BBI and expect it to be an important resource for bicycle retailers, as well as providing another revenue stream for the NBDA. BBI operates independently as a for-profit subsidiary of the NBDA.

"I see more opportunity ahead of us now than I've seen the entire time I've been on the board," Lepak said.


Join the Conversation