REACT – RECOVERY – RESILIENCE
SBDC IOWA CLIENTS SHARE THEIR COVID-19 JOURNEY
Wayne’s Ski and Cycle
Matt Curtis, Owner
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I worked at Wayne’s Ski and Cycle, a shop that specializes in bikes and cycling gear, skis and snow sport apparel, and fitness equipment, in college as a part-time employee. After college l moved away. When l moved back to the area, l was again working part-time at Wayne’s while looking for another job in HR. The owner approached me and offered for me to buy into the business and eventually take over.
How has the SBDC helped you?
I have been working with the NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center/SBDC for several years on the financial side of my business. They also helped me realize that I needed to be thinking forward in my business. A big part of this was pointing out that my lease was running out and I needed to be planning accordingly. Before COVID-19 we remodeled our new location and moved in on January 2nd. I used them for a sounding board with some of my decisions during the purchase and build-out process for the new location. They also helped with zoning questions and guidance for my CORL loan.
When everything first happened with COVID, they reached out to see where we were with our business. They have kept very open lines of communication and let us know that we are doing the right thing moving forward during this time.
How have you been impacted by COVID-19? Have you pivoted operations? How have you helped others during this time?
When the shutdown started we saw traffic slow immediately; however, sales were kept about the same. We began offering at-home or curbside pickup/delivery. People were able to purchase off our website, which was very busy for the first month. We added precautions to our store as well; in our entryway, we added signs and hand sanitizer.
For us, March is normally a good promotional time. To keep that going, we went and purchased gift certificates from local businesses and gave them away with bike purchases. We changed to a rotating shift and had to start cutting hours. Two weeks in, we hit record sales, everything has been selling out. As the safest thing people could do was be outside, cycling is one of the safe things to do.