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Minden bike shop supports its culture

by Minden Press-Herald

As the weather starts to warm up, riders will dust off their bikes and hit the open road. One local business is making sure those riders have everything they need to enjoy themselves — through both products and excellent customer service.

Minden Motorsports offers a motorcycle showroom, wide selection of gear, and a full-service department to local riders. But beyond selling bikes and accessories, their range of service — from the routine tire change to extended projects such as full-blown engine builds, plus Dynamometer diagnostic machine which assesses motorcycle performance — gives them an edge.

“We can do those jobs because we have the Dyno machine that can make any type of motorcycle better, which sets us apart,” owner Brett Wingfield said.

The family-owned and operated full service motorcycle shop started in 2010 and has maintained a policy of staying connected to the local motorcycle community — their staff is filled with trained enthusiasts who talk the talk and walk the walk.

“A lot of time, if you have people who are the face of your business and they’re there to just pick up a check, the customer is not getting the experience they expect and deserve,” Wingfield said.

He set about this by ensuring his staff was as dedicated to motorcycles as his customers are. If they had a passion for it, then he knew his customers would be in excellent hands.

“You don’t get rich and famous working at the body shop. You have to have a genuine passion for what we do,” he said. “People don’t have to have motorcycles. People have them because they want them and enjoy them and they want to do business with people who share in that enjoyment.”

Wingfield says his favorite part of his business is talking to customers who are new to motorcycles, noting how Minden Motorsports promotes the motorcycle community, “When they go to other shops, they can be taken advantage of. We won’t do that because I want customers for the long term. We work very hard to cultivate that group of riders here.”

An example of how they cultivate that group is giving back through education — the store will open up their shop on weekends to give free basic tips on different types of bikes, safety, and routine maintenance.

“(There are) new riders who are on the fence of whether they want to ride or not, and if they’re treated poorly then they might decide they don’t want to ride. We feel the responsibility to go above and beyond because having more motorcyclists is better for us. We might not sell them a bike, but this is the first place they come for service and gear.”

Minden Motorsports even goes as far to ingratiate themselves to the community by fielding a racing team. The benefit beyond connecting to other riders and showing they are enthusiasts themselves, is that the team allows the staff to bring value back to customers and set them apart from the competition.

“On top of being a lot of fun for us, we learn things when we’re racing. That knowledge of improving performance is some more extra value we can bring. There’s no other shops around here that have that extra understanding,” Wingfield said.

One major lesson he has learned is that you need to have a passion for what you do, no matter the business.

“Being in business for yourself can be brutally hard and if it’s not something you love and are involved with then you won’t have the dedication you need.”

One piece of advice Wingfield offered fellow business owners and entrepreneurs is to manage your cash wisely. And make sure your employees share your values.

“You have to be the tightest spender you know, particularly when you’re starting out, because you don’t know what you need and what expenses are coming your way,” he said.

“This business is my life; these guys can leave at any time, but while they’re here we have a shared goal and we have guidelines to get there. We have some fundamental principals here and I can leave the shop for a week and know they know the basic ways we do business.”

This article was originally published on www.bizmagsb.com.

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