Mentoring from a construction specialist is helping an entrepreneur to identify new markets for his award-winning cycle storage business hit by Brexit red tape and the economic downturn.
Cycloc founder Andrew Lang is being mentored by Dan Grimshaw from design and construction firm Beam Development as part of the British Library’s Innovating for Growth mentoring programme.
Andrew says talking to Dan, who works on premium residential projects in London, has helped him confirm that there is a ready-made market for his product if he puts more focus on house builders, architects, and commercial property specialists.
Dalston-based Cycloc, who manufacture in the UK, is the market leader for design-led bicycle storage solutions which it exports globally.
Cycloc founder Andrew Lang is identifying new markets for his award-winning cycle storage business thanks to mentoring from Dan Grimshaw from design and construction firm Beam Development
“Brexit has had a profound impact on us,” said Andrew, who founded Cycloc in 2006. “As a company our whole range has been developed with a European aesthetic in mind. Sadly, trading with Europe has now become very difficult and expensive.
“And it’s not just about jumping through the hoops in terms of Brexit legislation, but also the expense of administering the additional activities required to continue to do business in Europe, such as setting up further warehouse locations and filing tax in the EU.
“All this resulted in the realisation we need to move our focus away from Europe as our principal market to other markets across the globe, such as the US, and to be more agile as to who is our ultimate customer.”
Andrew says the firm is now – in addition to its existing direct customer market – building an active strategy focussed on built-environment stakeholders.
“There have always been a number of passive sales of our storage products where architects, property developers and interior designers have specified our units for their clients,” added Andrew.
“Dan had helped us reinforce our belief in our new strategy; we are now putting together a plan around actively targeting and expanding this area of our business.”
Dan, who has worked on working on premium residential projects for more than 15 years, says he believes selling Cycloc products via architects or developers, particularly volume developers, ‘has legs’.
“I can’t take too much credit for Andrew’s realisation; mentoring is about listening and asking some guiding questions and helping people think about the best way forward, said Dan, himself an alumnus of the British Library programme.
“Andrew’s products are mainly designed to be inside a building, which means where the provision of cycle storage is part of the standards developers need to meet and will help them tick that particular box.
“If you’re building a block with 500 apartments, that’s going to mean a lot of cycle storage.”
Dan says Cycloc’s existing direct customer market is still impressive.
“Brexit has torpedoed some of that business, but if you are able to break into the market in America direct to customer as Andrew has done, then there is strong potential there for the future.”
Cycloc is in brand partnerships with iconic bike producer Pinarello across the UK, and internationally with fitness technology brand Wahoo, who use Cycloc products in their new HQ in Atlanta, Georgia and Sports Science Centre in Boulder, Colorado.
The British Library has supported more than 540 ambitious London-based innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors reach the next level through their Innovating for Growth programme since its launch in 2012.
Dan Grimshaw is a design and construction specialist based in Bath and London. He is a mentor to the British Library’s prestigious Innovating for Growth programme and was a jury member for the BLT Built Design Awards 2021.
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