As you know we are starting a series where we talk with family businesses around the nation about how and why they started, what it’s like to work with family, the ups and downs and getting their advice on running a business with family. We are bringing you their stories and today we bring you Campbell Street Bicycle Shop. Enjoy the interview!
We are a Bicycle Shop, with a focus on Family, Transportation & Recreational cycling. Our mission statement says it pretty clearly: Is to make cycling more enjoyable, accessible ethical and affordable to the residents of Arlington Heights and beyond. We feel that Cycling should be more than just a child’s plaything, or an enthusiast sport. We strive to make maintenance less mysterious. We advocate cycling as a physically, environmentally and emotionally healthy lifestyle. We do this while meeting the needs of our staff, community, and shareholders.
Did you start the business? What family members are currently working and involved with the business?
We opened Campbell Street Bicycle Shop on Nov 27 2007. All four members of the family are involved in some way. Tif is the president (and book keeper) Peter is the Operations Manager, Jake & Max our sons work in the shop, doing minor maintenance stuff.
Working with family members can be challenging but can also be very rewarding too. What is the one con about working with family and what is one pro that sticks out most to you?
One Con, is it can be tough to leave home issues at home, and work issues at work. but it is nice that with the long hours Peter puts in, he is still around to be part of the family, since the family is often around at the shop.
The shop is open most days from 10am till 8pm, and it’s very difficult to guess when customers are actually going to come in, so scheduling meetings with vendors can be tricky. It’s pretty common in the winter for Peter to be at the shop Solo, so it’s often a juggling act between repairs, sales, housekeeping, and administrative duties.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to work with family or start a family business?
I always try to remember who I am talking to, frustrations and in the moment conversations can get pretty heated. You don’t want to say something you regret to someone you love.
Have you ever had to deal with a customer you just couldn’t please?
In the bike business? Yes, definitely. Performance vs price expectations do not always live up to a customer’s ideals. We spent along time in the Hospitality Industry before we opened the Shop, so we are very familiar with how to treat customers/guests.
Here at Business Beware we tend to call those customers that cannot be pleased “CustoMonsters.” What would be your definition of a CustoMonster?
Someone who walks in the door assuming we are trying to take advantage of them, or using every interaction to try to start a fight. I will not tolerate being sworn at by a customer, when it shows us that they have no respect for us.
Connect with Campbell Bike Shop
Many of our loyal Customers, Friends and Family know that Breast Cancer is a cause that hits close to home with us here at Campbell Street Bikes. Peter’s Mother Janet, who lost her battle with the disease, was an inspiration for us to lead healthier lives and it was her generosity that allowed us the opportunity to follow our dreams and open our little bike shop.
We had a blast learning more about Peter and Campbell Street Bicycle Shop. Thank you for sharing your story, advice and being an inspiration to us all for supporting others with Race for the Cure.
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