Light reading: Trade recommended books to drive your business forwards

Of course we’d love for you to exclusively read CyclingIndustry.News, but once in a while it’s well worth looking outside of our bubble at the bigger picture, particularly when it comes to retail management. We therefore asked around the industry for suggestions for books that have helped industry stalwarts establish best practice in bike retail…

Reinventing the wheel: The science of creating lifetime customers by Chris Zane

Having bought his own bicycle shop aged just 16, author Chris Zane details how he turned a failure into a success by overhauling his approach to customer service. Now a business celebrity of sorts, Zane’s book has featured in the New York Times and has been gonged with numerous awards.

Within you’ll find often left-field ideas that Zane has put into practice himself, including a trade-in scheme for families whereby kids that have outgrown their steed can trade in for a new bicycle. Overly generous? Of course, but word of mouth travels and in the end produced a net gain for Zane’s business.

Blue Ocean strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Published in February of this year and having sold 3.6 million copies globally across 44 languages it’s fair to say Blue Ocean Strategy has fast become a reference point for business.

Bringing together many strands published in the Harvard Business Review, Blue Ocean details how to take on uncontested market spaces. Kim and Mauborgne work chapter by chapter to discuss the topics on the Value Curve, the Strategy Canvas, the Price Corridor of the Mass, and the Business Model Guide.

Leading out retail by Donny Perry

Many in the business will know Perry to be Specialized’s retail development head, which makes him excellently placed to author a book on monetising a bicycle retail store.

Based on hundreds of hours of research, Perry’s Leading Out Retail discusses in-depth the monumental shift happening in bike retail and how to adapt strategies to cope with changing consumer buying habits and ultimately drive profits.

Positively Outrageous Service by T. Scott Gross

Corporate consultant T. Scott Gross takes 224 pages to detail effective methods for dealing with and retaining customers, as well as exploring how to energise employees to want to achieve the same. By delivering positively outrageous service the author isn’t for one minute suggesting you should scare customers away, more that retailers should be doing the unexpected service wise and going beyond the call of duty to wow the customer with quality service. Examining in depth what’s wrong with the service industry and even detailing how to rescue mistakes this book is all about enhancing the customer relationship for the long run.

The signals are talking by Amy Webb

Washington Post bestseller and winner of the 2017 Axiom Business Book Award in Business Technology Amy Webb is a noted futurist with a knack for separating genuine trends from the ‘here today gone tomorrow’.

Helping the reader think like a futurist, the book discusses themes such as, How will technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things affect our businesses and workplaces?

The endangered customer: 8 steps to guarantee repeat business by Richard Shapiro

Recognising that consumers nowadays are empowered and quite often feel entitled, Shapiro breaks down the barriers to creating customer loyalty in simple steps.

Believing high-tech answers to fall short of the personal touch and certainly lack the agility of independent retail, The Endangered Customer’s eight step process is supported by a Repeat Business Scorecard to assist your business in tracking process.