The Start of Bike School Asia’s Journey
The founder, Kenneth Wee, has always been a serial entrepreneur at heart. In primary school, he bred and sold hamsters to his classmates for extra pocket money. In his mid-twenties, he founded and managed several creative agencies ranging from image-retouching studios to integrated advertising agencies. His current business, Bike School Asia was borne out of a passion for cycling and all things related. He enjoys turning creative ideas into business strategies and products.
Can You Recall A Time When You Knew Bike School Asia Was Going To Succeed?
“Even after 10 years and thousands of students, I still consider Bike School Asia an early-stage company where success is far from certain. The cyclical nature of the bicycle industry guarantees periods of downturn for every period of economic prosperity. Have we met our vision of “Empowering Asia’s Cyclists and Mechanics”? Yes. Have we succeeded? Perhaps, but there is always more to be done.”
Key Factors Factors Contributing To Bike School Asias Success
Bike School Asia strives to understand the needs of the industry as a whole, as well as the needs of their students as individuals. This informs the development of their curriculum and the refinement of their processes to deliver the most comprehensive technician training. Bike School Asia invests in well-trained instructors, equipment, and facilities.
Adapting To The COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic brought about a dramatic increase in bicycle sales and related services. After that spike, the bike industry is now facing a difficult period due to overstocks and cash flow problems. Easing of restrictions has diverted bicycle spending towards tourism and other distractions, and the looming global recession will only impact the industry negatively as potential students choose to put food on the table before buying a bike, taking a course or getting a bike fit. As a training facility, Bike School Asia hopes that an economic downturn will produce a new demand for bicycle transportation advocacy, education, and services.
Roadblocks And Improvements To Consider
One area we could do better in is marketing. We excel at responsiveness and customer relations (text don’t call!), but being an introvert, I find it extremely difficult to self-promote. While I characterize myself by self-reliance, a desire to innovate, and an understanding that money isn’t everything, as an ex-ad man, I know that any business that doesn’t market itself will eventually cease to exist. This year, we have deliberately started building relationships and fostering partnerships to drum up business. Hopefully, these collaborations can help clear some bureaucratic roadblocks
Bike School Asias Teams Core Values
Kenneth Wee looks for the 3Ps — passion, professionalism, and purpose. A prospective Instructor or Fitter must feel excited about what they do. Oprah Winfrey summed it up: “Passion is energy.” The way Bike School Asias employees carry themselves, the attitude they convey, and the way they communicate with students and clients must be grounded in respect, integrity, responsibility, compassion, and a sense of community. Most importantly, they must understand the impact of the work they do and the contributions they are making to not only the company but to society as well.
Exciting Future Plans
“We are currently in discussions to establish Singapore’s first Bicycle Kitchen, a community space to learn about building, maintaining, and riding bicycles.”
The Start Of The Fat Ugly Cycling Club (FUCC)
Fat Ugly Cycling Club (FUCC) is a club for “the rest of us”. One of the teams’ friends found a cycling club on social media and sent them a DM asking if he could join them for a ride. They replied requesting a photograph of himself for their consideration as to whether he would be suitable to join the club. Their friend is no pageant contender, so rather than face certain rejection, he chose instead to defeatedly recount his experience for our lunchtime entertainment. Soon after, the Fat Ugly Cycling Club (FUCC) was born. Everyone is invited, no matter what you look like, no matter what bike you use, no matter what speed you ride.
Bike School Asia’s Edge
Bike School Asia boasts some of the most passionate, qualified, and experienced Instructors in the industry. Together with their high-quality, industry-recognized curriculum, their Instructors are trained to teach with empathy — differentiating content, process, and product to suit each student, when necessary. It’s why Bike School Asia keeps class sizes small.
Advice From Kenneth Wee for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“It’s hardly inspirational, but have your finances in good order. Start with what you have, but continuously build a sound knowledge of managing all financial aspects of the business and prepare for every possibility.”
Visit Bike School Asia’s website here.