Howdy, I’m Josh Lipton the founder of this here bicycle camping business. I’m looking for a great right-hand person to partner with me to grow Campfire Cycling into something extraordinary.
BUILDING CAMPFIRE CYCLING
Since 2004, I’ve been running a variety of niche bicycle ecommerce businesses. First I launched the Wandertec CELLO bike case for BOB Trailers. Then I launched BikeTrailerShop.com. This was followed by BikeBagShop.com and BikeKidShop.com and eventually rolled up into BikeShopHub.com.
I learned a ton about ecommerce and the business of bicycles along this journey. As the opportunities for BikeShopHub.com’s growth began drying up, I decided it was time to refocus my efforts. I realized I would be inspired by focusing on BikeShopHub.com’s strongest segment of customers, cycle tourists. As we got started on this new direction, the name Campfire Cycling emerged.
In planning the journey into building the Campfire Cycling brand, I thought about how important it was to build a community. With this realization, I decided that we needed a great retail space for the foundation of our brand and community.
Continuing on with planning, three other pillars emerged. We needed a highly curated catalog with great product content. We needed to produce educational and inspirational bicycle camping content. And finally, we needed to discover a broader purpose. To these ends, we’ve chosen to advocate for cycling and the outdoors by supporting youth cycling programs.
Having just launched the Campfire Cycling brand, we’re in the early days. So far the reception has been phenomenal and I am very excited to be ready to begin growing our team.
THE CHALLENGE & THE OPPORTUNITY
Running and growing a business takes a big effort. While we have a small team of amazing technical and marketing consultants as well as some temporary help for shipping orders and setting up our new showroom, I am stretched thin between daily operations and focusing on pushing the vision of the brand forward. I’m looking for the right person who is ready to roll up their sleeves and get in the trenches with me to figure out the big picture priorities and then hone in and attack the daily challenges.
Not only am I looking for someone with the mindset and skills to effectively manage our operations, I am looking for someone who understands and is inspired to build the culture of the Campfire Cycling team. I’ve learned over the years how important company culture is. It sounds a bit cliched these days, but I believe that the internal community of a company like ours is vital to our success.
I know that the culture of Campfire Cycling begins with me. This is why I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about what our culture should look like. But I also know that culture is fluid and that the right people will take it into great but unexpected directions. I am excited to work with leaders that will grab the ball and run with it.
Overall, I’m looking for someone who is inspired to dedicate their intelligence, energy and passion to building Campfire Cycling.
- Manage and run the day-to-day of three critical segments of our business.
- Bicycle Retail & Repair Operation (includes coordinating and running retail events)
- Ecommerce Fulfillment
- Customer Service and Sales (Both Retail & Online)
- Discuss and plan high-level projects with the team and then implement them with minimal hand-holding.
- Proactively make recommendations – and then implement them – on how to improve our business to better serve our customers
- Analyze what is working and what isn’t and develop plans for improvement.
- Document and improve upon our operational systems.
- Organize, clean and repeat.
- Effort measured in hours per week.
- For the first year, expect to typically put in 45 to 55 hours per week.
- After the first year, settling into 40 to 50 hours per week will be the expectation.
- Sometimes we’ll be working on events on the weekend.
- And when we’re not working, we’re having fun riding bicycles!
WHY WORK WITH US?
For the right person, working at Campfire Cycling will be a joyful experience. You’ll appreciate seeing your efforts having a real impact in inspiring people to get out and adventure by bike.
- You’ll gain hands on, in-depth experience of running critical aspects of a retail/ecommerce operation focused on bicycles.
- You’ll work closely with an experienced founder and a talented team.
- You’ll have the opportunity to develop your career with a focus on bicycles.
- You’ll be a bicycling advocate as part of what you do with Campfire Cycling.
- You’ll be deeply engaged with the bicycle camping community.
HERE’S WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE
The right candidate for this role will love the opportunity to combine their creativity, work skills and passion for cycling and the outdoors.
- General Skills and Outlook:
- You are a dedicated, possibly life long cyclist.
- You are a passionate outdoors person. If you’re not a bicycle camper already you’re itching for the opportunity to start.
- You are great with people. You can teach. You can lead. You get the Campfire Cycling culture and are excited to grow it.
- Business Skills and Aptitudes:
- You are highly organized with great attention to detail, including being very diligent about maintaining safe, organized and clean working environments.
- You have an ownership mentality with an inclination for entrepreneurial problem solving and learning.
- You are a self starter with significant management experience.
- You are a great communicator with customers and employees.
- You have the ability to work efficiently with multiple software systems and improve our utilization by testing, reading docs and working with support.
- You are efficient at creating and updating SOPs.
- You enjoy getting your hands dirty working on bicycles, in the showroom and in the warehouse. No task is too big or too small.
HERE’S WHAT I LOOK LIKE
Joining me, as the Campfire Cycling GM and my right-hand person, you’ll be working very closely with me. The right person for this job will be able to understand and help maximize my strengths. They’ll also be able to step up and fill in the gaps of some of my weaknesses.
- My Strengths
- Future Gazing – I am often times guilty of coming up with too many ideas. That said, when I come up with a direction I am truly excited about, I get focused. And I’ve been excited and focused on Campfire Cycling for some time now so I’ve managed to keep the overflowing of ideas temporarily at bay. One thing I can guarantee, I will never have a shortage of new ideas and directions to try.
- Systems & Software – Having made my way focused on ecommerce over the last 13 years, I’ve spent a whole lot of my time evaluating, implementing and working with software systems to make the business run more smoothly. I am also very invested in developing written systems throughout the business.
- Persistence – As a battle hardened entrepreneur, I know how to dig in for the long-haul.
- Learning & Problem Solving – I get very inspired when there is an interesting, new problem to solve. I love digging in and learning everything I can.
- Collaboration – I really thrive when I can collaborate on creative projects with other inspired individuals. Over the years, I’ve learned to engage and support my collaborators and then get out of the way so they can do what they do best.
- My Weaknesses
- Community Building – While I have spent many years running an ecommerce business, I never focused with great depth on building a community around the business. As part of honing our focus in on bicycle camping, I’ve realized how vital a community can be. So, while I’m very excited about this new direction, I have to admit it is a new direction for me.
- Retail – While we’ve always had a small retail component to our business, I’ve never really focused on the retail side of things. Like community building, this is a new direction for me that I’m currently figuring out.
- Warehouse Management – I’ve always made sure that our warehouse worked well enough to accurately fulfill our orders. But in the course of all of the other important aspects of running an ecommerce business, I have not yet found the time or focus to get things running as a well-oiled machine.
- Employee Management – While I work very effectively with inspired collaborators, my ability to lead and manage a team of daily workers has not gone as smoothly. While I can certainly hire and manage to insure that our business effectively serves our customers, leading and inspiring our warehouse and customer service employees has not been one of my stronger suits.
- Growth Finances – As an entrepreneur, over the years I’ve learned to focus on profitability in order to sustain. But really driving and maximizing the business through financial metrics is not where I thrive.
- Josh Lipton | Founder/Owner/Operator – Has been doing ecommerce since launching BikeTrailerShop.com in 2006. Prior to that Josh developed a bike travel system, raced bicycles and delivered pizzas. Josh loves all forms of bicycling and lately has been dedicated to getting his family out bicycle camping
- Ian Crombey | Graphic Designer – Ian masterminded the look of the Campfire Cycling brand. As a freelance graphic designer and bikepacker, Ian possessed the perfect blend of skills to make the Campfire shine.
- Chad Bush | WordPress Developer – When the going gets technical, Chad steps in to untangle the mess. Developing WordPress Themes is Chads main focus, but he helps us on all aspects of WordPress management as needed. When applying for this job please include the sentence “I found your Easter Egg” in the first question we ask you to answer.
- Nate Byerley | Branding and Events – A former partner at Xtracycle and currently managing marketing and events at the New Wheel Bike Shop in San Francisco, Nate understands the many nuances and challenges of marketing within the bicycle industry. Nate was instrumental in pointing us in our new direction of rebranding to Campfire Cycling and is currently helping develop our brand voice through our newsletter and blog as well as helping us plan our retail launch in the fall.
- Pilot Digital | SEO Management – The team at Pilot are wizards of Google and know how to keep us in the rankings.
- Kurt Meyers | Facilities Manager – Kurt both keeps the facilities in good working order but also builds the custom fixtures and cabinetry for our showroom.
- Melanie Lipton | Strategic Counseling – When it comes to figuring out the big picture, Melanie has been in it for the long haul, helping me think through all of the big decisions.
- WELCOMING – We emphasize being welcoming to all. We do respect and appreciate the great work done by bike nerds in pushing cycling forward. And we consider it our job to stay ahead of the curve, constantly learning and evaluating from trends new and old. However, we strive to offer up our knowledge in as accessible a way as possible. No bicycle snobbery here.
- ADVOCACY – We are sustainably minded and are establishing programs for effective bicycle and outdoor advocacy.
- BICYCLE CAMPING – We practice what we preach and we are passionate bicycle campers.
- BALANCE – We believe in a strong work / life balance. (and life includes healthy doses of bicycle camping)
- LEARNING – We are entrepreneurial problem solvers who love learning.
- INTEGRITY – We work from a place of high integrity and trust in one another.
To inspire love for cycling and the outdoors.
Growing cycle touring into a major recreational activity throughout the US.
SALARY & BENEFITS
- We’re offering $40K to $55K depending on experience.
- 1 week of paid leave for a 7 to 8 day bicycle tour (includes a $50 per diem for travel costs).
- We cover 50% of the employee purchase cost on approved bicycling and camping gear. Offer is for up to $5,000 (employee cost) / year, meaning we cover $2,500.
- Semi-annual bonus based on a combination of performance factors (Program begins after 1 year of employment).
- 2 weeks of paid time off.
READY TO APPLY?
To apply please answer the following questions:
- Why are you attracted to this position?
- Apart from family and friends, what 2-3 things do you value most?
- How would your friends describe you in three words?
- What is your sense of Campfire Cycling’s internal culture? And how would you fit in and then help to grow that culture?
- What do you think motivates people to focus their business on a cycling brand? How would this inform your strategy as the General Manager for Campfire Cycling?
- What one company do you find most interesting and why?
- What’s something you’ve taught yourself and/or learned on your own in the last few years?
- Is there anything you’ve created that’s public and online we could see to get to know you better? (Blog, photography portfolio, videos, music, etc)
- Why do you think you’d excel at this position?
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “I’m Your New GM.” Please do not send and/or link to your resume at this stage in the process. Submitting your resume at this step will disqualify you from consideration.
The application deadline is July 29th.