Standa Duháň: “We treat every customer equally.”
A discreet house near the Luhačovice Railway Station is hiding a small cycling miracle – the bike shop and bike hire company BIFU. When you enter the shop, the unique atmosphere of this place will catch your eye at the first sight. At the second sight, you will become enchanted by their philosophy and approach to customers. This is the philosophy of Mr. Standa Duháň, who you can reach here almost constantly.
You’ve been running your business in Luhačovice for ten years. Tell us about the beginnings.
I have been repairing bicycles ever since I was working at an arms factory some years ago. When someone needed to fix something, I’d just take the bike into my car, and the next day after work I’d fix it and bring it back. Later on I wanted to pursue this business more, so I rented a fifty-square-meter room in a former ceramics factory. The shop was doing well, and after a year, we were open all day long.
Were you still working at the arms factory at that time?
Indeed. Drive to work in the morning, after work to the garage, plus some paperwork and the like. I was working up to 22 hours a day at a stretch. Then I had a car accident. At the arms factory, there were staff cutbacks at that time, so I jacked it in and got down to my bike business. Today, it’s been really ten years.
Have you slowed down now?
I had to learn how to delegate. Thanks to this, I’m no longer worn out and I look forward to work every day. Besides me, there are two more technicians and a shop assistant, who takes care of the customers. On one hand, this is great, but on the other hand, I’m no longer self-employed and have a responsibility not only for the business but also for my employees.
So as not to get lost in a severe competition, your company does lots of things differently…
We approach our business in a way that seems right to us. We focus on personal approach and treat every customer equally, and don’t make any difference among them, whether they are going to buy a bike costing ten or a hundred thousand CZK. Because neither of this is a small investment, we offer a full service and private purchase for those, who do not have time, when we are open. In addition, we provide 100% mobility. Our customers are provided with a replacement bicycle, for the time while their own is taken for repair. Last year, one of our customers had been riding our spare bike for six weeks, until his complaint was handled. We also focus on children. Right now, we are preparing a child racing track right next to the shop, so they can have a good romp. It seems that we do it well, because we even have a lot of regular customers coming from afar.
Now, could you give us your secret tip on how to do it well?
Well, the basis is to have the humility to what you do. We do not transfer our work to money. Instead, we focus on how to contribute to customers’ satisfaction. That’s why they like to come back to us.