Pete Williams – "Australia's Richard Branson" – has written a book based on a floundering fictional bike shop that uses business coaching to become highly profitable. Cadence puts into practice the ideas Williams has developed in his sales and marketing start-ups as well as his current consultancy business.
The bike shop – Cadence Bike Shop of Bayside, a fictional Australian beach town – is two years old, founded by JJ, a former teacher who had hoped to "marry his passion for cycling ... with the lifelong desire he’d had to run his own business."
The book starts thus: "Always good to see you, Ted,” JJ said as he rang up the last sale of the day – a pair of cycling gloves – and bagged the item for his customer who had almost, almost, gone home with a new set of $3,000 race wheels instead."
JJ is supported by a friendly rep from ProSport Supplies, a fictional high-end bike supplier, but is worried he'll not be able to pay the company's invoice at the end of the month.
Enter youthful millionaire entrepreneur Charlie, looking to train for an Ironman triathlon, and eager to pass on his business knowledge to JJ in return for fitness coaching. Charlie is, of course, Williams, and throughout the book he shows JJ how to use "seven levers" – such as turning footfall into sales, cutting expenses and training staff to ask for add-purchases with every transaction, the classic "do you want fries with that?" – to increase the store's profitability.
"Cadence had started out promising," states the book. "As one of the only speciality cycling stores in town, [customers] had flocked to the place when it first opened ... But now – two years later – [it had] seen little-to-no growth, and the store was barely breaking even."
The Bayside store was "small but impressive – Only one thing was missing: the buzz of customers."
Williams uses Charlie to suggest ways of not only increasing footfall but also making sure more money was made from each "prospect".
With Charlie's methods, JJ would be able to double Cadence's profits in 20 weeks, expounds Williams.
Staff training is key in the book. Charlie "recalled a quote he had heard years ago at a business conference: 'What happens if you train your staff and they leave?' 'Well, what happens if you don’t train them and they stay?'"
Cadence is published in hardback in August with a softback version due out towards the end of the year. Publisher Morgan James Publishing of New York has already entered it into competitions – it won a silver medal in the 2018 Axiom Business Book Award as well as winning in the business category at the 2018 Los Angeles Book Festival.
Williams is a serial entrepreneur, having founded a number of sales and marketing businesses, including Australia's leading online audio-headset retailer. He also operates Preneur Marketing, a business consultancy firm. His previous books include how-to manuals on writing press releases and the 2007 tale of how he profited from the sale of memorabilia salvaged from a sports stadium.