The Business Of Passion With Nick Ginster Of Fyxation

Nick Ginster is the founder of Fyxation – ‘Gear for Urban Riders’. He’s knowledgeable, motivated, and running a strong company in a growing market. In our interview with Nick, he shares his gears for success as an entrepreneur, his love for cycling, the importance of knowing your market, and the business of passion.

The Road Is Calling

The first thing you need to understand about bicyclists is their passion.

“Cycling customers are very passionate about what they do. They really have a passion for the sport/for riding – whether it’s recreationally, as a commuter, or professionally.”

“Fyxation is a bicycle components brand. We produce products mainly geared towards urban cyclists. Our goal is to bring pioneering components and innovative technology to the urban bicyclists. I started the company in May of 2009. I’ve always been a cyclist, a commuter, and part of the bicycle industry. I saw a great opportunity with all the growth and other people getting on board with commuting, riding the city, and choosing bicycles as everyday transportation.”

“We cater to above average cyclists who really live and breath riding in the city. I came to Fyxation with a long product design background and with extensive experience with both bicycling and motorcycling. Because of our experience, Fyxation is able to offer new technologies and new products very quickly. Another advantage we have in regards to experience, is that I spent several years living overseas in Taiwan and China. We have a really close connection with our manufacturing base over there so we’re able to take our new ideas into production that much faster. I can take new ideas from paper and put it to the computer very quickly. Then we bring it to the manufactures and finally the riders faster than most companies.”

When asked about boot-strapping his business:

“I’ve had a passion for doing things on my own for as long as I can remember. Whether it was cutting grass as a kid, or actually starting my first business about 15 years ago. I was developing websites and different Internet technology for local companies when I was in college; but Fyxation came out of my passion for cycling. I’ve been an average bicyclist, I’ve competed at different levels for the last 15 years, and I’ve been involved in product design for major manufacturing companies. I lived and worked overseas to develop manufacturing for different bicycle companies and I always had it in the back of my mind to do it for myself one day. It was kind of a combination of the skill sets I’ve developed over the years, manufacturing connections I’ve made, and the growth of urban cycling as a segment that pushed me over the edge and led me to launch my own thing.”

“There wasn’t a lot of formal planning, I would have to say. It was something I’ve wanted to do for years and we saw a hole in the market for a particular product. Our first product we launched was our Session 700 Tire and it really filled a niche in the urban cycling segment that no one had filled. We used that as the impetus to start our company. I was at a point in my career where I could jump on it and with very little planning decided to just go for it. It’s really years in the making through my experience though. At the time I started this I was running another business that specialized in helping us customers source product out of Asia, as well as doing contract design, so I was able to self-finance the company.”

Running With Biking

“We do whatever we need to do everyday to get the job done. As a small company, I am personally involved in everything. From answering tech calls, to developing new products, to speaking with our overseas vendors, or running our website – pretty much anything that needs to get done on a daily basis, we get done. We’re really connected to our customer and fan base via Facebook and Twitter. We’re very active on our blog to keep people abreast of what we’re doing as well as what other people are doing in our niche. We use our website as a tool to not only keep our customers informed about what we’re up to but also to inform people of where our market, as a whole, is going.”

“Right now we have 2 full time employees and outside sales reps that help us domestically here in the states. Internationally, in Taiwan, we work very closely with another company that helps us keep an eye on manufacturing. We have warehoused product over there so we have a strategic partner we work with very closely overseas. We only have two employees but we leverage a larger team that way.”

“A challenge for any small business is definitely funding and cash flow. We’re brimming with ideas and possibilities and it seems that whenever we bring a new product to market it’s very well received. So, as most small companies, you’re always looking at ‘what can we do with our current budget and how best can we grow the business?’ The second biggest challenge as a new company is getting your name out. When we started we were just basically a couple guys, and now we’re proud to say that our products are sold and distributed in over 20 countries. We’re well represented in Europe, Asia, Australia, and throughout North America. In a short period of time we’ve been able to really grow awareness about our products and brand, but that’s still a continuing challenge and we’re always looking for continuing means of doing that. Whether it’s using Facebook and Twitter to leverage social media or doing real grass roots sponsorship of events. We’re really trying to reach out to anybody who touches base with us to try to help them out with their local events because we know the people riding and participating on the very local level share our same passion and are the key to our growth and success. Within our cycling midst there’s a lot of real local level events. Anywhere from 10 people to 1000 people, and we’re not afraid to get involved on any level. We’ll get involved in sponsoring events whenever we can. We’ve gotten a good foothold with dealers and distributers worldwide and we’re just going to continue to expand our product line and branch into some new stuff.”

“It’s been an amazing and a quick ride and we really see us continuing on that track.”

Keeping The Gears Of Business Turning

“I think with any business that deals directly with retail customers and bicycle shops there’s always people that will have issues, complaints, or difficulty with the product and we certainly understand that. I’ve personally worked in bicycle stores. I’m a customer myself and I understand that there’s nothing more frustrating than spending a lot of money on something or to have your bike down for any reason. Our philosophy towards customer service is to do whatever we can and bend over backwards to help our customers out. It’s so important as a new company that if anyone takes the time to contact you (whether they’re upset or confused, or whatever the case may be) that they walk away with a great feeling about your business and whoever it was that they contacted.  We’ll always land on the side of taking care of the customer.”

“One thing that comes up over and over with myself, and I’ve seen in not only with my business but working for other businesses, is you that should learn to go with your gut. We launched this company on instinct – but that was based on being in the industry for years and having a feeling about where things are going. As an entrepreneur you have to make decisions everyday, so you have to have a pulse on the industry you’re involved in to be able to make decisions quickly. If you have a really strong passion for an idea or a concept for a company, and there is a way to get it out there and the market is going that way, I think you’d be surprised at how often you could be successful.”

“The most important thing to remember, from an entrepreneur stand point or not, is: enjoy what you do. If you can get involved in something that you’re passionate about it’s going to make you all the more successful.”

To learn more about Fyxation, please visit:










About the Author: Daniel Ballard

Daniel is a Writer and Entrepreneur. He is Co-Founder/Main Author/Editor of BossStart and Co-Editor/Featured Author for BossStart's sister site, PauseStart, launching early 2012

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