DISCOVERING THAT GOOD THINGS ALWAYS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES
Situated not too far from (about 1km away) the Giant Superstore Kulim, Cycling Malaysia recently visited Soon Lee Bicycle Shop in Kulim. One can simply search for “Kulim Soon Lee Bicycle Shop” on Google Maps, and acquire directions straight to this “non-concept store” operated by 45 year old Tan Chin Seong, fondly known as Ah Ju. Greeting us with the biggest smile and an infectious optimism, this jolly young man expressed his excitement in being acquainted with our magazine.
His establishment is simple, quaint, and had everything that a bicycle store would need. There were bicycles of varying brands and specifications – from Merida, Oyama, TRS and many more! As with other bicycle stores, Ah Ju carries gears of exceptional brands, which include the likes of 3T, SRAM, Shimano, and Pro Lite Stem. We were also delighted to find Hutchinson tires, Pro Lite rims, Fox helmets, Cateye bicycle lights, San Marco saddles, amongst many others.
Judging from the myriad of products he has in store, cyclists will find that most of what they need can be found here. “However, if there’s something that you need and i don’t have it displayed, just let me know and i will do the needful to get what you need.” Ah Ju shared that many of his clients have come to him asking to order specific products. To this, he casually adds that this works well with him and his clients because he gets the products straight from his distributors.
One thing that we noticed however, was that we were the only ones in the store. “No one else works here, but me. I’m my own boss, my own colleague, my own salesperson, and my own everything else!” he said laughing. But how does he run this business single handedly? “I think it really just boils down to smartly and tactfully handling everything. I just do what needs to be done.” he says. I also have customers who’d leave their bicycles and collects them once my work is completed, but this is of course through appointment only.” Ah Ju states.
If there’s something that he’s learned over the years, it would be that communication with each and every one of his customers is important. “When you customize your service to suit your customer’s needs and expectations, you have little to worry about.” It is this factor that allows him to work efficiently on his own, without needing to add members to his “one man team”. This of course results in a smaller financial commitment, while allowing him to offer added value service to his customers. We quite like this approach!
He also credits much of his success and accomplishments to more than 20 years of experience in the field. It was his desire to learn that lent him the confidence he needed to ask questions on areas he wasn’t familiar with, wherever and whenever. Additionally, his skills and knowledge in the field grew with trainings and meetings that he’d attend.
And who knows, there are also times when you learn so much more from friends and family within the cycling fraternity. It doesn’t matter how you learn something, what matters most is that you have the desire to learn it.