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Small Business Profile: Wike Bicycle Trailers Goes from a Basement to Across the Globe

I enjoy riding my bike every chance I get.  It’s a great form of exercise; it also helps keep the roads less congested and sets a positive, active example for my children. They’ve even started tagging along on their bikes when I go for a run!

Wike Bicycle Trailers is looking to make our world healthier and more sustainable. With an end goal of getting more people cycling rather than driving, Wike introduces people to new uses for bicycles – from using their trailers to transport pets, groceries and equipment to helping disabled triathletes compete.

Wike began in the basement of Bob Bell’s home in 1993 in Guelph, Ontario and has now become North America’s largest seller of bicycle trailers. They still operate out of the same factory in Guelph that they founded the company in. Bob isn’t kidding when he says everything is really made in Canada!

Due to the size of each trailer and the intricacies of assembling them, Wike ships their products fully constructed. Outbound shipping definitely proposed a number of challenges for Bob and his team. Bob asked UPS to help him take his products overseas while reducing costs. In Bob’s words: “that really helped sales!” Here are three UPS services Wike uses to streamline their business:

1. UPS Returns – When a customer has an issue with a product or parts, they can easily return them to Wike using a preprinted label. An easy returns process is a critical part of keeping customers coming back.

2. UPS carbon neutral – Wike demonstrates their commitment to the environment by offsetting the carbon created by the packages they ship. This aligns with Wike’s “green” philosophy of reducing emissions from automobiles and putting more alternative transportation on the roads.

3. UPS Paperless Invoice – This streamlined their Unites States standard shipments by integrating order and shipment processing and transmitting commercial invoice data to enable clearance by customs offices. The U.S.- Canada border seem invisible and they’re saving paper, too.

Wike is another example of how small business can go global with the right support, effort and passion. While the largest markets for Wike remain the U.S. and Canada, sales of Wike trailers are seeing rapid growth in the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland and South Africa; even as far away as the South Pacific!

A recent survey we conducted in Canada concluded that 2013 is the year for small business. In fact, 60% of business owners believe they’ll see an increase in revenue in 2013 when compared to 2012. So if you are looking to grow your business globally, there’s no time like the present.

To learn more about Wike, watch this video.


Category: Business Insights
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