The Happy Cyclist Is Looking To Find Another Gear Going B2B

Emmanuel Plattard, Founder & CEO of The Happy Cyclist (Photo © Silicon Luxembourg/Stephanie Jabardo)

Bicycle repair company The Happy Cyclist continues to evolve and has recently locked in the EIB as a client. The introduction of corporate vouchers and an increased focus on B2B are some of the key parts of what’s to come for the company.

Emmanuel Plattard found a niche in Luxembourg’s market and started The Happy Cyclist in 2021, offering the first mobile bicycle repair service in the country. Rather than the customer dropping their ride at the store, the repairmen come to them or to a company to fix employees’ bicycles on designated days. And while having a unique idea can be decisive in getting a business off the ground, The Happy Cyclist’s 2024 iteration shows that continued evolution and persistence are pivotal for building on any initial success.

Big-name clients and evolution

Plattard recently secured the European Investment Bank (EIB) as a client. Having been turned down after reaching out through the bank’s official channels, Plattard took to LinkedIn to get in touch with HR and CSR officers at the bank. This eventually led to setting up a sort of test run with The Happy Cyclist providing its services to any EIB employee at the bank for a day. Having done that on a couple of occasions, Plattard offered a new service in the form of vouchers. Those represent a bundle of repairs that a company can buy for its staff. Employees can then get their bicycles repaired whenever they want, either at home or at work. This marks an evolution in The Happy Cyclist’s services, in addition to its app where users can book their repair slot.

Even after getting his foot through the door, Plattard had to wait nine months from the first repair days at the EIB to sign a contract with the organisation for 500 vouchers. Those were all picked up by the bank’s employees within 24 hours of becoming available.

“You must think that the business development that you do now is going to pay off next year. You should be patient and realistic.”

Emmanuel Plattard, founder of The Happy Cyclist

The next step in The Happy Cyclist’s evolution is further developing the B2B side of the business. Private customers represent about two-thirds of the profit at the moment, estimates Plattard. But the invoices paid by corporate clients are significantly higher. The company currently has an intern on board solely focused on B2B, and Plattard envisions eventually having an entire unit dedicated to this part of The Happy Cyclist’s operations.

Lessons learned

After three years, there have also been some lessons to learn for the bicycle repair business’ founder. Being involved in the frontline of the company is important, and rolling his sleeves alongside his mechanics is something Plattard has now decided to do more of. Also, 10% of the yearly profits will be shared among employees as a way to make them feel involved. But perhaps Plattard’s most unusual realisation is that as a founder, he should temper his expectations of his employees.

“They [your employees] are never going to be in your head, and they are never going to know exactly what you want. So, I think it’s important to accept that they will maybe perform at 80% of what you want them to perform, you know, and be content with that. And be grateful as well to have this. If you’re a founder, you’ve put everything on the line for the company to be successful. It’s normal that your employees your colleagues will not think the same,” concludes Emmanuel Plattard, founder of The Happy Cyclist.

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