Unless you’re specifically looking for The Bicycle Doctor, you probably won’t find it. But that’s OK with Scott Mosko, who started a bicycle repair business years ago to get through Georgia Tech, working out of his house and truck, and doing repairs on the spot.
Since 2007, he has had a full-time shop on Cole Court, an industrial area off Langford Road. He offers bicycle repairs, new bikes and accessories. And although he doesn’t advertise, his customer base grows every day through word of mouth.
The Bicycle Doctor was named a Readers' Choice winner for this year.
What is your business and how did you start?
The name of the business is The Bicycle Doctor. I started in 1993, as a way to get through college, and I basically did it on the side while I was going to school and then working as an electrical engineer. When I was laid off from my last job, I already had the business in place so I decided to open it as a full-time shop rather than going back to the corporate world.
I actually now like the idea that it’s not in a shopping strip. People come here for a purpose. Obviously, if they’re going to make the trek to try to find us, they’ve already got a reason in mind, whether it’s to repair the bike or buy something new.
Who are your clientele?
We have a lot of engineers that work around here. We do families, as well. And a lot of racers – a lot of high-end racers – road and mountain bike racers.
What do you find rewarding about running The Bicycle Doctor?
Yes, I like bicycles but everybody thinks you’re living your passion, etc. Well, that’s why, in my opinion, a lot of shops fail. Because there are guys who get into it because they think it’s easy money, they’re living the dream. That gets old really quick. I like growing the business. That’s what I like the most. Seeing it grow from nothing.
What do you find challenging?
Having worked in the corporate world, I know about deadlines. I know about making things happen when you say they’re going to happen. A lot of businesses in general say, “We came across something, it will be two more weeks.” Not just bike shops but businesses in general. I don’t think they figure out a way to make it happen - no matter what. Even if it means we have to overnight something to get it here – because we had a deadline and we said we’d be done – we’ll do that.
It wasn’t as challenging as I thought in the beginning to get customers. There are always challenges, but we’ve been very lucky. Basically, I knew it could work. And obviously, where we’re located, nobody would have believed it. We’re not only surviving but growing 20 percent a year. And that’s strictly word of mouth. We have several new people in here every day.
I guess the biggest challenge is, how do you not grow too fast? A lot of people think you need to advertise and get more customers. That’s great if you get more customers, but if your quality slips, if you start having to push out repairs, if you don’t have a process in place … and that’s why we’re doing it slowly. It’s been five years and it’s grown unbelievably. I could move somewhere else but this has worked. And that’s my biggest challenge - not to go too fast because it can backfire on you.