We sat with Simon Colley, the visionary behind Time To Ride, an innovative e-commerce store dedicated to promoting British cycling brands, and asked him some key questions around his business and his move to Harborough Innovation Centre.
What is it about the HIC that has motivated you to base your business here?
While Time to Ride is purely an ecommerce store, I was keen to offer a click and collect service for local customers to help them save paying postage. Therefore, it was vital to be located somewhere that was convenient for customers to collect their orders, and more importantly, somewhere that was professional and instantly reassured customers.
How has your experience been throughout your move to the centre, from your initial enquiry to your physical move in day?
A piece of cake! My first meeting with Tim, and being shown the building, some of the offices and meeting areas was really enjoyable, I knew immediately HIC would suit all my needs perfectly. Moving in and getting up and running was very smooth and went without any hic-ups, all the staff in reception have been very friendly and helped me settle in.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Online marketing and ecommerce is my area of expertise, up until earlier this year I
co-owned an ecommerce business head quartered in the Netherlands called
MSP (Motorcycle Spare Parts) B.V., this was a business I helped grow over the last 10 years and led to the business being acquired by Power Sports Distribution Group in July 2023.
After this it was time for a new project, and I instantly knew I wanted to do something in the sector I have a true passion for – cycling. I’m a bit of a sucker for constantly tinkering with my bike and upgrading it here and there with the latest/newest bike accessories. Obviously, there’s plenty of well-established online players selling bike accessories, but once I started digging to identify my niche, it occurred to me that there’s some amazing companies right here in the UK producing some awesome products, so why not build a platform that is solely dedicated to showcasing products by truly pioneering British brands. Once I knew I could source products created by UK companies that would cover all the key categories I wanted to sell, I knew it was something I wanted to fully pursue, and within 12 months of the concept forming I’m delighted to see Time To Ride is now trading.
When did you start the business?
The idea came to me in late 2022 and I immediately set about researching the idea, by January 2023 I had already committed to starting the business, and the website was launched at the beginning of October 2023.
How do you advertise your business?
My focus to start is targeting local cycling communities and clubs etc, in addition to raising the brands profile locally, the site is fully optimised for search engines like Google, so in time the site will start to climb the rankings. I’m also in the process of setting up and launching several online marketing campaigns on Google, and following that will be campaigns on social media, email newsletters, as well as collaborations with other relevant businesses locally.
Do you work locally or nationally?
Time to Ride sells its products both locally and nationally.
What is unique about your business?
Whilst there are many online players selling bike accessories and nutritional cycling products, Time To Ride is unique in that it only sells products by UK brands.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid, providing you give 100% to everything you do, then you should not be afraid of getting things wrong or making mistakes, they’re inevitable and it’s all part of the learning curve. Everyone experiences highs and lows in working life, and the lows can really knock your confidence if you let them, so remember, giving your all will always pay off in the long term, and that pretty much applies to whatever you do, in work or in your personal life……so commit and have belief.
Contact Time To Ride –
Or speak to Harborough Innovation Centre about flexible office space