Meet The Cycling Club Who Love Getting Down And Dirty
"We try to partner with start-ups as much as possible, because the decision makers are very accessible, things get done fast and by working together we can make cool things happen."
It's time to talk dirty with this active bike-minded cycling community.
Words Do The Talking chat with Dirty Wknd, a brand on a mission to get people out there, active and ultimately getting down and dirty in the countryside.
Founders Emma and David share what it takes to run a fitness business focused on passionate team spirit, the benefits of running your brand in a co-working environment and how vital it is to ask for business feedback when creating a brand your customers truly want to be a part of.
Read on to discover new start-up tips you can implement straight away, plus find out why getting down and dirty with a like-minded group should play a big part in your life.
Ready to get Dirty?
Q. Dirty Wknd - we absolutely love the name. Where did the inspiration come from?
A. It started out as a joke amongst friends - going away for active weekends, cycling or hiking, gave a very real meaning to the term Dirty Wknd! We soon realised that others wanted to join these active weekends away and get out of the city for a day or the weekend. So we started organising that and it really grew from there.
Q. What's Dirty Wknd's mantra and mission?
A. To get people out doing something active with other people and getting dirty! Whether that's cycling (the majority of what we do) or hiking, running or whatever activity they enjoy. Our community means that there's
always the option to get active with like-minded people - because we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to get dirty in a group! Everything is more fun with friends and people who join as individuals
soon make friends very fast.
Q. Best biking moment and ride with Dirty Wknd so far?
A. There have been so many, it's hard to pick. One that sticks out - 2 years ago we organised a London to Brighton ride, with a planned train return. It wasn't until 2 days before that someone reminded us that it was Brighton's Pride Festival, and not only would the town be rammed, but the trains would be full. So we put it to everyone that we could either reschedule, or ride back to London (a nearly 200 kilometre ride in total). Every single person opted to ride back, and it turned into a #ridetopride event that we repeat every year. Everyone donned their brightest kit and really got into the swing of things.
Q. What else apart from cycling makes you and Emma tick?
A. For me personally setting and completing challenges. Pushing my comfort zone and seeing what I can do. Whether that's with exercise, or in business. I never like to be comfortable, and I'm always chasing the next level that's going to test me and push me to my limits.
For Emma it's helping people realise their full potential and achieve their dreams, personal and professional. She's the friend that loves to give advice and come up with a plan to reach your goals. Seeing our members
become more confident, stronger and skilled athletes is really rewarding. Also watching us evolve as founders and business owners is also really challenging and exciting.
Q. Which brand would you love to collaborate with in the future? And which have you already collaborated with?
A. One of the coolest things is we get to collaborate with so many great brands, often start ups that are doing amazing things. We try to partner with them as much as possible, because the decision makers are very
accessible, things get done fast and by working together we can make cool things happen. Cycling brands like Wahoo, Attacus, Jam Cycling and Parcours Wheels are all start ups who are offering something different. To be honest we've got too many great partners to list, but they're all wonderful.
For the future, we're always on the look out for companies that are doing different and cool things. We tend to think 'what would we want as members?' And then try to partner with those people. We also ask our members - 'who do you want us to work with?' And they tell us. It's their club really.
Q. From business idea through to fruition: how have you found your Dirty Wknd business journey so far?
A. It's been a pretty amazing journey so far, mainly because of the customers (members) who have joined us and helped to shape the business. We tried out a few iterations in the early days, and it was really those early adopters who helped to shape what we are now. We're very pleased to say that those people are still with us, and many more have joined since.
Q. Any tips and advice for new business owners in their very early stages?
A. Listen to your customers. They'll tell you what they want. You might think you have the best idea in the world, but if you don't listen to what people want, you'll get it all wrong. Ask for feedback as much as you can - from friends and family, but also from strangers, people you meet at events etc. You'd be surprised at how your friends and family will not tell you the truth to protect you. Find the people that will give you honest feedback. Joining a co-working space was great for us because inevitably you'll get asked twice a day, 'What does your business do?' If you can't explain it quickly and clearly, you've got a problem.
Q. Are there any marketing or promotional tools or tips you've found to be useful?
A. We do all of our marketing through social media, so a really strong output is key. Most people will search us on Instagram before looking up the website, so having a really strong message is key. It's free, and a direct link to your customers, so has to be utilised as much as possible. Having said that, our weekly newsletter drives a lot of sales. It's seen as an outdated mode now, but it still works. Just don't overdo it - less is more.
Q. Do you have any plans to spread your wings outside of London?
A. Yes we have already tested the water in Bristol and Norwich and are planning other cities too. The model should work in any city or urban area, as getting out in the countryside is the main aim.
Q. What's next for Dirty Wknd?
A. We will continue to grow our community, both in London and around the country, encouraging people to get outside. However, we also believe in being flexible and responding to change. That's the exciting part.
Q. And finally, how and where do we sign up (plus, how do we get our hands on your timeless stash!)?
A. You can sign up for a group ride here and try us out. If you then want to join the club just head to the membership section of the website. Kit can also be bought through the website, again in themembership area.
Vital business tips to take away
1. Work with start-ups, they're open to new and exciting things
2. Ask for honest feedback on your business as often as you can
3. When starting your business, ensure it's something you are passionate about
4. Seek out a co-working space for an added energy boost
5. Never underestimate the power of social media - make it your go-to.
Can you handle anymore inspiration? If so, click here to read about the brand that went from £0 to £4 million in just 4 years.
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