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At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order?
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Just wondering...

Flo has me questioning semantics, business models, and unflattering company names.

Clearly there's a demand for their product. I wonder when one will simply be able to place an order, or if, several years down the road, we'll be receiving emails urging us to log in, just in time, for Pre-order 1386.

I love what the guys are doing and wish them well, but damn they've got an odd approach to sales.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Pooks] [ In reply to ]
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Canadians, eh? I've gotta think that at some point in the last 6 months, I have had $900 burning a hole in my pocket. If I could just log in, select 2-day shipping, and purchase I likely would have pulled the trigger.

Instead I bought a Roka wetsuit that is actually supposed to be here before the expected date. And it will probably save me more time!

/kj

http://kjmcawesome.tumblr.com/
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Pooks] [ In reply to ]
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I think I remember them saying a while ago that they are going to continue with the pre-orders until they can produce enough wheels to keep up with demand.


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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Pooks] [ In reply to ]
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Small business. Not really supply and demand, more like we can afford a order now. However we can make x amount of wheels now, the next order can be bigger. They can't afford to make hundreds of wheels to much overhead at this point.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Verd] [ In reply to ]
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They are a small startup, my guess is they can't afford to be manufacturing wheels that may not get sold. Part of the reason they can sell at a competitive price is because they don't have the overheads of a retailer. If they were to keep stock on hand they would probably need to raise their prices to cover obsolete stock. They have been quite upfront about competing on affordability, choose two: price, performance, availability.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Verd] [ In reply to ]
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Verd wrote:
Small business. Not really supply and demand,

Not at all! If they followed Econ 101, and priced their wheels according to S&D, a set would be quite a bit more expensive. Kudos to them!
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [dfroelich] [ In reply to ]
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I like their format, much better then selling to everybody who wants a set and not being able to deliver in a proper time. I had a bad experience with a high demand product and ended up waiting forever to receive it, way past the projected date.

Formely stef32
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Pooks] [ In reply to ]
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Easy, when they have an inventory on hand and you can order and have it within a reasonable time frame (say a week). Until then it's a pre-order. That's why I went with Zipps. I wanted something I could have now. I also decided I didn't like the carbon fairing design after having my hands on some HEDs. They are nice and I don't doubt the strength. I'm just afraid I'll crack the fairing and then be upset with myself and the product. I can scratch my Zipps, but cracking the fairing just isn't going to happen.

Pooks wrote:
Just wondering...

Flo has me questioning semantics, business models, and unflattering company names.

Clearly there's a demand for their product. I wonder when one will simply be able to place an order, or if, several years down the road, we'll be receiving emails urging us to log in, just in time, for Pre-order 1386.

I love what the guys are doing and wish them well, but damn they've got an odd approach to sales.

--------------------------------------------------------

You will remain the same person, before, during and after the race. So the result, no matter how important, will not define you. The journey is what matters. ~ Chrissie W.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Pooks] [ In reply to ]
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Pooks wrote:
Just wondering...

Flo has me questioning semantics, business models, and unflattering company names.

Clearly there's a demand for their product. I wonder when one will simply be able to place an order, or if, several years down the road, we'll be receiving emails urging us to log in, just in time, for Pre-order 1386.

I love what the guys are doing and wish them well, but damn they've got an odd approach to sales.

Just out of curiosity, what should our approach to sales be in your opinion?


Chris Thornham
Co-Founder And Previous Owner Of FLO Cycling
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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With your price point and tunnel data...you should be easily be able to get VC capital to mass produce wheels and get yourself on the map.
You are significantly curtailing your progress by doing it this way.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [hedgefund] [ In reply to ]
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yeah they definitely aren't on the map...

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [hedgefund] [ In reply to ]
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hedgefund wrote:
With your price point and tunnel data...you should be easily be able to get VC capital to mass produce wheels and get yourself on the map.
You are significantly curtailing your progress by doing it this way.

We have increased production by 2-3 times this year. Last year we sold 1500 wheels which means we could sell between 3000-4500 wheels this year. Growth at this stage of the game is a fine balance between being aggressive and wise. Being too agressive could result in a warehouse full of products we can't sell at the end of the year. That's a position a new company does not want to be in.

We've had a dozen or more offers for VC capital but we have turned them down. Our reasoning is we are on track to grow 2-3 times this year while maintaining 100% ownership in our business. In my opinion, that's a position a new company does want to be in.

I hope that makes sense,


Chris Thornham
Co-Founder And Previous Owner Of FLO Cycling
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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Don't forget about the Sharktank....? It may be one of your options.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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So...675k net...if you hit 4500 units this year...more or less. Does anyone know how many wheels are sold in the US or world? These guys have a great product...they only need more exposure.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [hedgefund] [ In reply to ]
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hedgefund wrote:
So...675k net...if you hit 4500 units this year...more or less. Does anyone know how many wheels are sold in the US or world? These guys have a great product...they only need more exposure.

I'm not sure where you came up with that net number, however, there are 100s of thousands if not millions of wheels sold every year.


Chris Thornham
Co-Founder And Previous Owner Of FLO Cycling
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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Canadian wrote:
hedgefund wrote:
With your price point and tunnel data...you should be easily be able to get VC capital to mass produce wheels and get yourself on the map.
You are significantly curtailing your progress by doing it this way.


We have increased production by 2-3 times this year. Last year we sold 1500 wheels which means we could sell between 3000-4500 wheels this year. Growth at this stage of the game is a fine balance between being aggressive and wise. Being too agressive could result in a warehouse full of products we can't sell at the end of the year. That's a position a new company does not want to be in.

We've had a dozen or more offers for VC capital but we have turned them down. Our reasoning is we are on track to grow 2-3 times this year while maintaining 100% ownership in our business. In my opinion, that's a position a new company does want to be in.

I hope that makes sense,


If you are patient and know the market will still be there in the foreseeable future that is the best way to do it. When I started out I actually had service orders before I even had the equipment or materials. Shoot, I didn't even have my business license or insurance yet. It worked for Eli Whitney, and it worked for me.

I will say, however, that about 5 months ago I was wanting some new race wheels. I would have bough FLOs, but I was too impatient to wait for the next pre-order and bought a $1600 camera, some lenses and a new bike instead. Now I'm out of money and can't buy new wheels.

I'll tell you what though, I did develop a new automated product photography 360 degree imaging system, and I would be more than happy to take some high quality pictures of the wheels if you send me a pair ;)
Last edited by: nolken: Apr 24, 13 22:25
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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So my number is correct...anyway...you shouldn't have people having to pre-order..etc. It is just wrong...and it is hurting you.
Whether you should choose to acknowledge it or not. Nevertheless, you have a great product with potential if those numbers are to be believed for the world wide sales of wheels. I hope that FLO will be the name that Zipp wanted to be.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [hedgefund] [ In reply to ]
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hedgefund wrote:
So my number is correct...anyway...you shouldn't have people having to pre-order..etc. It is just wrong...and it is hurting you.
Whether you should choose to acknowledge it or not. Nevertheless, you have a great product with potential if those numbers are to be believed for the world wide sales of wheels. I hope that FLO will be the name that Zipp wanted to be.

You're putting words in my mouth regarding the numbers. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the way we run our business, but we are doing what we believe in. On a side note... Are you suggesting Zipp is failing? If that is what you are suggesting that's an awfully big statement to make.


Chris Thornham
Co-Founder And Previous Owner Of FLO Cycling
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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Canadian wrote:

You're putting words in my mouth regarding the numbers. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the way we run our business, but we are doing what we believe in. On a side note... Are you suggesting Zipp is failing? If that is what you are suggesting that's an awfully big statement to make.

When my son was born last year the best advice I got was this:

Everybody thinks that they are an expert and everyone will give you advice. Just smile and nod and keep doing what you are doing.

You have a great product and you have happy customers. Keep doing what you are doing.

How does Danny Hart sit down with balls that big?
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [hedgefund] [ In reply to ]
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hedgefund wrote:
Don't forget about the Sharktank....? It may be one of your options.

Well for one, it would the Dragons Den in Canada, and two, that would be VC and selling a part of your company. Which he just said they didn't want to do.

Ian
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [tkos] [ In reply to ]
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Not to mention the kind of deals you get on those shows are laughably bad for anyone who has spent 5 minutes in the industry.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
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Grant,
Not really replying to you but yours was the one reply closest to my the point I wanted to make.

I work in the aerospace industry, one of our customers is here this week from the UK. He happens to be an avid bike racer (time trials and cyclocross only); nothing to do with triathlons and is only vaguely aware of "Slowtwitch".
He said that the club he is a member of (somewhere near Wharton?) is quite aware of Flo and that they have a very strong reputation amongst cyclists in the UK.
So... Yes they are "On the map" and I would much rather have them grow slowly and be strong so they are around a while.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [Canadian] [ In reply to ]
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Dont listen to the Slowtwitch chatter. You guys are making an awesome product and have even better customer service. You guys helped me get my bro a 90/disc combo and called me personally multiple times to make sure everything went smoothly. When I am in the market for race wheels FLO will absolutely get my business. Keep up the good work.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [tkos] [ In reply to ]
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tkos wrote:
hedgefund wrote:
Don't forget about the Sharktank....? It may be one of your options.


Well for one, it would the Dragons Den in Canada

The Flo guys are Canadian originally, but they live in the US -- Flo itself is based in Las Vegas.
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Re: At what point does a "pre-order" become just an order? [nickag] [ In reply to ]
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nickag wrote:
They have been quite upfront about competing on affordability, choose two: price, performance, availability.

This. I posted this a while back, as with most items in industry you can choose 2 out of 3:
Zipp/HED: Performance and Avaiblible, but expensive
Williams/Boyd/Karbon/Yishun: Availible, Affordable, but mostly old "V" shape
FLO: Performance, Affordable, but takes time to get.

It just depends on what you want. People are actually getting FLO's rather quickly IMO. It took almost 5 months for me to get my set. But I ordered them 8 months before my "A" race, and I knew the time schedule going in, so it wasn't an issue with me.

Proud Member of Chris McDonald's 2018 Big Sexy Race Team "That which doesn't kill me, will only make me stronger"
Blog-Twitter-Instagram-Race Reports - 2018 Races: IM Florida 70.3, IM Raleigh 70.3, IM 70.3 World Championships - South Africa, IM North Carolina 70.3
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