Business By Zane

‘S Cycles Essay, Research Paper


CASE SUMMARY: In New Haven, Connecticut, there is a man named Chris Zane that runs his own bicycle shop, Zane s Cycles. Chris knew he wanted to be his own boss, so he mustered up the necessary resources and started in the highly competitive world of bicycles. Chris knew two things, that he wanted to be a success and he would have to take some risks to get there. So he focused on two things, customer satisfaction and the need to do new creative things to achieve success. This list of things to please the customer and to make him a success are: A lifetime guarantee on all bicycles, free bike pick-up, mail-order so he can satisfy a larger number of customers, coffee and a juice bar in his store, a kids corner, giving the sales reps. the freedom to please customers, it s free if its under a $1, cell phones for riders, helmets at cost, and an annual $1,000 scholarship for kids to go to college. Zane has got a 700% return from all of his giveaways, lifetime warranty, etc. Most important, he has gained a loyal clientele.

QUESTION #1: Identify and describe the entrepreneurial spirit exhibited by Chris Zane. How has this affected his business?

Entrepreneurship: is the process of initiating a business venture, organizing the necessary resources, and assuming the risks and rewards.

Chris Zane showed entrepreneurship. When Chris was only twelve he started the process to become an entrepreneur. Through his college business classes he gained the skills need to run a business, and the ideas that made his business snowball. After college, he assumed all the risks to put together the needed resources to get his store going and make it a success. Being an entrepreneur is not just about wanting to be your own boss, or getting the resources and assuming the risks. The largest thing that makes Chris a entrepreneur is the fact that he showed the desire to build, to create something, and succeed, and he did.

QUESTION #2: Do you believe that Chris Zane endorses the concept that the customer is king ? Support your position with examples.

Customer is king: is basic and simple; treat the customer with respect and take care of any problems that they have. Do anything that will keep them happy, because a happy customer is a loyal customer. Zane did this very well in everything he did. First and probably the most important is how he structured his company. Zane flipped the old organizational structure so that the customer is on top then the operatives or sales reps. are next. The way he did this is by making the sales reps. have the ability to make decisions, allowing them to take care of the customers. Without this small empowerment of the sales reps., the organization would look and act very different. Most of all the customer would not be king. The other ways Zane made the customer king was the services he is offering: giving a lifetime guarantee on all his bikes, pick up bikes from the customers house to repair it for free, having a free coffee and juice bar as part of the store to make it a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Zane s also has kids corner so parents can shop without distractions, free items under a dollar, so the customer doesn t feel nickeled and dimmed. Guarantees like: 90-day price protection, Zane s will refund you the difference and 10% if you find the same bike at a lower price some where in Connecticut. A 30-day test drive, if after 30-days you don t like the bike then Zane s cycles will exchange it for anything. And during the new law when your need to wear a helmet to ride a bike, Zane sold helmets at cost. So all of this goes to show that at Zane s cycles the customer is king.

QUESTION #3: Is Chris Zane a socially responsible employer? Does your opinion change when you consider that some of his socially responsible actions have helped him achieve a 700 percent return on his investment? Discuss.

Social Responsibility: A firm s obligation, beyond that required by the law and economics, to pursue long-term goals that are good for society.

Social Responsiveness: The ability of a firm to adapt to changing societal conditions.

Chris Zane is a socially responsible employer. To the Zane Foundation awarding scholarships for academic excellence since 1989, with a total of $40,000 has been awarded. Zane s is also personally active in the Boy Scouts of America, as a Patron member. Zane was also the Leukemia Societies Vice President from 1983-1993. Zane is also a social responsive employer for offering bike helmets at cost when the law in Connecticut mandated that you wear a helmet when operating a bicycle.

The question is if I think he is a social responsible employer even though he received 700% return on his social responsible investments. I have debated this with my group and my self. At first I had the opnion that he only did the social responsible things because it is smart business. Then it was it does not matter if he got any return because he did it for the community. Neither of these statements felt perfect. Now I know that it is when the employer creates a win for the society they are being socially responsible. Zane was able to make most or all of his a win-win, he was socially responsible and he helped his business at the same time. Zane could have taken the other approach, and stepping on the community to make a profit. So that is the test if an employer is socially responsible, and Zane passed with flying colors.

CONCLUSION: Chris Zane the entrepreneur that had a dream to work for himself and create a store. Made his focus on the customers having them come first with the sales reps able to make it happen. Also focusing on the community to give back, and make a win-win situation for both him and his community. Chris Zane is an undoubted success.


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