Scribble: Notes on Innovation from Boyd Cycling

The story of starting a business from your own house may sound familiar to many entrepreneurs. It’s certainly familiar to Boyd and Nicole Johnson, whose business was born from a passion for bicycles and racing. Boyd began making and selling bike parts, and his wife Nicole quickly got involved. Now, their Greenville-based company focuses on wheels, and they pride themselves on providing the highest quality at the most reasonable price. 

In this interview, Nicole and Boyd talk about how they got their start, how they were able to obtain funding and grow their business, and the valuable lessons they’ve learned over the years. For entrepreneurs hoping to get their business off the ground, this husband-and-wife team share their knowledge, supply tips and advice they wish they had been told from the start.

Key Interview Takeaways:

  1. Like many passion projects, Boyd Cycling had the same humble beginnings as other start-ups — operating out of the founders' home as Boyd and Nicole learned how to run a business and balance it all with a day job. When the two fully committed they finally got their big break, receiving a grant from the Michelin Foundation. They've continued their success with the unique mentorship program, NEXT-MIT, building relationships with organizations and team members who can elevate their brand.

  2. Boyd and Nicole Johnson are a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team, but they also have a daughter, making how they handle work-life balance all the more important. Interestingly, the two integrate their lives with their work. Their daughter joins them at the office, at events, and more. The two say they believe this approach gives them an opportunity to build the business, spend time together, and show their daughter what it means to be an entrepreneur.

  3. Boyd and Nicole mention time as one of their important assets and tools. Time management is immensely valuable in ensuring work-life balance, especially when pulled in different directions each day. When considering how he uses his time, Boyd cites his mentor when saying, "Work ON the business, not IN the business." Another reminder is, "What are you doing to do to make this business profitable and sustainable, not just make this day profitable and sustainable?"

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