Small business heroes: Red Chilli Bikes A man in a blue jumper is looking at a bike wheel

Small business heroes: Red Chilli Bikes

Direct Line for Business spoke to David Darby about why he decided to start his own business and the challenges that he's faced.

Small Business Case Study: Red Chilli Bikes

In 2004 David Darby was working for a publishing company and travelling around 30,000 miles per year. But when his wife was diagnosed with a particularly aggresive form of rheumatoid arthritis, he realised that he needed to make a change to his working life.

A keen cyclist, David decided to turn his passion into a business, and give something back to younger riders.

Working from his garage, Red Chilli Bikes now specialises in creating custom bike builds for both professional and personal use.

How has David grown his business?

Still a relatively new brand, David admits that Red Chilli Bikes cannot directly compete with many of the big names in the cycling world when it comes to marketing and promoting his business.

But just because he can't directly compete with the major cycling brands, doesn't mean that David can't promote his business at all.

On the contrary, David is very interested in establishing strong partnerships with other likeminded businesses and organisations to help bring the Red Chilli brand to a wider audience. The most recent example is their sponsorship of Team Rytger - a women's UCI team based in Denmark - who rode Red Chilli Bikes in 2016.

These partnerships have helped to raise the profile of Red Chilli Bikes, bringing David's business to a bigger market, whilst also helping to provide the credibility and kudos needed to help it grow. 

Commitment to quality

These partnerships have been crucial to the development of Red Chilli Bikes, but they wouldn't have been possible without the commitment David has to providing a high standard of quality and customer service. Qualities that he believes are important to any business whether it's a local gardener or a multi-national corporation.

It's these values, coupled with David's strong work ethic and determination to overcome any obstacle that presents itself, which has been the backbone of his success.

For more information on starting and running a small business, head over to our Small Business Heroes video hub.

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Last Updated: 08 Dec 2015