On the up · 26 July 2018

How these cycling entrepreneurs set up 3 businesses under one roof

This pair of fitness fanatics have pedalled into the world of entrepreneurial success by opening a first-of-its-kind biking business in the Isle of Man.

Mark Horsthuis and Sacha Quine are the directors of Cycle 360, a unique and exciting place where cycling, fitness and cafe culture all meet under one roof. Their clients can browse a range of bikes, clothing and cycle equipment in the bike shop, and enjoy a comfortable and friendly meeting place in the caf.

As part of our “I fell in love with my co-founder” series, we caught up with this couple to get down the gritty details of living and working with your partner and find out about how one drunken encounter sparked their inseparable whole journey.

Who are you and what is your business?

Mark Im Mark, Im 30 and from the Isle of Man. Im the managing director and owner of a business and concept called Cycle 360; effectively three businesses under one name: a bike shop, a caf? and a fitness centre. Were in a purpose-built building that I have project managed for three years.

Im a skI instructor, as well as an avid cyclist and bike mechanic by trade. Ive always played sport growing up; I was a keen rugby player during school and got into cycling in my late twenties following repeated injuries because of rugby.

Sacha Im Sacha, Im 25, and alongside Mark Im one of the directors of Cycle 360.

Cycle 360 is completely unique to the Isle of Man, but also in its size unique in the UK too. Its where cycling, fitness and caf? culture all meet under one roof. The concept works so well because it’s situated just outside of the town centre, in a business park, where there’s parking and safe access to the countryside for cyclists and alike. People come here after work or during the weekends to go for a ride and enjoy the nature and landscapes of the Island, which really are breath-taking. As you can see, we love sport so the Isle of Man is perfect for us, and allows us to enjoy a great quality of life while running a business.

I was born on the Isle of Man too but moved to the UK when I was a toddler and grew up in York. I returned to the Isle of Man after I went to University in Newcastle, and began my career as Marketing Assistant at a global law firm in 2014.

When was the business founded?

Mark Cycle 360 was officially registered in early 2015, just a couple of months? after Sacha and I first met. I had the business idea with my Dad in 2014, with the original idea to open my own bike shop in the Isle of Man. After a lot of research and living in London for so long, it was becoming more and more apparent to me that retail (especially in the cycling world!) needed that caf? element to it, to bring the people through the door. After a culmination of months of research throughout Europe and America, during 2014 and 2015, we [Mark’s family] came up with this holistic? approach to cycling where we would incorporate a fitness type facility as well as the bike shop and the caf? too.

After 18 months, we eventually got planning permission for the build a very happy day for all involved, but for me especially as I had to do a short and well-rehearsed speech to a panel of planners who we knew were torn on the idea.

It took another year after planning permission was granted, to start construction and now here we are, three years later open to the public!

What is the company’s turnover?

Mark we estimate our projected turnover for this year being 2 million.

How did you both meet?

Mark It was on the Isle of Man, I was living in London at the time but was home for Christmas visiting my family. It was the day after Boxing Day and Id just done the annual karaoke bus with the boys in fancy dress. We ended up in a nightclub and an intoxicated Mark, offered to buy a sober Sacha, a drink. I like to think I then wooed her with my dance moves and impressed her by taking her to the casino afterwards where she ended up winning me my taxI home!

Sacha I ended up texting him first the next morning, asking him if he got home OK and I got a reply back asking if I was free for dinner that night. He took me on our first date at a local restaurant on the Quay, in Douglas, where we pitched up both wearing the same outfits! Both mortified, we quickly swigged a few glasses of wine each to hide the nerves and shield the embarrassment!

Weve not gone another day since without speaking to each other?

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What inspired you to start a business together?

Sacha I was always very involved with Cycle 360 because it was such a big project that Mark was about to embark on. Living with him and his parents meant I was always part of the discussions around the dinner table!

With my background in marketing, and my family history of love for cycling, together with my passion for health and fitness as a whole, I initially got very involved when we needed to create the physical Cycle 360 brand. I lead the creative brief and liaised with a local graphic designer to create a logo and ‘story? for the company. When it started to become more consuming and affect my full-time work outside of Cycle 360, I made the big decision to leave full-time work and fully focus on the business, helping Mark take it forward.

It was easier after that to then determine roles and how best wed complement each other as business partners.

What specific roles do you both have?

Mark as managing director, I work across the whole business and most recently Ive project managed the build, working closely with our building contractor Hartford Homes, and our interior designers, Cubbin & Bregazzi. Operationally I work with each of our managers to ensure everything runs smoothly throughout the business.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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