February 19th, 2016
BY ALISA CLICKENGER ON FEB 23, 2015
Motorcycle & Powersports News
One part motorcycle dealership, one part vintage motorcycle museum and one part online/mail order new, classic, vintage and used motorcycle parts store, Bob’s BMW located in Jessup, Maryland, adds up to a 100 percent successful dealership.
Store owner Bob Henig started out modestly by selling used BMW motorcycle parts from his garage in 1981 (the days before e-anything). Now Bob’s BMW is one of the largest, most respected BMW dealerships in North America with nearly $10 million in annual sales.
Bob’s BMW has won numerous awards for overall excellence, merchandising, customer satisfaction and community service. The dealership’s recipe for success is Bob’s careful combination of sales and service of new and used BMW motorcycles, complete refurbishing and restorations on any year BMW built since 1950, great service and a passion for the BMW brand that Henig has parlayed into a world-class collection of BMW motorcycles and paraphernalia.
Henig may do several things within his dealership that are out of the ordinary, such as operating a thriving mail order business at his location and assigning every customer a singular mechanic with whom he builds a one-on-one relationship, yet each is incredibly well thought out – and successful. Henig treats the trade-in process like science and has developed a winning formula to maximize profits and create a win-win situation for his customers.
Henig has come up with a proprietary formula that he’s shared with other dealers in his 20-Group, and with 15 percent of the dealership’s revenue derived from the sale of used bikes, people listen. Other outside-the-box thinking includes Henig’s directive that every department in the dealership be fiscally responsible, ensuring that each department is in the black and not relying on another department’s success to carry them.
Not Everything is About the Bottom Line
“I’ve always believed that dealerships should be fun. They should be a good place to get information,” says Henig. The dealership’s coffee area walls are covered with interesting and up-to-date motorcycling articles from newspapers and industry magazines. The same is true in the men’s room. There is a waiting lounge in the service department, which Henig has declared as a “no sell zone.” It is purely for customers to relax in and take some down time while their bike is being serviced. “You cannot be selling to the customer all the time,” says Henig.
Bob’s BMW escapes the seasonal “hire and fire” cycle by focusing on the service department’s winter work business, incentives on PG&A sales and tightening their belts a bit. They’ve developed programs like the Polar Bear Challenge, which encourages customers to put on the miles even in the chilly season. They also encourage and assist customers with restorations and rebuilds during the winter months.
“I don’t think you can have long-term customers without long-term employees, and you cannot have long-term employees without taking care of them,” says Henig. “We work really, really hard finding ways to level out this business in the months that are traditionally slow.”
The proof is in the people: Lex O’Brien, Bob’s BMW e-commerce content manager, has been with the dealership for 25 years. Every employee gets full health benefits, 100 percent company paid.
Service While You Wait
Rain, shine or snow, every Saturday Bob’s BMW offers “while you wait” repair service. Customers line up on a first-come, first-serve basis, some so eager that they line up two hours before the dealership opens. Seeing this kind of customer enthusiasm led to the dealership setting up a coffee service table outside the night before. When the first customers arrive all they have to do is press the power button for their morning cup of joe. Morning entertainment comes in the form of other customers in line until the shop opens for business. In warmer weather there’s even a self-service bike wash station complete with an amusing vintage illustration.
For efficiency’s sake, the dealership also puts out service cards that customers fill out while waiting their turn. On these cards customers record billing details, motorcycle information and what type of service is required. Customers that arrive on Saturdays with more intense service needs are sometimes asked to wait until the “quickies” are served. Handled well and with clear communication, this has never been a problem for the dealership. Their service department is then closed on Sunday and Monday, which the dealership has found actually improves efficiency and customer communication.
Vintage BMW Museum
Bob’s officially opened as a BMW motorcycle dealership in 1990 and they’ve always had BMW items on display. Henig is an avid collector of BMW motorcycles, memorabilia and wall art. Out of more than 75 motorcycles in the public collection, only three have any type of modification or minor restoration. Because of Bob’s penchant for unrestored, original motorcycles, many of his display motorcycles serve as benchmarks for customers doing their own restorations.
“We offer the museum up as a tool for our customers. Everybody’s idea of what a restoration is will be different. These [vintage]motorcycles we have on display serve as a benchmark for how the machines were when they came off the assembly line,” says Henig. There are currently around 75 bikes and 5 sidecars on display between what’s on the dealership floor and their space across the street, including an original, unrestored 1925 R32, which was BMW’s first production model.
Dealership as a Destination
In addition to the BMW motorcycle and memorabilia museum, Bob’s goes out of its way to cultivate cross-customer relationships. They’ve worked hard to make the dealership a place where BMW enthusiasts can go to get information, and they enjoy bringing their customers together. “We want people to feel as at home as they do at a Starbucks,” says Henig. “We go through a lot of coffee around here.”
Bob’s hosts a variety of evening programs such as tech sessions, informational seminars and presentations from world travelers. The dealership maintains a Facebook page that connects riders with local rides. It also hosts hospitality days at track days as well as CCS and ASRA Motorcycle Races. The dealership has partnered with the Howard County Arts Council for a “Ride the Road to Art” program that got a larger number of customers riding and exploring real art installations within their local community.
In the fall, the dealership puts on an open house and annual swap meet. Closest to Henig’s heart is the annual Baltimore/Washington Ride for Kids. Bob’s BMW has been helping the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation raise money for over 20 years now, Henig himself bringing a high performance sidecar rig and providing rides to some of these special kids.
“A lot of what we’ve done here has been shaped by the needs and wants of our customers,” says Henig, who now wants to build a retail complex of associated and complementary businesses that are not all owned by the dealership. Sounds like Bob’s BMW might just dominate the retail scene in the Washington, DC metro area, which would be no small feat. Then again, that might not be such a bad thing coming from a company whose owner gets teary-eyed when he talks about his practiced ability to keep a wig on a small child while helping them don and doff a motorcycle helmet.
Bob’s BMW 10720 Guilford Road Jessup, MD (301) 497-8949
Accessories: Rizoma, Ikon, Rev’It!, Klim, Shoei, Akrapovic
December 1st, 2015
Everyone has heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about #GivingTuesday?
The concept is simple. Basically, you’ve got to give it away to keep it, so after days of deal grabbing and shopping pandemonium, join this social movement that started in 2012 and give back!
Bob’s BMW is making a donation today to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, thanks to the overwhelmingly great response to our weekends sales (NOW extended through Friday!), and we ask you to join us on #GivingTuesday to help make a difference.
Bob’s BMW is an official collection center for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center so if you are local, please on your next visit to Bob’s BMW bring in microwavable meals (not frozen!) and pop-top soups/stews to be donated to families in emergency shelters.
To learn more about Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and/or make a monetary donation online today, CLICK HERE.
Not local? Another charity Bob’s BMW has supported for decades is The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Each year this organization hosts motorcycle rides throughout the nation. You can make a donation online and be part of the solution to the problem of childhood brain tumors.
Thank you for your generosity and best wishes to you and your family this holiday season,
August 18th, 2015
Watkins Glen, NY | September 4-7, 2015
Bob will be repeating his successful and very enjoyable Ride-2-Brunch-2-Do-Good event at the Finger Lakes BMW Rally over the Labor Day weekend again this fall. The ride and brunch is small, intimate and tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.
Last year there were 15 participants for the inaugural event and is limited to just 17 so it is first RSVP, first paid and first to have fun and do good. The cost remains at $100 per person and this excellent brunch at one of the highest rated dining establishments in the entire Finger Lakes Region includes the participants choice of 1 appetizer, a salad, a seasonal entrée, dessert, coffee, any non-alcoholic beverages and if they wish one glass of wine, beer or champagne.
The event begins with a very enjoyable and spirited 75 minute (+-) ride starting at 9:30 AM sharp that uses beautiful secondary roads between the Rally location at Watkins Glen State Park and the Stonecat Café in the little town of Hector, New York. There is live Jazz music playing while we dine, converse and otherwise enjoy ourselves.
All net proceeds from this FUNdraiser are donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation® through their annual Ride for Kids® event which Bob participates in and escorts one of the Star kids in his sidecar. That event will be held on Sunday, September 27 in Ellicott City, Maryland should you be interested in joining us there too.
Additional donations can also be handed to Bob but outright contributions are always welcome. If you can’t join Bob please go to the link below and support the great work the PBTF® does. The PBTF® is a federally registered 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. Bob and Bob’s BMW are fast approaching the $30,000 target for FUNdraising by 9-26-15 but we are not there yet; you could be the one to make that happen.
The full disclosure: Bob is a longtime supporter, fundraiser, past RFK® event leader and currently serves as a member of the PBTF BOD. He’s thankful that neither his immediate or extended family or any of his fantastic staff and their families have a child affected by this terrible disease.
To join the fun and fundraising event email or call Bob at the details below his signature or stop by the dealership with your check or credit card; any of the staff can accept payment and a positive RSVP if he’s not there.
April 1st, 2015
If you’re helmet is worn out, more than five years old, been dropped, crashed, passed down from a friend, or never properly fitted in the first place, it is’nt safe…PERIOD. NOTE: All new helmets are required to have their production date stamped on them so if you can’t find the date, you definitely need a new one!
Based on extensive safety research and testing, all major helmet manufactures agree it is important to replace your helmet every five years. Over time, the material slowly loses its protective qualities. As time passes, the EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam, hardens and after about 5 years the materials are no longer able to protect you in the event of an impact. Those of you with children are probably familiar with this. Similar rules apply to the protective qualities in car seats.
Not to mention if you weren’t properly fitted for your helmet, you very well could be riding around in a helmet that does not even fit which as you can imagine will not protect you as it is designed to do if you were in an accident.
About Bob’s Helmet Trade-In Program
In an effort to help the riding community stay safe, any motorcycle helmet brought to Bob’s during the month of April 2015, can be traded in to receive an on-the-spot rebate equivalent to 10% of the value of any new helmet purchase. This offer applies to in-store only and is valid only for motorcycle helmets. Helmets traded in will be destroyed and disposed of by Bob’s staff. The offer cannot be combined with any other offer.
Bob’s stocks helmets in a wide variety of brands, colors, styles, and price ranges. Start the season off right by taking advantage of Bob’s Trade-In Helmet Program. Choose from Bob’s great selection of helmets and get the proper fitting you deserve from an industry expert.
January 23rd, 2015
November 23rd, 2014
November 14th, 2014
Article from 95 Express Lanes
November 14, 2014
When the 95 Express Lanes open, motorcyclists can use the Express Lanes anytime without paying a toll.
You can travel toll-free on the 95 Express Lanes 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you do not need an E-ZPass® on your motorcycle to take the Express Lanes.
If you already have an E-ZPass on your motorcycle, you can leave it in place when you travel on the 95 Express Lanes. The system will detect that you’re traveling via motorcycle and not charge you a toll.
The Express Lanes end north of Edsall Road. Standard HOV rules will apply on I-395:
Prepare now so you’re ready to take the 95 Express Lanes when they open.
The transition from HOV lanes to express lanes system will bring added benefits for motorcyclists – including relief from the current bottleneck at Dumfries where the HOV lanes end and access to new locations in Stafford County, Tysons Corner and Ft. Belvoir.
November 13th, 2014
November 3rd, 2014
|Model||Savings||Bob's BONUS||Model||Savings||Bob's BONUS|
|C 600 Sport**||$600 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||F 700 GS**||$600 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2|
|C 650 GT**||$400 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||K 1600 GT**||$1500 OFF|
|F 800 GT**||$750 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||K 1600 GTL**||$1500 OFF|
|F 800 GSA**||$750 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||K 1600 GTLE**||$1250 OFF|
|F 800 GS**||$750 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||R 1200 R**||$750 OFF|
|G 650 GS**||$500 OFF||FREE Fuel for ONE year!2||R 1200 RTW1||FREE BMW NAV 5
|Ride FREE 1 Year: Fuel & Service2|
|S 1000 RR**||$750 OFF|
*Estimated monthly payments based on MSRP less current factory to dealer incentives, 48 month contract, current APR, 30 days to first payment, and balloon payment due at the end of the term. Down payment, monthly payment, and other credit terms depend upon motorcycle model, state, applicant’s creditworthiness, amount financed, and length of contract term. This is not an offer of any particular purchase or financing transaction. Excludes assembly, handling, doc, taxes, title, tag, reg. fees, and accessories. Financing provided to well-qualified customers financing their purchase of new eligible BMW motorcycles by participating BMW motorcycle dealers and assigned to BMW Financial Services NA, LLC or BMW Bank of North America. The total amount financed must be greater than $10,000 in MD. Subject to credit approval. Offer based on a non-promotional rate – rates subject to change on a monthly basis. Ask your sales representative for details.
**Cannot be combined with any Special Sales Programs (Military, Emergency Services, Ride Smart Reward, MSF RiderCoach, etc.). Savings up to $1,500 expire November 30, 2014.
October 20th, 2014
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Use promo code HOTRIDER 7