Eric and Naihma Deady are no strangers to rejection.
While they sought a loan to start their new business, The Bike Commuter, Eric recalls “being laughed out of a number of banks around Portland” back in early 2009. “They wouldn’t take a second look at our application.”
Fortunately, the Deadys saw the rejection as just another step on the path to opening their own business. Aside from the long-held dream of self-employment, they had an expected child to motivate them. At the time, Eric traveled extensively for his job; a situation that would soon become intolerable: “I needed work that would let me stay close to my family. I’d wanted to be my own boss for years, so this seemed like the right time to go for it.”
Having ‘wrenched on bikes’ over the years, Eric knew he could offer a richer customer experience; “We believe that there are no dumb questions, and that people can enjoy cycling on any sort of machine. It doesn’t matter if you ride a $100 bike or a $4,000 bike, so long as you’re having fun and living better for it. I didn’t start this business to make a quick buck; I want to share something that brings me great joy.”
That policy of acceptance has become a hallmark of the Deadys approach. The Bike Commuter’s friendly reputation has garnered a growing community of grateful customers. For Eric, “It’s very rewarding to hear ‘My bike has been running better than ever before!’ It’s even more satisfying to help a first-timer or someone with a disability get mobile. Support from customers and the community is validation and vindication of my dream.”
Among all the proud moments, one in particular readily leaps to Eric’s lips; “Getting final word from Mercy Corps NW on financing. That was a great day for us.” At a time when the economy was slowing and credit was scarce, Eric and Naihma had heard plenty of ‘No’ and were left with few alternatives.
In retrospect, Eric is glad that traditional banks rejected his application; “Our chances of success would have diminished greatly. We needed more engagement than a wad of cash and a loan payment. We might not be here if it weren’t for Mercy Corps NW. They helped us avoid some major problems that a bank might not have helped us through. MCNW patiently answered all of our questions, and really held our hand through the whole process.”
An intimate familiarity with rejection now affirms Eric and Naihma Deady appreciation of the value of acceptance, and informs the way they help their growing community of customers.
Find welcoming support for your biking needs. Contact Eric or Naihma Deady at The Bike Commuter at pdxbikecommuter.com or (503) 505-9200
Services at Mercy Corps NW is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
“With MCNW I got financed for equipment that I need to complete all my tasks. I got a van. I got this big carpet shampooer. I can do hard wood floors, tile, marble, just slap on a different brush and go for it. Now I just load up what I have and go.”
My Business Personal Housekeeping and Commercial Cleaning
How I got Started I’ve been a house keeper for six years, but have also done odd jobs like painting and carpet repair. I can’t imagine doing anything else. One day I decided to incorporate all the experiences that I’ve had together into one company.
Greatest Challenges Making sure you got all your corners covered. You get through a few things and then you find out that you’re not done yet. You have to dig a little deeper go a little farther.
Greatest Reward I like putting smiles on people’s faces. I like when people come home and everything’s finished and perfect. Little things. I know a little girl is going to be happy when I picked out a book for her bedtime and her bed’s made and ready to jump into.
Proudest Moment Just having something of my own. I was a stay at home mother and wife for 18 years. This is my accomplishment.
Advice for aspiring business owners You can not allow yourself to get discouraged. Doors are going to shut, walls are going to pop up all over the place and you just have to look over them, look around them, whatever you have to do to make it through.
Me and Mercy Corps Northwest Every time I was stuck with something and my mind was just tired and Brian would come up with something. If not, just a kind word. Better luck tomorrow.
Just The Facts
Client Name: Shannon Bailey
Client Since: November 2009
Participated In: Mercy Corps Northwest Loan Program
Type of Business: Personal and Commercial Cleaning
Business Opened: 2004
Find Shannon and All Done
2815 s.e. 87th ave. #3, Portland, OR 97266