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December 15, 2009

on Tuesday, 15 December 2009.

This will be the last what's new update for this year so I thought I would do kind of a review of this past year.

2009 has been our best year yet and the outlook for 2010 is even brighter. This year marked many first for MCC. The most notable would be going to Sturgis and setting up. Sturgis was a great time really and it proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. The only drawback that I had was being out of the shop for two weeks but the shop crew kept things up and running, I just don't like being gone from my baby that long. The ride to Sturgis was a long one though, 28 hours straight through and that was with Robbie and me taking turns napping and driving. The first day we were open which was the Friday before the rally started I was really nervous, mostly after we closed and all we did was one seat. Yeah, one seat. We took in a hundred bucks plus the tax. It had me wondering how we were going to get home. The gas bill to Sturgis was over $800 so I knew I had to come up with $800 to get us back home and plus I had to pay Robbie, I knew I could go without being paid but luckily the next day we got busy and then on Monday which was the day the rally officially started we got really busy and it held out all week long. We actually came out in the green and I was just hoping to break even.

But probably the most important thing leading up to Sturgis was getting the trailer finally finished so we could work out of it and doing the test run at the shop in it then going to the Hog Happenin in Lincolnton NC. Things started off slow there but once it got going we had a good day and found some kinks we needed to work out but the success we had there is what lead me to pursue going to a larger event.

2009 also was the first time I had to hire more employees's to keep things running. We had 5 people at one point which I know isn't a lot but for the size of our shop and what we do I think that is pretty good. All we work on is motorcycle seats and to be able to bring in enough seats for 5 people to be working is a lot of seats.

We had more ride in seats this year than we ever had in the past, I don't have the numbers tallied up but I estimate we had between 150-200 ride in customers this year. It started really early this year also, we had guys scheduling ride in appointments in January and as the temperature warmed up we were having 2 to 3 a day and we were booking them up weeks in advance.

There are two downsides to 2009, one was my dog Axle passing away brought him home when he was just 6 weeks old, I still miss him today. The other was leaving the old shop. I still remember the first day in the shop after it was built. I looked over the shop and thought, man I will never out grow this place, there was so much room. I think a month later we added on to it again.

Another highlight of the year was having two bikes that we did seats on win in Daytona. One won the Rat Hole show which is one of the biggest bike shows of the year and the other won the Boardwalk show, pretty cool I think. I don't consider MCC a Custom Bike seat company and it's not really our forte but it's pretty cool to be able to say that we did those two seats.

This year we quit offering our Comfort Cruizer gel pads and became the National installer of Impact Gel. I had seen the infomercials about their shoe inserts and had no idea they even made motorcycle seat gel pads but when I was at the Thunder Beach rally I met the Florida sales rep and was really impressed with these pads. He put his hand under a gel pad and whacked the crap out of it with a hammer. I couldn't wait to get back to the shop to see if I could that with our pads, needless to say I couldn't. I tried it with our pads and if I barely hit it I could feel it. I called Impact gel that day and well, the rest as they say is history. I have always wanted to offer the best products out there and I can honestly say that the Impact Gel pads are the best and I am happy that we have them. We have installed more gel pads this year than we ever have in the past and I think 2010 will beat this year easily. We have installed somewhere around 250-300 of the Impact gel pads and have not had one complaint, that says a lot right there.

This year was the first year we were in a major magazine and ended up being in 5 different ones which is pretty cool. I actually advertised in one for a while but I have found that nothing beats word of mouth so I doubt we will go down that road again but you never know. I also I had my first interview this past year, sure it was a local paper but people are starting notice that MCC is here and we are the real deal. The funniest thing about that interview was a question the reporter asked. "How does it feel to be expanding your business in Maiden with Ethan Allen and Apple(computers)?" I held back my laugh with that one, having MCC and Apple computers in the same sentence about growth is just too funny but again it makes me realize that people are noticing what we are doing here and they are seeing us grow which is really incredible in this economy.

The last major undertaking of this year was moving into the new shop. Located right on Main Street in Maiden, everybody in Maiden knows we are here now. The old shop was hidden off the beaten path but not anymore. Since moving into the new location our local business has really picked up and before it turned cold we were having 7-10 people a week bringing in seats to have them worked on which is really big because all of our work had mainly came from people in other states who heard about us through internet forums or word of mouth from previous customers. So having local people having their seats done is going to drive up business more and like I said the future looks mighty bright.

The thing that really hits home for 2009 is our 5 year anniversary is over. 5 years ago I wouldn't have ever thought MCC would be where it is today honestly. Who would have ever thought? It all started out of my dad's garage, making a mess but making motorcycle seats comfortable. If you were to compare one of the first seats that were done to what we are doing today there is a night and day difference really but the basics are still the same. My first and most important aspect of every seat is making the customer happy with their seat and shaping it to fit each person and that will never change. Why would I?. That is what has brought us to where we are and we need to stick to the basics, customer service and quality because they are a proven winner.

Well, that's it folks. Thanks to all of our customers of 2009 and previous years, if it weren't for you guys and gals MCC wouldn't be here and that's a fact. You have made us what we are today and thank you for the support. I hope everyone has Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

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