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Polka Dot takes a digital ride: How an e-bike agency unlocked online opportunity to shield themselves from future market-uncertainties.


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Miha and Tadeja Kofjač, premium bike rental and tours agency owners, used quiet pandemic times to learn new skills. Joining the Grow Slovenia with Google programme helped these business owners on their professional journey as they set out to analyse their website, re-shape their strategy and further protect themselves from possible market downturns.

Miha has been a passionate sports enthusiast since he was little and in his young age he was an avid hockey player. When his career ended with a knee injury, his doctors advised that the benefits of cycling would allow him the optimal recovery. This advice would come to change his life and marked the beginning of a bright love involving cycling — he would even later marry with his wife Tadeja in the mountains on his bike.

Natural entrepreneurs by profession, the two had long thought of how to merge their love for sports with their careers before Polka Dot Cycling was finally created.

As far back as 2006, when few yet saw the value and future of electric bikes, Miha and Tadeja had first started saving and drafting business ideas. But it wouldn’t be until 2017 when e-bike production began to soar across Europe, that they circled back to their idea and their business dream began.

The tourism industry was booming when Miha and his wife Tadeja went on to create Polka Dot — an agency for renting premium electric, mountain and road bikes, that also organises cycling tours and now even an outdoor ‘escape room’ interactive puzzle tour for groups to solve. Inspired by the red-on-white Polka-dotted jersey awarded to the leader in the mountain stages of the Tour de France cycling tournament — they too wanted to reach the top.

Based in Bled, nestled amongst thermal springs, tranquil pristine nature and alpine air, visitors from everywhere are drawn to visit the breathtaking Slovenian lake town with its tiny, tear-shaped island and church. Polka Dot started off on a roll, and their e-bike rentals and tour bookings were well received, even without any special marketing efforts.

That was, up until 2020 when the pandemic hit. Miha and Tadeja had to pause, and park up their 50 e-bikes to think things over. As the couple would realise, without an informed marketing strategy, and without the assistance of any digital tools, relying solely on a stable market can present a dangerous risk for businesses in the long run.

Leading up to this standstill, Tadeja noticed that reservations were only coming in via other agencies and rarely directly from clients. ‘’How are we predominantly found through third parties, whilst our clients seem unable to find us?’’ she wondered. ‘’I told Miha, we need to change this. We need to be found, we need to be visible online, we need to reconnect with our customers.’’

During the winter season of 2021, through an e-newsletter from the alumni of the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, Miha signed-up to the Grow Slovenia with Google programme.

Since taking the courses on Website Optimisation and Google Analytics, they now benefit from regular website analysis. ‘’Our website was always there, but we never took the time to learn from it and improve. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console helped us measure our site's traffic and performance. We have since improved various flagged issues and seen huge improvement to our website traffic, which helped us reconnect our services directly to our customers.’’

With these two tools and Google Trends, Miha and Tadeja began to brainstorm ideas based on the information of what people were searching for locally. To keep some level of business running during the pandemic times, and inspired by search terms such as “group activities during COVID'' and “outdoor sports” they arrived at the idea of an ‘escape room’ on e-bikes for locals. Together with Enigmarium, they could provide a newly desired product for their local market. These two changes helped bring back and optimise revenue when Polka Dot needed it most.

The outdoor game involves a 10km cycling adventure around Bled, offering a challenging group activity that combines exercise, local folklore history and interactive puzzle solving. Using their newly gained digital skills to analyse website traffic post pandemic, the couple discovered that ‘’escape room’’ remains a solid search term that still brings customers to their website today.

‘’To keep pace with changing consumer habits, we want to stay close to our customers wherever they are and we want to ensure that they can find us online. The Grow Slovenia with Google workshops and guidance from its digital advisors helped us set a more strategic digital approach going forward, it helped us through a difficult time and we believe it will provide us with a safety net going forward.’’

Although times are still uncertain, and as the off season approaches once again, this year the couple are optimistic, and plan to invest this time to properly set things up for success by maintaining work with their new digital skills and tools, and based on this there are even already thoughts of a second ‘escape room’ tour in the works.

"During Grow Slovenia with Google workshops we learnt about tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console which helped us improve our website. We fixed issues and could see a huge improvement on Google Search results connecting us directly with our audience."

Miha Kofljač, Owner, Polka Dot Cycling

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