Business related feedback
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
eBike John 07-Feb-23
DanaC 07-Feb-23
eBike John 07-Feb-23
DanaC 07-Feb-23
fdp 07-Feb-23
RJ Hunt 07-Feb-23
Shiras42 07-Feb-23
WV Mountaineer 07-Feb-23
JohnMC 07-Feb-23
Grey Ghost 07-Feb-23
Jaquomo 07-Feb-23
Jaquomo 07-Feb-23
DanaC 07-Feb-23
APauls 07-Feb-23
Beendare 07-Feb-23
BUCKeye 07-Feb-23
Jaquomo 07-Feb-23
eBike John 08-Feb-23
WaleCanaty 27-Apr-23
Fields 27-Apr-23
Buckdeer 26-Sep-23
jeremywallace 02-Apr-24
400 Elk @Home 13-Jun-24
roseforyou 18-Jun-24
From: eBike John
07-Feb-23
Folks, some of you know me as the owner of the ebike store eBike Generation. And for the last year sales have been lower due to economic changes and so I was toying with the idea of offering different types of products that would cater to hunters and I thought who better to ask than the Bowsite guys.

I have considers categories like solar generators (charging ebikes remotely) and gun safes (for safe storage, either while on the road or at home). What other categories do you think would be helpful?

thanks for the feedback

From: DanaC
07-Feb-23
Do you carry panniers for the bikes you sell?

From: eBike John
07-Feb-23
Hey Dana, I sell fat tire ebikes and the various ebike related accessories. So trailers, pannier bags, gun/bow holder and have always stayed very bike industry specific.

I wonder if adding more categories to cater to the hunter will be better overall or end up diluting the brand and not having the desired effect.

From: DanaC
07-Feb-23
'Adding more categories' puts you head-to-head with Cabelas etc. - unless you're looking at smaller product lines the biggies don't want to bother with. (And then you might be up against Amazon.)

Do you offer 'package' deals on what you sell? How about lightweight riding chaps? Biking gloves? What might the new e-bike rider/hunter not consider until he sees it on your website?

From: fdp
07-Feb-23
Seems like a tough market. The market seems small any way, and from what I see in bike shops there are quite a few offerings. Gonna' have to figure a way to set yourself apart to expand the customer base, or be satisfied with a smaller consumer market. If it were my money I am not sure how I would lean.

From: RJ Hunt
07-Feb-23
My 0.02 would be to stay in your niche and try to broaden your audience to make up for lower percentage of people buying e-bikes with this economy the way it is. I think the last thing you want to do is compete with a Cabelas or Amazon. There are lots of guys, and gals who prefer not to buy box box… just got to let them know you are out there. Best wishes my friend.

From: Shiras42
07-Feb-23
John, I bought the Mule Hunter Package from eBG just because of your sponsorship here. One thing I thought would have been more helpful to me, and might help set you apart for those looking is more videos on the bikes. When I was looking one of the things I tried to find was videos of people in the field using them. It was surprisingly limited and detailed reviews of the bikes from you with field tests I think might help. As others have said not sure how much expanding the product line would help. Maybe some, but then you just have that much more inventory sitting on hand that may not move.

07-Feb-23
Do they make a practical solar charger for a bike? Seems like a small generator carried in the vehicle would replace any solar charger. Just my opinion. I don’t own an e-bike so, my opinion probably isn’t worth much.

If there was a heated battery blanket for keeping the bike battery warm, I’d sell them for sure. If there wasn’t, I’d patent it and sell the rights and the blankets.

I’d sell carts that attach to the bikes if you don’t already. Sounds like you’ve got the holders and on board accessories covered.

That’s all I got. Other than that, it’s what fdp said. You gotta determine if expanding to new markets is worth your investment. If not, you are in a limited arena. How many bike riders truly are going to buy an e-bike?

Good luck whatever you decide.

From: JohnMC
07-Feb-23
Have you ever considered renting them? They are intriguing to me, maybe if I rode one for a weekend I'd think I had to have one. Even if you only broke even on renting them I bet that would lead to some that rent buying and you would have a relationship with those people if they do buy making you first person they think of to buy from.

From: Grey Ghost
07-Feb-23
John, in my opinion you should focus on the market outside of hunting. I think most guys who are inclined to buy an e-bike for hunting have already done so. We hunters are a small niche in a much larger market.

We have a condo in Winter Park Colorado, which is a huge biking community in the warmer months. When I ride in town, I routinely get approached by people who are curious about my Bakcou Mule, especially older folks. Many of these people have only heard the term "e-bike", but they really don't know anything about them. My wife was an example of this. She had no clue what an e-bike was before I got mine. And, as you know, she had to have one after she rode mine.

We also spend a lot of time down on Sanibel Island in Florida. Almost everybody rides bikes down there, young and old. All the Inns on the Island have stables of bikes they rent out to their guests. There are also at least 3 bike rental shops on the island. The last I checked, none of them rent e-bikes. Just something to consider.

Matt

From: Jaquomo
07-Feb-23
John, here in CO the fastest growing demographic for ebikes is the urban crowd. Denver offers rebates for ebikes. People are riding ebikes all over in towns, and more and more urban bike trails are being opened to ebikes. Folding thin tire bikes are popular for mass transit. Maybe separate out the hunting bike "department" and rebrand yourself to target the urban market?

Until and unless the USFS opens up more trails/closed roads to ebikes, I'm afraid the hunting market for ebikes is probably getting saturated.

From: Jaquomo
07-Feb-23
Matt posted while I was typing..

From: DanaC
07-Feb-23
Frank says it best - "Gonna' have to figure a way to set yourself apart to expand the customer base".

In other words, why should I buy from*you*?

If I write a review after buying a bike package from you, hopefully it would read something like, "A real pleasure to deal with. Put together a package based on my needs, set it all up, and gave me a discount on the complete bike and accessories. Five *'s."

From: APauls
07-Feb-23
Only eBike concerns I've had is getting dust in the motor while driving with it on gravel roads and keeping batteries warm in the cold.

From: Beendare
07-Feb-23
Yeah, I agree with the guys saying the hunting market is too small, I like Jaq’s Urban marketing strategy.

That has to be tough owning a Ebike store with all of the online competition.

From: BUCKeye
07-Feb-23
I love the rent or test drive option. I have one hill in mind that if a bike with trailer can tow a 200 lb load plus me up the hill, I would buy one for sure. I just want to borrow or rent one to try first.

From: Jaquomo
07-Feb-23
In Fort Collins CO there are ebikes all over town that people simply jump on, insert a credit card, and ride away. The concession then drives around and picks them up from street corners every couple days. Townie ebikes are exploding in trendy, bike-friendly cities.

A few towns have bike shops that rent them, like Steamboat Springs. But that's a brick-and-mortar business, and John probably doesn't want to go there. The shift would be into marketing to the potential urban bike buyers. It's becoming a crowded market but I haven't seen any one company emerge as THE leader.

From: eBike John
08-Feb-23
Thanks for all the advice guys. There's lots to ponder. I'll take it all in and come up with something. Whatever I decide it will be with your advice in mind. Onwards and Upwards

From: WaleCanaty
27-Apr-23
I particularly like the idea of solar generators to charge ebikes remotely, that sounds like a useful and eco-friendly addition. As for gun safes, I can see the appeal for hunters or anyone who wants to store their firearms safely while on the road. To add to the discussion, have you thought about other outdoor adventure-related products like camping gear, backpacks, or even binoculars? On a separate note, I've been reading up on SEO Trends lately and thought it might be helpful to share some insights. These could potentially appeal to your existing customer base and attract new ones as well.

From: Fields
27-Apr-23
tough market... personally, I think the price of the bike has taken the average user out of the equation.. $4-5000 for a bike is way beyond what the casual biker is willing to spend. Competing against Cabelas, etc. is a no win.. You offer service on the bikes? (Demographics are a problem, but what about people that are close to you) That was/is my biggest concern with mine. In depth, how to videos would be a great service, but not a money maker like you are looking for. Expanding you merchandise offerings is always a plus, but the added $$ needed for keeping inventory for everything possible that you would sell would be a major investment, and there would be no guarantee what you sell, would sell, especially when people can browse any price on the internet... I like the rental ideas, but...... upkeep, breakdowns, misuse, etc. would be tough... Solar charger that works... gold!!!

Good luck!!

From: Buckdeer
26-Sep-23
While you are building racks for ebikes why not design some for tractors and UTVs that don't cost 300.00

02-Apr-24
It's a tough market, in my opinion. But I think it's a good idea to add more categories, depending on the demand in your area. What have you decided to do after all? Running a business, especially those which are in trouble, is hard, but with "smart" moves, it all can be improved. I also have a business, but now I am working on some improvements, especially those connected to hiring people. I came across this article https://ddi-dev.com/blog/case/how-we-build-custom-applicant-tracking-system-recruiting-needs/ some time ago and found out more detailed info about ATS and thought that it may help me. I read a lot of info about it, found a good company to work with, and now I will finally start working on implementing it. So I think such info can be found for any type of business.

13-Jun-24
I believe there would be a market for rentals. Either for a couple days local and or longer term (by the week) for hunter. I also like the idea of a portable charger.

Just my .02. I have looked for E Bike rentals in CO for elk hunts in CO and WY.

From: roseforyou
18-Jun-24
Hello there! It's great to hear you're considering diversifying your offerings, especially given the challenges with ebike sales lately. When I was looking to expand my business, I found that listening to customer feedback was key. One thing that stood out was the need for reliable accessories like bike racks and portable power solutions.

I recently came across Me Pos, a point of sale system that helped me streamline sales and customer transactions. It might be worth exploring to manage your new product lines efficiently. Also, think about complementary items like outdoor gear or maintenance tools that could appeal to your customer base.

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