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Humble Guy Does $35,000,000 in Revenue — Part 1
Ramon Van Meer is the CEO and Founder of Alpha Paw, a leading pet wellness brand that has grown into an eight-figure empire. Alpha Paw has been featured on FOX, NBC, Allure, and many other popular sources.
As a serial entrepreneur, Ramon has started and built multiple successful companies, including Soap Hub, a multimillion-dollar content site, Toodledo, a set of organizational tools, and Growth Hacker TV, a video site for start-ups. His life goals are to become the Marcus Lemonis for tech companies and to finally beat his son at chess.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [02:00] Ramon Van Meer talks about his background in entrepreneurship
- [06:44] Some of the lessons Ramon learned from purchasing multiple businesses
- [13:53] Why Ramon enjoys the fast pace of the e-commerce space
- [18:36] Ramon talks about growing Alpha Paw from $13,000 to $150,000 in revenue in just one month
- [22:33] The importance of having courage to take the first step in your entrepreneurial journey
- [28:53] Ramon explains how he generated recurring revenue by expanding his product offerings
In this episode…
What are some of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when buying a business? How do you create an enduring enterprise in the e-commerce space?
Ramon Van Meer understands the risks involved with acquiring a new business. Growing and building a brand takes work, but Ramon has the courage to make lasting connections, develop effective solutions, and implement unique and proven content strategies. He grew his pet wellness brand to an enterprise with over $35 million in revenue. Now, he’s here to share his story with you.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley is joined by Ramon Van Meer, the CEO and Founder of Alpha Paw, to talk about building a brand from the ground up and turning it into an e-commerce empire. Ramon discusses his inspiring journey to entrepreneurship, how to turn a cash negative business into a cash positive one, and the inventive ideas that transformed his pet wellness brand.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Ramon Van Meer on LinkedIn
- Alpha Paw
- Ramon Van Meer on the Quiet Light Podcast
- Ramon Van Meer on My First Million
- Quiet Light
- Quiet Light on YouTube
- Joe Valley
- Mark Daoust
- Quiet Light Podcast email: [email protected]
- The EXITpreneur’s Playbook: How to Sell Your Online Business for Top Dollar by Reverse Engineering Your Pathway to Success by Joe Valley
- Shaan Puri on LinkedIn
- Sam Parr on LinkedIn
- Blue Ribbon Mastermind
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.
There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. By providing trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations, your Quiet Light advisor isn’t your every-day broker—they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.
If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.
Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on their website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!
What are you waiting for? Quiet Light is offering the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to quietlight.com, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.
Hi, folks. It’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.
Joe Valley 0:29
Hey, folks, welcome back to another episode of the Quiet Light Podcast today. We’ve got Ramon Van Meer back with us, I think, for the third time, and I’m gonna just say a little bit about Ramon, and then, you know, make him say himself as well. But Ramon is an immigrant, a father, an entrepreneur, built sold a $9 million content site, he has bought some sites from Quiet Light and others since selling that content site. Some have been okay. Some have been him. I wish I didn’t do that. And some, or one is generating $35 million a year in revenue. And we’re looking towards a hopefully, a nine figure exit someday. Ramon, Did I say anything in that intro that I wasn’t supposed to say first and foremost?
Ramon Van Meer 1:22
No, no, my new Mojo is like I want to build in public. And so you can say anything. Just a small disclaimer, I wish it was 35 million a year. But it was a 35 million total since you know, in two and a half years.
Joe Valley 1:39
Oh, that’s not terrible, either. Cuz you didn’t advise for 40 14 million, you bought it for how much?
Ramon Van Meer 1:47
I bought that business for a little over $300,000. Excluding inventory. So including him through it was below 400k. And I bought it’s two and a half years
Joe Valley 1:59
ago. That’s a pretty epic success story right there, folks, for those that are watching on video. It’s the beautiful dog products behind him called Alpha Paw. And we’re going to jump into that after we talk about your success. So success and so so well, no epic failure, you’re still you’re still paying on an SBA loan for a business doesn’t cover the cost of it, I think. But let’s talk about the number one mistake, I think. Well, I think that you made my friend go back to when you sold. Soap Hub, you. You took how much time off before you jumped into another business?
Ramon Van Meer 2:39
Okay, I was waiting. I was like, where’s he going? Because we made a lot of mistakes. So I was like, which one are we going to talk about? Yeah, so one mistake is I, I think the inked of the contract was not even dry of selling my Soap Hub websites for life changing amounts. And thank you, by the way, Joe for helping with that. But I already bought one sites and other company couple weeks before that. I was, I think in due diligence of buying a second one. And then very shortly after bots in other words, so I bought three totally different internet businesses around the same time. But I did not take any time off and reflect or like okay, what’s gonna be my next step in life
Joe Valley 3:32
he wish you had.
Ramon Van Meer 3:35
So that’s a tough question. Because if I say I wish I would have I might not have found in bots, Alpha Paw. And my life would have been different. It but if my next exits, I definitely going to think we talked about over the phone a couple of weeks ago, I’m definitely going to take a couple months break and travel and spend time with my family, my son and friends, and then decide what’s next.
Joe Valley 4:07
Yeah, cuz you’re a young guy. You’re not really even if you end up with a nine figure exit, you’re not gonna kick back and do nothing for the rest of your life. Right? You’re an entrepreneur thrown through. You’ve had a construction business, a content site about soap operas, even though you’ve never watched an entire soap opera still to this day, right?
Ramon Van Meer 4:25
Yeah, keep an eye can Yeah, okay. It’s
Joe Valley 4:29
Euro. Yeah, cuz you’re a former MMA fighter. You’re a boxer. I see you on Facebook, beating up Sam par. Actually, I’m gonna just wear it folks. This is just two guys talking just for the record. So I was I watched one video you and Sam on Facebook. And he was doing all right. But then he ducked and jabbed in suede and you punched him in the ridge and I could hear him exhaling. And that was the end of the video, because I think it was the end of this are a match.
Ramon Van Meer 5:01
That was the end of the match. Yeah. All props to Sam Parr. So Sam Parr and I are really good friends for a long time, he used to own the hustle brick newsletter. And he got really, you know, into boxing a couple months ago. So he started to train more and more and, but he got really, really good. So I’m actually I was on Sean’s my first million podcast, and we were talking about maybe doing an boxing match with Sam and Shawn versus maybe two other podcasters. Okay, I’m on like a live stream. So I think you’re in the same weight class, so maybe not
Joe Valley 5:47
quite. Having back 50 pounds. I don’t know how big. How big is Sean?
Ramon Van Meer 5:53
He’s 200 pounds. And he’s six foot even six
Joe Valley 5:57
divided by 40 pounds. What about? Yeah, what about Sam?
Ramon Van Meer 6:00
Sam is 202 A so
Joe Valley 6:03
not only do they both have me by 40 pounds, or four inches taller than me, but they’re also a decade younger, at least right? I’m old man. I’m 55 years old. I’m not Tom Brady? 55. I’m just simply Joe Valley old 55. They call me grandpa here on the Quiet Light team.
Ramon Van Meer 6:22
Yeah, we can do a grandpa division. Maybe a couple of other old schoolers.
Joe Valley 6:27
Yeah. All right, back to back to and we’ll talk maybe we’ll come back around to a question I have about social media influencers, on Facebook and whatnot in a certain light? Because I’m curious as hell about it. But let’s, let’s talk about the first purchase that you did. You said you made three I know they can we name what they are? Are you alright? So? You sold? Soap Hub, you bought list? 25? Which was a what
Ramon Van Meer 7:00
was it content sides plus YouTube channel. Been around for 10 years? Very steady traffic SEO rankings. And it was very flat where I was not done. But for years, it was very predictable.
Joe Valley 7:20
From a high quality seller with a great personal brand and reputation great brand new business. What happened? That one? Is the one where you’re still paying an SBA loan amount that does that. Does the income cover the loan amount at this point? Are you in the in the red? Yeah,
Ramon Van Meer 7:37
so this is not a good promotional video for SBA loans. But I bought the business. I think after 12 months, both Google and actually YouTube started making changes in the algorithm. What affected both the Google traffic, you know, site traffic to the website. But actually, also the average views on the YouTube channel, also the client pretty, pretty quick. Now, I do have to say is that I think a big part of the problem is also focus. Right? So I, I am very confident if list 25 was my only project. And I just only focus on that I would have found ways to get it back up, right with SEO with new content, new ideas. But at that’s around that same time, when those updates came, my ecommerce business was blowing up. So I literally was not I was spending less than an hour a week on list. 25. So that’s another thing is like, yeah, you know, attention goes where energy flows, basically. Right? Like I’ve no, I don’t put any effort in as well.
Joe Valley 8:56
Okay. I totally agree. I’m glad I’m so glad you said that. Because I I agree that hindsight, going back to that question, do you wish you took time off, if you had, you might not have wound up buying and building Alpha Paq to the level that it’s at. But at the same time, you wouldn’t have bought, or if you had bought less 25 and just made it your sole focus. You might have blown that up as well, knowing you and what you’re capable of. It’s, I have no doubt that you would have you would have somehow blown that up as well. But your lack of focus on that one, you spread yourself too thin you had that business which you know, this was over a million dollar purchase a generating a fair amount of traffic and revenue. And you were like a side project. And at one point, the other one that you bought was a so you bought that’s content. And then you thought you know, I’m going to stick to content, so therefore, I’m going to buy a SaaS business
Ramon Van Meer 9:57
says it all Yes. I? Well, the reason to was like, I don’t know what I want to do next, right? Like, is it content? Is it SAS? Is it ecommerce, and I happen to come across this SAS business that I thought, oh, there’s, it’s an amazing product, great seller, you know, was built with passion. But I saw a couple marketing levers that I think, Oh, we can just do these four or five things and increase, you know, the value, the revenue, etc.
Joe Valley 10:38
And how much time a week did you end up putting into that? Actually, you hired somebody to run it, right?
Ramon Van Meer 10:45
Yeah, so it’s sort of a unofficial co founder, basically a friend of mine as a developer who did run
Joe Valley 10:53
the was he a marketer or a developer, or a little bit above?
Ramon Van Meer 10:58
A little bit, mainly developer, but also have like a really good marketing? So I’ve been working with him day in day out for the last four years.
Joe Valley 11:07
And did you buy that one before or after Alpha Paw?
Ramon Van Meer 11:14
We were right in the middle. It has to be the same. I forgot the exact closing date, but it has to be the same like a couple of weeks, like either before or after it was around. So yeah,
Joe Valley 11:25
sure. Why not just do everything at once.
Ramon Van Meer 11:31
Though, listen to me. Whatever I say do the opposite.
Joe Valley 11:38
List. 25. Just for the record. It’s still up still active. Is it something you would like to exit?
Ramon Van Meer 11:45
Joe Valley 11:50
Yeah. So anyone that’s out there that is really good at content and YouTube and whatnot. Take a look at list 25. If you absolutely love it, we’ll give Ramon’s information ouqor you Ramon. All right. All right. All right. So the second one was Toodledo. If I recall, and you ended up in time selling that one. And and were you at the end of the day. Cash negative cash positive on that one with the income that it made and the exit that you had?
Ramon Van Meer 12:42
No. cash positive. It was I think I owned it for a little over two years, or around two years. And it made profits since day one, it was always profitable. So that turned out, you know, good amount of profit, almost recouped my money in two years. Okay, and then sold for, you know, more than I bought it for.
Joe Valley 13:13
Okay, that’s a great success story. You made 100% of your money back almost all of it in 24 months, which is amazing. And then sold it for more, a little bit more than what you sold it for what you bought it for. Correct? That’s correct. Okay, that’s great. And that was all part time with a developer running it slash marketer. And you were still focused on Alpha at the same time.
Ramon Van Meer 13:34
Yeah, the same amount of hours that I put in List 25. And put it into like, I really didn’t focus or did anything,
Joe Valley 13:43
an hour a week, a month, week or month. Not enough. Let’s just call it Yeah. Anything let’s get on to the big dog. Pun intended. Let’s get on to Alpha Paw. That one you actually didn’t buy from Quiet Light you bought it from an Australian owner. And its primary product was a dog wrap at the time that you bought it big, heavy physical product that probably required a lot of working capital for the owner of that business which most people have trouble with. Why did you why did you like that one? Why did you want to jump into E commerce when your experience was truly within the content space?
Ramon Van Meer 14:31
Yeah, that’s a good question. And it was the first time I cheated on Quiet Light and Okay, when torque but you forgave me somehow thank you for that. Um, the i But e commerce really like I have friends in E commerce and you know, listening to the stories and it’s like, what I do like from ecommerce, it’s really it can go up really fast can go down pretty fast, right? Like it’s it’s versus SAS is A little bit more stable, right? Like it’s not typical, you
Joe Valley 15:03
like it to go up really fast or down really fast. You don’t like that stable steady growth zone. You just said,
Ramon Van Meer 15:10
I didn’t say I like one that the other I said like, I that’s what I like from ecommerce. It’s like, Hey, you, you know you, you create a couple ads, you put it on Facebook, and it’s like you do some stuff that can overnight generate, you know, 50k 100k and say,
Joe Valley 15:26
Yeah, I got stunning, stunning stuff, which, yes, yeah,
Ramon Van Meer 15:30
it’s instant endorphin release, right. Like, it’s really that versus SAS, is, of course, it’s a better business model. In my opinion, SAS is the best business, but it’s like, it’s just like, slower. And it’s just like, you know, that takes a little bit longer and, but it’s extremely predictable. And it’s, you know, that compounding effect, you know, and recurring revenue. But it’s not as addicting for me, at least at that time. See, you know, ecommerce where you can literally, you know, when I bought it, it was, remember the January was $13,000 for the whole month. And then then it went 250k in February and then
Joe Valley 16:15
stop right there. Holy cow, you you more than 10 times to the revenue within 60 days after you bought it.
Ramon Van Meer 16:24
Yeah, a little bit. Like I officially closed I think like, first week of December. So took December just to get you situated. January. really started little bit working on it. And February was like I really focus a little bit more on it. And then I saw like, oh, wow, from an X within one month by just doing
Joe Valley 16:48
No wonder you got excited about it. Yeah. So by just doing blank, let’s fill that in. And folks, I want to tell you right now that you know what Ramon is going to talk about here, I think is reverse engineering, you know, the path to x. And the subtitle of my book includes that because of Ramon, it’s, it’s your let’s just talk about your education level for a moment. Ramon, tell me if this is I’m going to I’m going to tell you what I tell people that you are invited to not complete your 12 years of schooling. Because you’d been kicked out of so many schools is that is it in the in your home country?
Ramon Van Meer 17:34
Is that correct? Yeah. So when I was 14, close to 15, and I was let go by my high school again. No other high school wanted to accept me. And so the government or like whoever is in charge in Holland for making sure kids go to school basically gave a waiver to my mom of like, okay, he doesn’t have to stay in school for until 16. Okay.
Joe Valley 18:04
I just say that for those folks that are, you know, Harvard, MBA Wharton graduates, wherever you are. That, you know, your college education doesn’t equal success. Because Ramon doesn’t have any of that he was invited by the country of Holland not to finish his 12 years of schooling, yet everything that he’s wanted to learn, he reverse engineered a path to it to figure out what steps he had to take to achieve his goal. And so you can do just about anything, folks. Ramon has proven that day in and day out with the content business with the SAS business and now with Alpha Paw, where he bought it for $300,000. And he’s done 35 million in revenue, where the first full month of his ownership he did 13,000 in revenue and that he did 150,000 in revenue the next month. Let’s talk about how you did that by just doing blank. What was the blank? What did you do to go from 13,000 to $150,000 in revenue? Don’t tell me you spent $250,000 on average.
Ramon Van Meer 19:11
Oh no. And this was my way this was before iOS updates, the row has returned an aspect was amazing. I will do anything to go back to those days. So the reasons why bots for people that are interested I get that question now a lot after the tweets of like, okay, what a way to find those deals in which you look at is when I typically buy a business I want to if you compare it with real estates, I’m looking for a fixer upper crappy house and really up and coming promising neighbor. I’m not looking for a new build that has nothing to optimize. I typically don’t buy businesses from other internet marketers that are smarter than me, because what I’m like they already optimized Right, so there’s nothing to improve. So when I looked at this deal, I liked it because A, it actually solves a real problem. It’s an actually solves a problem for a niche audience. The owners were passionate, they actually came up with idea because they had that problem. But they were not internet marketers. So what they were not doing Facebook ads, they were not doing email marketing, not to even existing customers, let alone to abandoned cart, let alone to, you know, people that sign up for the newsletter, they did have no, no emails were sent.
Joe Valley 20:40
This is stuff that you didn’t have experience with either at the time, right?
Ramon Van Meer 20:45
No, but like you said, like I, what I typically like to do is break it down in simple steps, like that’s, like, fancy pansy Or like, you know, really high level, just like reading simple steps. And then reverse engineer. And what I also like to do is, talk, you know, not so much network, but it’s like, trying to find people that are already doing it, or have done it, and then ask for advice. And, you know,
Joe Valley 21:20
if you ask 10 people for their advice like that, how many said, How many got on a call with you or spent 15 minutes with you at an event?
Ramon Van Meer 21:29
Um, well, I don’t know, like the conversion rate on that. But typically, it’s very high because I yeah, it also depends who introduced you like now, you know, if we have the common friends, right, like, so it’s easier now to get an introduction.
Joe Valley 21:48
But good, let me just let me I asked that with a specific thing in mind, we were at the Blue Ribbon mastermind event down in St. Pete, Florida, I think it was and this speaker got up I forget what her name was, she gave an amazing talk on something that I had no experience. And but it was very, very in line with what you needed to do and what you wanted to do. I remember, and, lo and behold, there you are out there when we’re having lunch and whatever you were, you know, chewing your ear for 30 minutes, and you guys are deeply engaged in a conversation only because you had the balls to go up and talk to her. That’s the part of it right? You got to have the courage to go up and say hello and ask the question. Yeah, I mean, that’s the first step. Is it not?
Ramon Van Meer 22:40
Yeah. And real odd, like very honest. Like, I’m very introvert. So to be still to today. It’s really hard for me to do that. To step up to a person that’s standing alone, let alone in a group like I will, I don’t know, I don’t know what it has, like, I don’t think that will ever change.
Joe Valley 22:58
I’m right there with you. And I’m the same. We’re not all that different. microphones, and it’s easy to talk one on one because we’re just hanging out having a good time. Same thing with podcast hosting, but you expect me to walk up to a group of five or six people in a conversation? Where I don’t know them really well. Yeah, I’m gonna find a reason to, you know, get a drink at the bar. Yeah, exactly. So take that first step and engage and ask the question, say hello. Or how do you reach out to somebody? You know, for people that don’t have you know, their their boxing buddy is not Sam Parr Right? Yeah. How do you connect with people when you don’t have that introduction?
Ramon Van Meer 23:44
Yeah. Well, I can tell you how I actually got to know Sam, because I was in San Francisco. Didn’t know anybody. Nobody and it was just started to work on SoapHub.com, and single dad, so I cannot really go to all these networking events. Plus, as a extreme introvert, those were like really not super effective anyway. And at that time, I also had nothing. I had no really track record, either, basically. So yeah, that never was effective. But what I did with Sam to get his attention he had a second or third conference conference of pasa con and I bought a t shirt or gotta teach them I forgot but it was I had a t shirt from the hustle con and put it on took a picture selfie with a T shirt on and messaged me and congratulated him on the on the event that’s it I had no as cut in like, oh, pick your brain or can we? Can I buy you coffee or, or sometimes, you know, I get emails like they’re just very blunt. Like, Hey, can I schedule a call? to ask you questions for 30 minutes is like, but I just messaged with a picture that I knew, like at least will he get, like, the gig out of or like, you know, response. And we just, you know, started talking a little bit more like about the conference. Oh, I like this. And it was very natural. I don’t know how to teach that, basically, I think it’s just like it has to come organic. I don’t know if that makes.
Joe Valley 25:30
No, I hear you. I think that people understand as well. But let’s, let’s jump back to the How to on going from 13,000 to $150,000 in revenue from one month to the next. What did you do?
Ramon Van Meer 25:41
Yeah. So no, there were no doing Facebook ads. So that was the first thing we did. We graphed footage from customers that because they tagged us, or send footage in ask permission. And we put it like, no fancy ads, we just put, you know, user generated content in and ads. And maybe the only edits was at the end like a call to action like by now basically, it was a very simple app. So Facebook ads first. Secondly, updating the website. It was a very old website, conversion rates. I forgot to number but it was really bad because it was just very, like very slow was like, confusing was built on Magento a ton shop Shopify now. Right. Yeah, we switched to Shopify, you know. And the number three was really email marketing by email marketing is not just sending campaigns, but it’s also flows. Somebody puts in something into baskets, puts their name and email but then doesn’t don’t buy they get an email, automated email flow. Somebody puts an email at a pop off, but don’t end up buying gets another email flow.
Joe Valley 26:57
Did you hire an expert company to help you with that? Or did you figure that out yourself?
Ramon Van Meer 27:03
No, we did it.
Joe Valley 27:04
You did it. Microsoft? Yeah. Well,
Ramon Van Meer 27:06
who’s we? Oh, team,
Joe Valley 27:08
we already hired people to help you with it inside staff.
Ramon Van Meer 27:12
We had. Yeah, we had the same developer that worked on Toodledoo also work with me on football. And now the first hire was two months after two months after I was
Joe Valley 27:28
Yeah. And so I’m assuming you probably used Klaviyo for that email automation. At that
Ramon Van Meer 27:35
time. No, I didn’t time even MailChimp. Just simple. Yeah. Yeah, because we just just started, I didn’t know what play flavor was at that time. So.
Joe Valley 27:47
And so how long did you maintain? That $150,000 a month, kind of, you know, what did you continue to grow simply with Facebook ads? And what did you and email automation? And then what did you bolt on next? In terms of marketing?
Ramon Van Meer 28:06
Yeah, once we start seeing, Oh, this, this is really working. We just mainly skills and focus on Facebook, Facebook ads, with what was working? Yes. And we add added up Google AdWords, of course, which are limited to search volume, and it’s just only X amount of people are, you know, searching for a dog ramp? Yeah. So at that time, it was very limited. So it was mainly focusing on Facebook. ads, you know, trying different demographics, different video ads, different, you know, all that stuff.
Joe Valley 28:52
So you know, in the image behind you, you’ve got the dog ramp up at the top and the dog ramp, folks is for smaller dogs, older dogs getting up on couches, beds, things of that nature, because they can really hurt themselves if they jump off of something like that. But you don’t just have that there that’s on the top shelf. You’ve got dog food, cat food, all sorts of different things. Did you when you wanted to, you know at one point, we talked about a unicorn valuation for Alpha Paw billion dollars and you did your whole reverse engineer path do that? What do I have to do on revenue? What do I have to do for recurring revenue, things of that nature? At what point did you say okay, I’m going to go beyond the dog ramp. I’m going to add in XYZ products and how you’re going to add those into to build them. Did you buy that? Let’s
Ramon Van Meer 29:41
talk talk about that a little bit. Yeah. Because the main issue was not an issue but like the main potential downside of the ramp business. It isn’t one off product. It’s not something that a person needs every week every month. Maybe somebody buys it for to bedroom, but that’s mainly it. Yeah. Where you know that in every advertising evolution in my opinion, you know, there’s going to be a ceiling eventually, right, and especially for a niche product like Iraq. So right away, I knew like we’re going to hit a ceiling with rams, we’re going to have to pivot to something a consumable product that people need every day, every week every month, not just to keep the growth going, but also for evaluation. As you pro, you know, much better than me, like, you’re going to get a lot better multiple variation if you have a dog food company versus around the company. And especially in the pet space, that’s that difference could be huge. And so right away, once we hit some sort of scale with the Rams itself, we started trying to test out other products. Hey, if we know that you have a Daxon unit, we know your vaccine is 10 years old, what other products could we sell to? To you? So we’ve been testing and launching our own products, but we also bought a rolled up a bunch of smaller prints.
Joe Valley 31:22
Which one? Is this has been more effective to you buying or building? Or are they
Ramon Van Meer 31:28
just different? They’re different what I’ve a lesson that I’ve actually now I’ve learned in the last couple months, it is, for me, at least in this situation a lot harder to integrate another existing brands into your own brands, where I was probably a little naive thinking like, oh, you know, we just cross promote. And that will work.
Joe Valley 31:57
Because then you’re a conglomerate with a whole bunch of different brands as opposed to putting in the Alpha Paw label on it. Is that what you mean?
Ramon Van Meer 32:05
Yeah, or? Yeah. So for example, we have a custom print on demand brands, and like, oh, we just send out an email to our Alpha Paw customers like, Hey, this is our sister company. You know, Here’s a coupon you know, it’s not performing as well as I hoped, or
Joe Valley 32:24
custom print on demand. Now that is pet related.
Ramon Van Meer 32:29
Yeah. This because
Joe Valley 32:31
they’re getting images of pets.
Ramon Van Meer 32:34
Okay. Yeah, so you upload a picture of your pets, then we have an artist making, you know, an art version of your pets. And then you can pick out different backgrounds. And then you can order a canvas and phone case, t shirts, whatever.
Joe Valley 32:50
So it’s harder to integrate an existing brand into the Alpha Paw brand, you know, overall brand than it is to start a new brand. In some cases, like if you if you’re gonna, you’ve got you’ve got pet food back there as well. Is that stuff that you bought or built? Or combination?
Ramon Van Meer 33:11
Yeah, the food we we started because it’s not that if I if I’m, if we want, we know what direction we want to go into. We’re not going to wait until a company’s up for sale or like if nothing comes around. So we will launch launch it ourselves. The key has actually it has this side. That’s what I bought. Okay, yeah. Also through Quiet Light. I was an Amazon business 100 bought
Joe Valley 33:43
something from another broker acquire, but it wasn’t me. You cheating on me twice. First, she bought some of the brokerage firm. I’m totally kidding, people. Now that that kind of makes sense, though, because you’ve got small dogs and older dogs, and you could be apartment living in and then not being able to get outside or down the stairs might kind of make sense. But you had to integrate that brand into Alpha Paw and that was a little bit of a challenge was that better than the print on demand
Ramon Van Meer 34:12
business? That was better than the print on demand. But it was still, you know, it was a work, but it was less work and starting from scratch, because a Jordana supply chain. Yeah, that you take over, you have already some sort of a product market fit, you have history, you have revenue, you have profit. So it’s definitely some product if it makes sense. It really works. I just like in a couple insistence that we acquired something and just the integration, you know, didn’t work as well.
Joe Valley 34:52
I could think that yeah. And as you said, you know, you can’t sit around and wait for somebody to sell the business. That’s the good fit. Integration wise, versus starting a brand yourself. I mean, you can do both. I like the approach that you did both if a really good fit comes along, you take action on it, but you could be waiting years for that really good fit to come along. Exactly. Hey, folks, we’re gonna wrap right there for the Ramon part one episode, we’re gonna do another 30 minutes or so in part two and talk further about how he built that dog food formula, what some of the challenges were with it, how he is customizing packages for different types of dogs, different types of dog owners, and how he raised capital, he raised about $8 million to help build the brand for his ultimate exit goal, which has changed, it’s no longer a billion dollar exit. He’s come down to earth a little bit and has reassessed his goals and his personal life in what he’s trying to achieve. Ultimately, he’s still going to have I think a nine figure exit, it’s just not going to be 10. Right? Let’s not feel sorry for him. Things are pretty solid and Ramon’s life. And he’s just a regular guy who’s had an incredible success by reaching through to people when they are kind of unreachable, just by being a real person and connecting with them without necessarily saying, Hey, can I buy you a virtual cup of coffee and pick your brain, it’s more of more realistic contacts and without without necessarily wanting anything in return. That’s how he initially connected with Sam and the two of them over the years have become best friends and helped each other grow their own businesses to heights that most of us can only dream out. So tune in next week for episode two of the Ramon Van Meer interview.
today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected] Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.