Never Miss a Beat - Get Updates Direct to Your Inbox
Humble Guy Does $35,000,000 in Revenue — Part 2
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:
- [04:20] Ramon Van Meer discusses his approach to formulating nutritional and breed-specific dog food
- [07:56] How Ramon engaged with consumers in the pet industry to create a more successful e-commerce business
- [16:16] Ramon explains how Alpha Paw is developing personalized, custom pet products
- [24:02] Ramon’s tips for conversing with potential buyers and investors to expand your business
- [31:57] Some of the lessons Ramon learned from rapidly growing his revenue
In this episode…
Are you looking to develop products that meet your customers’ needs and passions? How can you continue to grow your brand after launching a successful product line and reaching each business milestone?
Ramon Van Meer knows that developing your brand comes with its fair share of mistakes and successes. After bootstrapping his pet wellness business, he has created an established brand with over $35 million in revenue — and he is continuing to shatter the e-commerce ceiling by offering products that reach his customers’ individual needs. How did he do it? By listening and engaging with consumers to continue to scale past each milestone.
In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Joe Valley sits down with Ramon Van Meer, the CEO and Founder of Alpha Paw, to talk about building communities and loyal customers for his e-commerce brand. Ramon discusses why he chose to create a brand in the pet wellness industry, how he raised capital and launched an enterprise, and his tips for revolutionizing and scaling your product line through feedback and personalization.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Ramon Van Meer on LinkedIn
- Ramon Van Meer on Twitter
- Alpha Paw
- Ramon Van Meer on The Quiet Light Podcast
- 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
- Blue Ribbon Mastermind
- Johnny Volk on LinkedIn
- Sam Parr on LinkedIn
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. This one is part two of the Ramon Van Meer interview, where he sold a soap opera website. As you know, he’s never watched an entire soap opera in his life, yet he sold it for just under nine figures pretty amazing success there. If you didn’t listen to part one, please go back and listen to part one. Ramon is an immigrant, he’s a single dad, he does not have a college degree, yet. He’s gone from selling a first online business for 7000, all the way up to 9 million. And now he has built a business thought business for $300,000 and generated $35 million in revenue through the first day of view date, with an ultimate exit goal of nine figures. It used to be 10. But he’s reassessed his life and what he’s trying to achieve. And he’s just a regular guy, he’s somebody that you want to have a beer with, and, and connect with and just talk with, and he talks in the second episode about building the or designing the the dog food, pet line, right any any narrows in on different types of dogs, first with dachshunds, then Golden Retrievers, because those are the two biggest communities. And he talks about building communities a little bit as well, and how important it is to building a brand. And a customer base. He also talks a little bit in this next episode about the raising of capital, he decided that he would raise capital, so we could take this to the next level raised about $8 million, and a little bit about that process. And then why he raised capital, he knows that he can take a business from zero to 20,000, 35 in this case, but he’s not quite sure if he’s the guy to get it to a billion dollar valuation. And that’s why he, you know, did some, you know, self reflection and decided, you know, reassessed his own personal goals and likes and dislikes, and said, you know, what, this unicorn valuation, maybe that’s not really what I want, you know, he’s a single dad wants to spend as much time with his son Victor as he can, because, you know, in the blink of an eye, for those that have kids, you know, in college or in high school, you know, that that that time has gone by very quickly. And he’s realizing that now he’s gonna spend as much time with Victor as he can build this business up repays investors repay his friends who invested and advisors that that joined and got equity as well get them paid first, and then hopefully have plenty of leftover for himself as well before he goes on to his next adventure, because he’s not done. He’s still a relatively young guy, and won’t be done. But this time, he’s going to take some time off. We talked about all of that, and much more, in part two, of the Ramon Van Meer episode. So listen, 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 have 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. And and it’s not like, you know, launching a business from scratch is for everyone. It’s definitely got its challenges. You know, just developing a line of pet food related products has got to have its own set of challenges from regulation standpoint. But what you have is a built in database of customers that you can market these products to as the first line of revenue. So that’s important for people to understand. But let’s talk about you know, the, the product development when it comes to food, because you’re talking about dog and cat food. It looks like back there on your shelf. Where do you start with something like that? Yeah. Okay, I’m going to start a dog food brand. How do you do that? What did you do?
Ramon Van Meer 4:38
Yeah, the dog foods. I wish I could have acquired one and just skipped that whole step. Because we’ve been working on that for over 12 months. It’s extremely because you’re dealing with regulations, you’re dealing with. Formulas, ingredients, tastes tests. I’m finding co packers because we tried to launch during the, you know, COVID, pandemic. And all, not just dog foods, I think just you know, in general, a lot of suppliers were just like, running over hours because of demand was, you know, people were stocking up dog foods for months and months to finding co packers that want to work with you, because a lot of them you’re nothing you’re nobody like, you know, some of them work with Costco and you know, these type of big retailers. So they don’t even take my calls. So and then you have the branding, and then you have to testing with your customer. So it is it’s a huge was a huge project to to launch.
Joe Valley 5:51
And it’s off the ground. Now you’ve launched what have you launched the food related wise?
Ramon Van Meer 5:55
Yeah, so what we’ve done, and it’s a little bit unique, you don’t see that in the pet food space is where we have a high quality kibble. But not just for every breed like one. One cable for every breed is really formulated for breed itself, so
Joe Valley 6:18
and so on. Yeah, most often I see food by age, correct? Yeah. Yeah, but sometimes size of a dog but yeah, okay. breed. All right.
Ramon Van Meer 6:30
Yeah, we believe like every breed has a different needs. That Daxon is very small as small legs, they’re prone to get IVDD and other spinal diseases, like around 30% of vaccines will get that in their lifespan. German shepherds have hippin joint typical issues. So every breed has, it’s just a different animal. You know? No pun intended. Yeah, because they’re just like different. A Pitbull has a different need of protein than a Daxon. So our formulas are really formulated and made by Yvette nutrition for a Daxon. So we have a vaccine foods that is really made for vaccines and optimized,
Joe Valley 7:15
how many different? How many different lines of food do you have for these different dogs?
Ramon Van Meer 7:20
We have two now. So what our approach is not to go wide right away, meaning like not launching 20 different.
Joe Valley 7:28
Okay, good. I was because I was all I was thinking about was some, you know, clothing related brands that they have nine colors and four different sizes of each of those, and then they’ve got, you know, 18 different skews on top of that. So you’re going you’ve got two, which, which which dog related? Which breeds Do you have?
Ramon Van Meer 7:47
We have a daschund. And we have a golden retriever formula.
Joe Valley 7:52
And why did you choose those two,
Ramon Van Meer 7:55
we on our ecommerce site on Alpha Paw. I’ve been building communities since I bought it where we’ve building communities around breeds. So we have an Instagram account, Facebook and Facebook group about taxes have the same about Golden Retrievers the same about pit bulls. Because I similar with the Soap Hub, I people are Love TV. They’re passionate about their days of our lives. People love pets, people love dogs, but a lot of them are very passionate about their breed. So we are creating communities where daschund owners can talk with all the action owners and we have events coming into the Facebook group. And so people can ask questions about and you can share pictures of backs. And the same we have with golden retriever and other breeds. So we’re really trying to build a very content slash Community First type approach
Joe Valley 9:03
to an E commerce business, which is just astounding. It’s awesome. And building a community is no that’s another business altogether. That’s another huge task. Did you is it did was it it? Was it a challenge with your list? Actually, you know what, let’s let’s not even go into the community building because I I know it’s I know it’s a big task and you can’t just flip it on and everybody shows up. So you’ve gone too deep. You’ve gone Golden Retrievers, and you’ve gone dotson’s All right. And, and you in developing these two particular ones, I assume that the communities were the biggest in those two and that’s why you chose those two,
Ramon Van Meer 9:45
correct. We owned those communities and we use the communities also for product development. Right. So the best thing if people like if you’re listening and you don’t know if you haven’t idea you don’t know if it’s good. You know, I could recommend besides recommending, you know, reading the X, your book is the Mom Test where you really right away, just ask your potential buyers, potential customers as much talk with your customers as much as possible. So we do the same we ask a lot from our communities like what, you know, what did they buy? And why do they buy it? And what do they feed? And why did they feed them? What did they read? And all that stuff really listening to the
Joe Valley 10:36
how do you ask them that? Do you just posted in the community? Do you have surveys? Do you have do do via email? How do you do it?
Ramon Van Meer 10:43
All Above sometimes even calling? So calling customers emailing, emailing a mass survey, if you want to just like, you know, ask, you know, tons of people, we asked in the Facebook group fan page?
Joe Valley 10:58
I would imagine since they’re so passionate about their pets, they’re really passionate about sharing their thoughts and their information. Yes. What did you learn what was the like, the most surprising thing you learned about, you know, their breed in the food that, you know, or any idea that you integrated into the, into the food line.
Ramon Van Meer 11:22
Um, mainly, well, what we learn and use right away, integrating is really like the decision making process of people because pets for a lot of people are their kids. So they’re very careful anchor, you know, of what they feeding the dogs. So it’s where maybe 20 years ago, it’s more, it’s more like whatever’s cheapest. And most convenient, we’ll just give that to our dogs. Nowadays, people are really treating their dogs as their kids. So they want high quality, and really focusing on ingredients, and also specific ingredients that should not be in it. And what I thought was interesting, and this is not what we something. That’s something we’re integrating, but I’m learning there’s like all these fads in the human diet space that people are copying in, you know, the pet space right now. So there’s dogs,
Joe Valley 12:31
Ramon Van Meer 12:32
yes, I’m serious. There’s a Keto. There’s people giving specific keto diet to the dogs, no scientific research, nothing is done. No vegetable ever, like no respect to, you know, respected vet can even recommend that because there’s never been clinical studies
Joe Valley 12:50
for you know, what they are, that all of the dogs, for the most part are doing intermittent fasting, because they’re fed, you know, sometimes once a day, or just twice a day. So they are doing that there’s
Ramon Van Meer 13:00
they’re doing that,
Joe Valley 13:01
I guess, yes. I thought about until you mentioned it, but all right. So so they’re doing some weird things, which is, you know, not recommended. But you you took that that you did the Mom Test. And I know that it’s you know, a label that applies to you know, dads that responded as well pet owner test to get feedback on on the food. And then you you share that I assume with your with your your what do you call them? The developer that created the the actual ingredients for the food? Who would that person be?
Ramon Van Meer 13:32
Yeah, so. Okay, I don’t know anything about dog foods. Where to start? Okay, let’s just Google dog food formula maker, vets. Oh, apparently there’s a whole a whole degree called vets vets veterinarian nutrition. So they go for years to school to learn about the trician up, but Google vet nutrition consultants, bad nutrition hire like and then just Google, oh, there’s actually a couple of consultants that you can, you know, hire and then just reach out and, hey, I have this idea. And this is how typically I find out or work on me everything that makes sense.
Joe Valley 14:19
It does the job. Those people are waiting for you to find them. You just had to dig hard to find them. You know, where they were they looking for a big retainer where they excited about the idea of developing product lines specific to breeds.
Ramon Van Meer 14:38
Yeah, like a lot of vets that I talked to agree and like, you know, numb the facts and just needs different number of protein or carbs are our calories than other breeds. So it’s So the problem is why you don’t see a lot of other companies, I think use it, it’s because of the supply chain complexity. Because if you want to do this for every breeds, you’re going to have, like, you know, hundreds of skews,
Joe Valley 15:16
well, hundreds of SKUs. And then what, you know, we go to a particular dog food, like warehouse, and they’ve got almost every, you know, breed of dog food there. But then they’re gonna have every kind of dog food. But imagine if for each brand of dog food, they’ll they had, you know, 14 different breeds as well. And in two different sizes, they don’t have warehouses big enough, whereas you do, you can just ship it all directly to them. So I guess it makes a whole lot more sense in today’s environment than than it did 20 years ago, when the online purchases were
Ramon Van Meer 15:53
minimal. Correct. So this is more DTC play, not so much of retail play, because this will be difficult to get into retail because they will there’s just not enough shelf space, longer to retail, so really difficult to get any amount of shelf space. So this is definitely more. DTC play. What we are working on right now is actually to take it a step further, where it’s actually a personalized approach where you go to very small short survey you fill out like what is your dog breeds age, weight. And then we’ll basically build a custom box that has kibble as a topping that you can make sure your kibble with and plus a mouth care because dental care is actually a very overlooked problem. We all should brush our dog’s teeth. I’ve never done it, maybe once but
Joe Valley 16:57
even though you know, I have a dog that now has seven teeth left. Because her teeth were rotting. She’s nice. And a lot of people usually see her in the background here, but she’s, she’s out. But yeah, no, that’s huge, huge.
Ramon Van Meer 17:12
It’s such a big problem. So we have a lot of care products
Joe Valley 17:16
and like a like a greeny type of thing. We have greenies that we give to the dogs and it’s they love it as a tree but it’s also cleaning their teeth, or are you talking about an actual brush?
Ramon Van Meer 17:26
Week? No, we actually have the sort of the dental sticks. We also have a mouth wash that you’ve mixed into the water drink. Oh, that’s yeah. Amazing. Yeah.
Joe Valley 17:41
So, you know,
Ramon Van Meer 17:43
Joe Valley 17:44
Wow. Okay. Tell me about the topic because I gotta tell you, you know, I have two of the pickiest dogs in the world. And right now I have three different brands of dog foods. They’re both about 1415 pounds each. You got to say some
Ramon Van Meer 17:58
mouthwash, by the way. The mouthwash you just put it in your water and helps cavities did
Joe Valley 18:08
your did your did your nutritionist come up with that or you saw other people were doing it. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
Ramon Van Meer 18:15
This was actually the CO Packer a co Packer that I worked was already working with showed me the product told me to benefits then we’re I always go back to our vets that you know, I don’t have to go to staff but I have them like you know, that I’ve really good relationship with is is really working is is a great product. And once I get the vet stamp of approval, then we basically launched a product.
Joe Valley 18:43
It’s interesting because you know, most mouthwashes are gargled and then spit out. Yeah, the dogs obviously are consuming it. So it’s okay. Digestive Lee, as well. Yeah,
Ramon Van Meer 18:53
yeah, yeah, doesn’t have chemicals.
Joe Valley 18:57
So you’ve got the dog food, you’ve got a topping to mix into the dog food, which my dogs would love. Because sometimes I have to feed them different types of, I literally have three different types of dog food because they get so bored. The mouth wash type of thing that you’re putting in their food, and then the dental sticks as well. Can, you know, can that package be customized so that, you know part of the problem? When I had a I had a supplement product and part of the problem was that some of my customers, you know, they don’t take it every day for 30 days. Sometimes they’d miss a few days here and there. And they’d start to get the product sooner than they’d run out. Have you adjusted allowing people to determine how often they get these packages?
Ramon Van Meer 19:44
Yeah, that’s so that’s a thing that we’re working on right now. It’s like because a daschund needs way less foods, way less mouthwash, way less toppings then you know, 100 pounds great dane. Yeah. So that that’s, that’s really like in the backend we’re working on like, who’s gonna get what when to make sure a never run out but also be you will not end up with you know, six bottles of these
Joe Valley 20:13
and I just log on to my account and say, you know, yes instead of on the 28th I want it on the fifth because I’m
Ramon Van Meer 20:20
correct. Yeah, nowadays especially with Shopify there’s so many amazing apps that that you know is already built for you where you can skip a delivery you can change delivery dates, you can you know, oh instead of this month I don’t want to mouthwash I just want to have the food and the topic and we even ask you to upload a picture of your dog because then we also print that on the box as well so it’s really a personalized feel personalized touched and then it’s going to your picture of your dog is will be sent to our artists and then you will get a digital arts version of your pet as well. So it’s really really giving that personalized and customized feel to the customer and giving all nutritional needs in one box monthly box ledges foods but also the toppings that will have you know your doc have allergy issues to topping will have anti allergy you know, supplements it doesn’t have. Wow,
Joe Valley 21:27
can I can I can I pick the different topic type?
Ramon Van Meer 21:32
Yeah. Really? Yes. labor.
Joe Valley 21:35
So you you are you are this is this is See look, I’m jet you don’t even know my dogs. So I’ve got this little heaven ease was 70s has allergists we can’t feed her chicken, we think you know, so we’ve taken all that out of her diet, she gets all sorts of stuff. But occasionally we have to give her the you know, human antihistamines to prevent the allergies and the flaring and that kind of stuff. If you’ve got a topic that’s specific to that, or something specific to, you know, their code to their, their breath or their eyesight. That’s, that’s really cool. Very smart. Yeah.
Ramon Van Meer 22:14
So that sort of kibble is more of a base, even though it’s specific for your breeds, but it’s a base. The topping is really more what your specific dog have issues with. Or if your dog doesn’t have any issues, the topic could be like a really good flavor or like a salmon oil. That’s really good for any code. And dogs. My dogs don’t really like dry kibble too much. So they do love you know, topics. Yeah, yeah. So.
Joe Valley 22:46
So, you know, is the kibble you know, you’ve got the focus on dots, and you’ve got to focus on Golden Retrievers, but what about all the other dogs that want one of these boxes? Do you have a, a, you know, a line that’s for every dog if they want at work?
Ramon Van Meer 23:02
Yeah, we have an all breed formula to where we, you know, try to get all the benefits for all the breeds of any breed could benefit from and, but you can still pick your topic, and you know, so it’s still, you know, personalized for your dog because you know, maybe you will get the all breed kibble with hip and joint topping. Your neighbor will get the all breeds senior kibble with you know, Pippin joints or an anti allergy topics.
Joe Valley 23:38
And is all of this available already on Alpha PA or is it still all
Ramon Van Meer 23:42
in development? Some of them are available some of it’s in development there’s going to be a mic I think is going to be in development forever. course we’re going to add to it. But yeah, the basic is is
Joe Valley 24:00
already is now so when when a customer comes really loyal to Alpha Paw Are you going to have Alpha Paw leashes and Alpha Paw little ball throws and Alpha Paw balls and shoes and Alpha Paw doggie bags you know poop bags and things of that nature? Is that part of the plan to or right now you’re just gonna go really deep on you know, the recurring revenue ingestible food lines
Ramon Van Meer 24:27
we because like I said before, like I like to do reverse engineer so I’m already talking to potential buyers even though like I’m by far you know, ready to sell. I’m already talking as much to as many
Joe Valley 24:44
potential acquirers already Yeah.
Ramon Van Meer 24:47
Buyers, investments, bankers, you know,
Joe Valley 24:52
and is that is that so you, you know, you understand is the conversation say, hey, look, I’m talking about Selling someday tell me what you’re looking for? Or is it? Hey, I’m thinking about selling? Are you interested? Which is this conversation starter?
Ramon Van Meer 25:10
Yeah, I approach it. Like, if I email, cold email and investment back, so how I what I do is like, every time a pet brand is acquired, I do research who was the banker or the broker? In these type of deals, it’s mostly bankers, then every child’s say, Hey, I saw this press release, you guys are part of this deal. I run this brand. And I looking to sell maybe next year, or in two years, I would love to hop on a call and just, you know, talk 10 out of 10 times, of course,
Joe Valley 25:57
they’re gonna want to talk to you. It’s like calling a right. Yeah. A lot of sense if you reach out to them.
Ramon Van Meer 26:03
And I just tell them, like, this is the brand. This is where I’m at these sometimes I you know, send some basic numbers. So they have, you know, I actually, typically I send that in the first email. So they kind of know like,
Joe Valley 26:17
yeah, okay, this, you know, two and 100,000. a year in revenue you’re doing exactly, yeah. Yeah, that makes
Ramon Van Meer 26:22
sense. So I give them basic, I say like, what’s, you know, tell me, what are the metrics? buyers in the pet space now are looking for? What is What are the trends? Do you see? What type of multiples to see? Why, why’d it’s the deal you worked on gotten eight times revenue? Versus typically in E commerce, you see three times like, what what made that, you know, multiple, you know, multiplier go up. And just start to, you know, start talking and build relationships and the same relationship I have with you. I’ve talked with investment bankers now for months, and we just, you know, there’s no really one ask for me, we’re just like, you know, oh, did you see this? At Rand just got acquired? Yeah, it’s amazing, like, just built relationships, and learn. And then, for me, that really helped, really narrowing down the focus. Okay, in order to sell for x, we need to do around excellent, like a range of revenue or range of profitability, and other metrics that, you know, potential buyers are looking for, and then just stay focused on that.
Joe Valley 27:40
Okay. So when you decide to look for those sales that occurred, the sit down and search, or have you set up an alert system in Google to alert you of when you know, a pet related business sells? What is your approach?
Ramon Van Meer 27:59
Yeah, well, I do have a Google Alerts. Regardless, I also look at CrunchBase crunchbase.com, typically has a lot of acquisitions. That happens. And, like, if you’re in an industry, I think you want to almost force yourself to really be in it’s basically Italy of brief that industry. So I’m always, you know, I’m on newsletters, I read magazines, like traits, trade magazines, I read, I have Google Alerts. I follow every, like, as many brands as possible on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. So and then I stay in touch with a lot of people like bankers will tell people that you know, are in the pet space. And talk seem like we talk with customers to figure out like product. Same approach is like, Okay, I talked with as many of you know, bankers or brokers or acquire it’s already figuring out what to what, and
Joe Valley 29:18
you recently raised some money as well. To to grow the business. You didn’t do this all bootstrapped? Correct.
Ramon Van Meer 29:30
We just closed Yeah, I want to go. How fun was that? Um, well, I’m very happy with the investors. It definitely was a good experience because all my companies before I bootstrapped, and even Alpha Paw, I bootstrap that to 35 million, you know, as well. And I, for a long time, have I was debating myself, like, Should I raise Should I not raise? You know, there’s pros and cons for every, both of the routes. But I thought, you know, it will be a good learning experience for me as well, the good and the bad, too, to raise, you know, money from actual, you know, VC and, you know, go through that whole process. Similar like buying and selling, especially selling, it’s, you know, just it is a roller coaster ride, it’s not as easy as, you know, you, here’s my idea. And the next day you got, you know,
Joe Valley 30:41
when you go through the race, you’ve got specific goals in mind that you’re going to use the money for, I assume that you share with investors? And do you then also have a specific exit target and ballpark date in mind as well?
Ramon Van Meer 30:56
No, because I think similar, you know, now, similar with boxing, you want to roll with the punches versus trying to like, Okay, this is the plan, I’m gonna stick with it. Because, you know, bonus chains, and you know, maybe the opponent is much better, especially nowadays with an internet, ecommerce or any, like, things change so fast. So, I do have a Northstar. I do have direction, but still myself being very flexible, about, you know, you know, what to write like making small changes or small pivots. And to get there,
Joe Valley 31:38
do you want to talk about your north star at all? Or is that something that you keep close to the chest?
Ramon Van Meer 31:43
No, definitely changed. Like, I think the last time I was very like, Okay, we want to do 2 billion. I definitely changed my mind. And I think that’s also going from zero to 20 million a year. That’s what we did last year. Was is one thing, I’ve definitely learned that going from 20 to even 40 is a whole different ballgame. It’s very different skill sets that I don’t really have yet. And yeah, I think that’s okay. And but you have to be self aware of that. So. And it’s also something that I extremely enjoy. I actually enjoy the zero to two, zero to whatever. Yeah. And yeah, so,
Joe Valley 32:40
you know, Johnny, Johnny Volk, from Blue Ribbon, said the same thing, you know, Johnny, that he knew he could take us, his his company from zero to 20 million, and he did it. But he also knew, and as you said, you got to be self aware. He also knew that the business could do 100 million in revenue, just not with him at the helm. And that’s why he acceded. When you exit? Do you think you’ll want to do an equity roll? Like Johnny did? Or does it just greatly depend upon who the buyer is?
Ramon Van Meer 33:11
But all the pants are now also that I have? You know, I have a lot of the employees of stocks, I have investors, I have friends that invested. So I will do my main number one will be whatever’s best for the common good. If that means I have to stick around and do equity, then yes, but I typically like to exit and then go on to another project or like, move on or like in my case, travel. But I typically like to exit completely. But I think again, yeah, yeah. Especially when you have no, it’s not just about me, it’s about other people as well.
Joe Valley 33:58
Yeah, it’s a different beast altogether. It’s not a, you know, a five or 10. It’s not a $500,000 business or a $10 million business. We’re talking about, you know, 60 7080 $100 million here. Typically, those have some form of it’s not all cash. It’s not always like, we know,
Ramon Van Meer 34:21
it’s gonna be, yeah,
Joe Valley 34:22
we know, we know, people in commerce common that, that got all cash, and that’s awesome. It’s incredible that that happened. But yeah, some sort of burnout cash plus or an out or equity. Equity role is not a terrible thing that you just retain a share of the new co but, you know, it all depends on who the buyer is. Timeline. You just haven’t said it. You know, do you have a date and dollar amount and sort of how you want to feel when you exit?
Ramon Van Meer 34:52
I’m like, I
Joe Valley 34:55
don’t have to share them. I’m just asking if you have them. No,
Ramon Van Meer 34:58
I have them. I yeah, I think the acquisition, you know, to like there’s a really this is a really good time. It’s there’s a lot of things happening in acquisition. Right. So I think it’s a great time to really sell us market. Still. So yeah, so I’ve some sort of timeline but similar like before, like, you have to be flexible and, you know, roll with the roll with the punches.
Joe Valley 35:31
Yeah. Well, I’m, I’m excited to see where it goes, I know, it’s not going to be, you know, in the next 30 days. You know, sometime in the next two to three years, whatever it is, even if it winds up a heck of a lot sooner. I’m excited for you. Yeah,
Ramon Van Meer 35:48
it’s never gonna be easy with me that you know, too. So
Joe Valley 35:52
I think it’s it you know, I just what you’re talking about in terms of, you know, the the box specifically tailored to the dog’s knees, I think is incredible. I, I hope it takes off like crazy. I hope everybody in the audience that has a pet, goes to alphapaw.com, and tries it out and gets gets involved with it, and watches your story and follows your story. You actually, you’re talking about your story a lot more now, these days. I know you’re an introvert. But Sam’s gotten into it a little bit. And and you posted some stuff on Twitter the other day, are you going to continue to tell your story and share your experiences on Twitter? For those that want to follow?
Ramon Van Meer 36:30
Because of Sam, he really pushed me like, you know, to be a little bit more active. And yeah, I’ve got to I’ve seen now the power of Twitter, and the benefits of it firsthand. You know, thanks to Sam and some other friends that, you know, retweeted it. But yeah, I’m going to try to build more in public. Because you don’t see that often, especially in E commerce because of you know, there’s just like, you know, people try tend to nuts overshare or share a lot. Yeah. In the E commerce space.
Joe Valley 37:09
What? What’s your Twitter handle? How do people find you on Twitter?
Ramon Van Meer 37:16
I’m so new to the Twitter. I think it’s Ramon Van Meer.
Joe Valley 37:22
You are new to you gotta look it up. Hold on. I could do it faster than you. Ramon,
Ramon Van Meer 37:27
Joe Valley 37:29
Are it’s at Ramon, there’s no E on that. And then Van Meer at Ramon Van Meer Yes. You want to do it. But then again, so much. So my, I’ll be revealing my Twitter handle soon. Because you’ve you’ve talked me into it as well that it’s going to be me personally. And I’m going to do that as well. Ramon, we’re going to we’re going to this is, you know, amazing. This is a long episode, and we’ve broken it up into two parts. That’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to make it a two part series over two weeks. So thank you for sharing your incredible, incredible journey hear from actually we didn’t even go back to the original stories that we’ve talked about and how you got started with your first $7,000 exit, and then 20,000, then 200,000, then just under 9 million. It’s an amazing journey that he said, Folks, so follow him on Twitter, check out alphapaw.com. And I can assure you that that Ramon will be back by popular demand. And because I just love rapid wisdom and hearing his story, Ramon, thank you, my friend, I appreciate you spending this time. We’ll talk to yourself. And that is a wrap folks, thank you for tuning into Part One and Part Two of the Ramon Van Meer interviews. You know, we he and I could have talked for another hour or so. And maybe I’ll have back at some, at some point to talk about the exit that he will eventually achieve. He’s a special guy. You can follow him on Twitter, @ramonvanmeer. He’s gonna be very vocal. They’re talking about his story and what he’s doing and how it’s going and things of that nature. So I definitely recommend you follow him there. You can always reach out to him LinkedIn and things of that nature as well. And if you are a podcaster yourself and you want to interview him DM on on Twitter, Twitter, I can’t talk after talking for an hour I can’t talk. Thanks again for tuning in to the Quiet Light Podcast. You guys are awesome. We appreciate your support and without you we wouldn’t be able to interview great guys like promote. Thanks for tuning in.
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