Checkout Toolbox

Flex Theme Sections

Linear Shopping Experiences

Episode 89 - Shopify Riches in Motocross Niches with Ryno Power

Subscribe to the Podcast

The Podcast 

Show Links

Help the Podcast


 Scott (00:00:00):
Hey everyone, Scott Austin here. And for this week's podcast episode, I have a guest and his name is rhino McCarthy and his company is Ryno Power. How you doing Ryan?

Ryan (00:00:09):
Oh, I'm doing great. Thanks for having me Scott.

Scott (00:00:11):
So Ryan, tell me a little bit about rhino power. What, what, what does the company sell

Ryan (00:00:16):
Ryno Power? We started in 2010 and it's based around my business partner, Ryan Hughes. Who's known as the Ryno. We're both named Ryan. He was a famous motocross racer, known all over the world. And motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. A lot of people don't understand that because they see it's a motorcycle, but manhandling, a motorcycle and a hundred degree temperatures all the way around a rough track. That's constantly changing is very difficult and they compare professional motocross to professional soccer, as far as heart rates and cardio activity and the amount of training that's necessary to compete at that level. So rhino power is a supplement line originally designed for triathletes that is been perfected for action sports like motocross, mountain bike, BMX, et cetera. And so what we've done is we saw a niche where these kids were starting to make millions and millions of dollars a year, you know, at the professional level of skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, motocross, mountain biking, et cetera. And they were drinking red bulls and these kids were starting to hire physical trainers and they were starting to like really, you know, exercise and take care of themselves. But no, they weren't taking nutrition seriously. So we saw an opportunity to break into that market and we private labeled a triathlete company quickly started hiring formulators and making our own stuff. And that was 12 years ago. And now we're sold all over the world.

Scott (00:01:39):
And back in 2010, which is now a long time ago, how did you first decide to go into the supplement market? Was it just, you saw that need from the red we,

Ryan (00:01:49):
We saw the need and, and Ryan Hughes actually had my business partner, had the idea. I had been successful in my careers after college. I went to UC Riverside and graduated, and I had ridden dirt bikes, my whole life and liked motocross, but I didn't intend to work in that industry. I had moved to San Diego to go to law school and I met Ryan Hughes. After I had taken like a little hiatus from the corporate world. I had saved a bunch of money and I said, you know, I'm gonna go back to my roots and I'm gonna ride dirt bikes and I'm just gonna get fit. I'm gonna eat. Right. I'm just gonna get things straight. I was almost 30 years old at the time. So I met Ryan Hughes and here was this guy who was a celebrity known all over the world. One of my heroes growing up as a kid and he was not much older than me, but he knew this was an opportunity.

Ryan (00:02:34):
The owner of the triathlete supplement company knew that there was an opportunity in motocross. Ryan Hughes knew it. I knew it and they weren't gonna let Ryan Hughes do it on his own. He had to have a businessman. So I was that businessman and I had begun being Ryan's business manager. He owned a motocross track and they were selling organic nuts and they were doing some different things. And I came in and immediately took over a lot of that stuff and helped get it under control. But what's really cool is Ryan had these supplements. He said, I think these things would sell. And I agreed cuz here I was in my late thirties going to the track and I was buying a rockstar energy drink for before I was eating some power bars or maybe some nuts or something during, and then as soon as I was drinking Gatorade and then I I'd have a pre-mixed muscle milk protein shake for when I was done.

Ryan (00:03:24):
Those are like the worst things you could possibly be putting in your body when you're, when you're training and trying to get stronger. But it was better than like, you know, going any McDonald's or something. So I knew there was a niche for this and I quickly learned as much as I could. And I started working with formulators and I started getting to know the stuff. And you know, luckily for me, sales and marketing comes naturally science and chemistry is something that I'm passionate about. But then formulation is something that's just really exciting. So we started with these great supplements that were proven, you know, used by top triathletes all around the world. But I was able to take those to our formulators and say, how can we make this better? What can we do? And you know, we remove the artificial colors, remove the artificial flavors. We used higher quality proteins and we changed certain formulas and, and now they're really good. So yeah, it was the supplements were not something that either of us knew we, we were, we didn't have a background in it, but we made it work.

Scott (00:04:21):
That's awesome. So back, you know, 12 years ago, when you were on, you know, let's call you an amateur motocross guy and, and rhino Ryan, the other, your partner, he is a professional motocross guy and correct me if I'm wrong, but you decided to focus your marketing efforts back then on motocross. Is that

Ryan (00:04:39):
Right? We, we knew, yeah, we a hundred percent. We knew that motocross was like a red carpet for us because not only was Ryan Hughes, like the tip of the spear, when it came to knowledge and background and understanding of, of health and wellness for the motocross racer, he was still moonlighting and coming out and doing cameos at huge races. Like I'll never forget. We went up to Sacramento for the first round of the outdoor nationals, which is like, you know, the beginning of the NFL football season, preseasons over it's like that, that first game of the, of the season, you know, the 16 games and Ryan Hughes came outta retirement and the local magazine, which had just started a website, of course, that was 29, 2009, 2010, when that all started and they micd up his mechanic and him, and they did, they followed him around all day and he ended up setting a time that was like second fastest to the guy that was winning the championship series. So we were getting all this publicity still. So motocross was a natural first step, but then because motocross bleeds into mountain biking and BMX and other sports, we immediately had recognition in those other sports. And so that, that's how we handle that.

Scott (00:05:49):
Yeah. Cause one of the things that, that I really appreciate with looking at rhino power is how you guys made a product which could work for many different types of professional athletes or, or high level competitive athletes. But you focused early on, on the two wheeled sports. And I always say, you know, there's riches and niches. And by focusing, you can really talk to that audience more naturally more organically and do much better. You know, I'd rather have 20% market share of a really small industry than a 0% market share of a much larger, broader industry. And I think you guys are the perfect example of that.

Ryan (00:06:28):
You were absolutely right. Like I, I look at this trajectory that we have from 2010 till now. And I go, you know, people say, oh, what if you partnered with someone else? Or what if you did something? You know? And I said, if I came out with Ryan McCarthy supplements and no one knew who I was, you know they wouldn't have worked. And if Ryan Hughes tried to do it on his own without a business person, it wouldn't have worked. But the two people together who are passionate about something and then having a captive audience that knows who you are and there's that name recognition. And then me knowing that industry and knowing what it's like to be an amateur in that industry, the guy who actually pays for everything, you know when you're a pro at any sport, you don't pay for anything. So it's a lot different when you want, like, let's say basketball player wants the nicest air Jordans or, you know, a triathlete that's on TV and winning all the time.

Ryan (00:07:15):
He wants anything. They give it to him. But when you're an amateur athlete, you have to pay for stuff. So how, how do you get in the mind of that person? And, and what does he look for in the magazines and the ads and the digital. And so we are able to, to figure that out and the, the coolest thing Scott was, we were out of time. And it's funny like this world that we're in now with social media, 2022 people forget in 2010, Instagram wasn't even out yet. There certainly was no TikTok. Twitter may have existed. I don't even know, but Facebook was hot. And so back then you could give an athlete, a couple things of protein and say, Hey, do you mind if I take a picture and he would let you take a picture of him with a protein and he would post on his Facebook and you could post on your Facebook. And no one was trying to get money or contracts. It was just like, cool. Instagram came out. We immediately jumped on that. And same thing for the first few years, until about 2016, we were able to have these professional athletes just get a hundred dollars or $200 worth of free stuff and hold it up on their Instagrams and reach all of their followers. And it was a, it was a, a really unplanned set of marketing that we were able to do.

Scott (00:08:26):
Yeah. I, I don't think the term influencer existed in 2010 and everybody understands what an influencer is, but if that word in 2010, no one would understand what you were talking about.

Ryan (00:08:36):
They would've thought you were crazy. If you, if you were gonna say that people followed other people who have never accomplished anything substantial in their life and they bought things because that person told you to buy that. It's a, it's an interesting world that we're

Scott (00:08:50):
In it. It is definitely an interesting world that we're in. So today in, in 2022, how big has rhino power grown to how, how big is your company at now?

Ryan (00:08:58):
So we are a seven figure company and we're growing every year. Yep. We have a warehouse in the United States in San Diego, which was our original one. We have a warehouse in Canada that services direct to consumer from our Shopify website. There, we have a Shopify website, the UK, which services UK that used to be serviced by our third warehouse, which is in the in European union, in lamo Belgium. But after Brexit, we had to put one in the UK also, cuz that became a disaster and then we have one in Australia. And so those are areas that we picked the top five economies in the world and we said, that's make sure we have direct to consumer the customs cleared duties, paid product available to the end user in one to three days. And we coupled that with digital marketing and that's, that's how ride up power has gotten bigger is we've, we've taken these niche and now we're making sure we're servicing our niche everywhere in the world that really, you know, has the ability to get stuff shipped directly to your doorstep in one to four days and so on and so forth.

Ryan (00:10:03):
So rhino powers come a long way. I mean, I remember <laugh>. I remember my first office was at my house in my bedroom, at my condo at the time. And I had a fulfillment center from the very first day. I knew I didn't wanna be the entrepreneur that was down in his garage, like taping up boxes and trying to rush to the post office there. That was not gonna be a, like a good use of my time. So I had this home office and I would call my business partner and say, dude, we, we sold two proteins today. It was a good day. You know, <laugh>, that was it was a fun time. You know, we, we both, he was successful and had money in the bank and I had money in the bank and we were able to kind of like just love talking and brainstorming and getting this stuff going. And there wasn't this huge sense of urgency for it to be successful at the moment. And I think that helped us because we weren't pushing it on anyone. We weren't forcing on anyone. We were just sharing like really good quality stuff with people who needed it and they were buying it in droves, you know?

Scott (00:11:02):
Yep. Yep. So let's go back to the early days, you know, it's, it's a natural choice for you and Ryan use who's, you know, professional motocross athlete, well known in the space to focus on motocross. Let's talk about how you focus on motocross.

Ryan (00:11:16):
And we've tried a lot of different things. You know, we ran advertisements and magazines. We've done digital ads on websites that are endemic. We've done digital marketing on Facebook and Instagram and Google. And what we've found with supplements, the very best way to market to motocross is to meet the people at the track as often as you can. And that doesn't just mean Southern California. You wanna put product in people's hands and we've found that the absolute best customers are the ones that are lining up to race. So just like, you know, non motocross people are gonna be familiar with the, the little league or high school sports or, you know traveling team sports. Motocross is no different. You've got families that are going to the track every weekend and those families are investing heavily in their kids' sport and trying to help them rehearse succeed.

Ryan (00:12:06):
And so we try to send what we call swag bags to as many different race promoters nationwide as we can. And that way all the kids who finish top three, they get a little bag saying, you know, they open it up and there's samples in there whenever possible. We go to these events, we set up booths at there and we meet the person, talk to them, but we learned quickly to get their information. And now we bring that information home and we put it into our digital ecosystem, which is the site that you rebuilt for us. And now it's working so well, like, like a Ferrari. And we installed Clavio and we installed a number of different affiliate programs, loyalty programs. And, and we've created an atmosphere where, you know, once you get introduced to us, you're gonna see our ads on your digital. You're gonna see it on your search engines. You're going to get our email boss from us. If you put something in your cart, you're gonna get an abandoned cart. You're even gonna get an abandoned browse email. And so we've built a system now where we can meet you at the Boros track or the BMX track or the mountain bike park or wherever we can get your information, or we can get your information. Other ways, you know, other marketing created ways, bringing you into our system and ideally, you know, give you a good reason to buy rhino power.

Scott (00:13:22):
Yep. So you're doing today and in the early days you're doing lots of event marketing at Moros and other sporting events. How, how many events do you think you actually sponsor and how many do you actually visit in a given year

Ryan (00:13:40):
20 17, 20 18 and 2019. We were probably going to 20 to 25 events per year, you know, one every two weeks. Yep. And then we probably sponsored another hundred events per year on top of that. So, you know, 125 events a year. It doesn't sound like a lot, but each one of those events, you pass out a hundred or 200 of your swag bags. Those people get it. And we have found that we can get about a 35% conversion rate if we do it right. If we get your information, you take the samples, you try them. Obviously you have to have a good product and we have the best product. But you know, if you have something that tastes good, works well and is really good for you and you feel a difference, but then you get that reminder email and you get that little call to action and you get even a phone call once in a while. If the marketing team has the time people checking in on you and offering to do a consultation, like if you give that whole, that whole full circle experience, then, then the customer can really be excited.

Scott (00:14:40):
Yeah. So I, I think 25 events that you're physically going to every year, being someone who's been on a plane once in the past six years, I think unbelievably a, a lot of road tripping. And then, you know, the 125, I, I think those are not small numbers at all. <Laugh> shop, you know, that's not big for red bull, but that's big for any Shopify level business, right? Yeah.

Ryan (00:15:02):
I, I think, you know, it, it takes a dedicated team and it takes a lot of work and a lot of planning and people do forget. It is a <laugh>. You know, I look at the Amex bill from the team after some of these things. And by the time you feed everyone and put gas in the car, it's not an inexpensive thing, but it, it seems to be a something that works.

Scott (00:15:20):
Everybody knows the mantra on the web where, you know, nobody makes a purchase until they get six to 12 touch points, whatever that number is. And, and you guys are, you know, and that's not a web only metric. The same thing is true offline. So you've just decided to, as your dominant marketing tool, do offline marketing through events where everybody's coming together to these focal points, like that Sacramento event, you talked about, everybody's driving a Sacramento, you're all getting together and you guys have the tent up, you got the branding everywhere. You're in the swag bags. And every time one of your athletes go to, to another event, they're gonna see that rhino branding again and again and again. And you yourself top of mind

Ryan (00:15:59):
Also try to make sure that we see them at the event. And of course in the live personal setting, follow them around in the digital ecosystem. But the third caveat is we try to make sure that we get the influencers, the word that no one loves, but in our case, it's these professional athletes that use rhino power, who tag about it, or post about it like a few times a year. You know, you can't ask a kid that makes $3 million a year to post rhino power. Like you used to be able to in 2012 and 13, but you can get two or three posts a year outta them. And then if you make sure all your guys are doing it now, it's like your hero uses the stuff you met the guys at the track that you tried the product, you know, it's good. And you're getting emails and everything. It's really, it's the new world of those six touches, you know?

Scott (00:16:48):
Yeah. That third bucket you just mentioned. I love is the whole sponsored athlete where you've got these, you've got partnerships with athletes who are using your product, you know, supporting the brand, doing their messaging. Cuz now every athlete is an influencer professional athlete is an influencer themselves. And it's just that reverberation. Cause basically I, I wanna ask you to guess two numbers cause your industry's so small. I bet you don't know them. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> what percentage of professional motocross athletes do you think use rhino power and what percentage of motocross athletes have heard of, or know of rhino power? Ooh,

Ryan (00:17:24):
You know, that is a good question. I would say the professional motocrossers, you know, AMA ProCard holders is, is the American motorcycle association. If you're a true pro you have an American motorcycle association card. And then at the biggest races of the year, that's the top 40 guys race, but there might be 120 guys that try to qualify for that out of the three to 4,000 licensed professional motorcross in the country, I'd say 30 to 50% probably use right of power. Because at the very, very top level, you've got all these trainers who are constantly like, oh, you gotta use this or you gotta use that. Or, oh, I use this, you know, it takes guys that we've cultivated from when they're kids all the way through the ranks, the last 11 years. And now some hotshot wannabe trainer is telling them they gotta use this product because the NFL guy that they used to work with uses it or that, you know, the camel jockey that they used to work with uses it or something, you know?

Ryan (00:18:22):
And so we let those guys go. But at this, the bottom half of those ProCard holders, which are still the fastest guys at the local track, any given day, all across the country, I'd say probably, you know, 75% of the bottom 50 use it. And then about 25% of the top 50% of professional athletes use it now of all regular amateur motocross racers in the country, I'd say we're penetrating about 20% of them have used it. 15% of them use it on a regular basis. You know, like I maybe 35%, but we have a 70% returning customer rate. So seven out of 10 people that buy on our website have bought before. So we're kind of proving that people like our stuff, they come back, they buy it again that, you know, hopefully we're doing a good job with our customer service, very fast shipping, you know, quality product at a good affordable price.

Ryan (00:19:19):
We do all those things and we treat you really well. And then, you know, we get you back, but still there's this mindset in amateur motocross and in all sports, oh, well, I don't know, is that stuff really gonna be worth it? You know, do I need it like, but you'll still stop at the gas station and get a Gatorade at a power bar and a bag of retos and you know, whatever to drink when you're done. And they don't realize how quickly that adds up to you, probably saving money when you just buy our product and use it every

Scott (00:19:49):
Day. Yep. So 20 to 50% using the product number that's unbelievably high, right? Yeah. You know, even Amazon doesn't have that level of penetration as dominant as it is, you know, Walmart probably does, but that those are just unbelievably high numbers. And then, you know, the, the brand recognition of everybody seeing and knowing the brand, you know, those are really good, but that's, that's why, you know, you're going, that's why you can only focus on one or two niches because it's so much energy. But if you put that energy in, you know, it's a, it's, the returns are even greater than if you spread that same energy across multiple niches, right.

Ryan (00:20:29):
A hundred, you know, they're in you, you just brought up the most perfect point. This is why in 2015, we started going to some CrossFit stuff and we were doing some football tournaments and some soccer tournaments. And we learned quickly, like you have to be there all the time for these people. You can't just be there one and done. And if you're there one time and they buy your product one time, if they don't see you again and again, and again, you're not gonna keep that customer. So we learned, you know, I think it was like 2017 when I said no more of these off sport sports or off genre sports that stick to two wheel sports. That's owned this market and let's get really good at what we're doing. And then when we have enough capital from our profits, or we are sexy enough to attract a private equity firm or a venture capital firm or something like that, then part of our 2.0 business plan can be expanding into more sports when we can afford it.

Ryan (00:21:28):
And we know how to do it. We know how to take any sport. That's like a pyramid where you have some very top guys and then lots of amateurs, all, all across the country that are, that are doing the sport, any sport like that, which is triathlons CrossFits other example, especially soccer, little league football, all that stuff. But you know, we can branch off with a sophisticated plan to do that when the capital's there, but when you're a small company and you're trying to get going and, and you're trying to be something for everybody you're never, ever gonna succeed in, in my opinion.

Scott (00:22:01):
Yeah. I, if you try to satisfy everybody, you're gonna satisfy no one. Right.

Ryan (00:22:06):
<Laugh> that's true.

Scott (00:22:06):
And that's why the focus on niches, right? You know, the focus for you guys on Moto cross, you know, and having, you know, humans are fickle. We all forget. And we all are reminded all the time. Right. You know, anybody that owns their own house, you probably get at least a mailing a week, if not one every day from real estate agents. Yep. You know, you may own your house for 10, 20, 30 years. And all the real estate agent is trying to do is keep themselves top of mind. So they send you a mailing every single month. Yeah. So that one day you decide to, to sell your house, they're hoping their mailing showed up in your, your mailbox that day,

Ryan (00:22:42):
That day. Yep. And that, that name somehow registers with you as I'm the real estate agent in your neighborhood. I'm the guy or the gal to call. Yep.

Scott (00:22:50):
So you guys, you know, not only do you have to invest in that marketing to build the awareness, you have to keep investing to keep them REA aware.

Ryan (00:22:58):
Arguably, the most frustrating thing is you start to succeed and then 2, 3, 4 competitors pop up because other people go, oh wow. Look at this market. Look at how well rhino power's doing. Let's go try to sell to these guys too. Yep. And oh, we've seen a lot of those guys come and go

Scott (00:23:14):
Back in the, in 2010, we first started out how many people were focused on MOOC cross with nutritional supplements. Oh

Ryan (00:23:21):
Zero. We were the only one. And then now I'd say there's three to four companies whose number one market is motocross right now.

Scott (00:23:32):

Ryan (00:23:32):
But we're, we're kicking all, all of their asses, like on a daily basis. And it's also the foot part of our job.

Scott (00:23:38):
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And you know, with the exception of Google, there's no company that I know of that has complete dominance of their market. Right? Yeah. Even you think Google and iPhone, I think iPhones get like, I don't know, 30, 40% market share. And then all the different versions of Android get the rest of them. Yeah. It's only Google with like 98% market share that owns, literally owns a market. Everybody else is happy with 20, 25%. If they're the number one and then, you know, four or five players work in every market, you know

Ryan (00:24:11):
Yep. With a market like ours. And I'm sure there's hundreds of markets like this, where you're trying to teach people the importance of nutrition on a, on a groups that may not think of it every day. If you're a, if you're a long distance runner, of course you think that you need nutrition and supplements. If you're a bodybuilder, of course, you know, you need nutrition and supplements, but the last 20 years people have started to see that, like, you know, you can drink protein shakes to live a healthier lifestyle. And, you know, having a good protein intake is good for your metabolism and your diet and your hair and your skin and your nails and your immune system, all of these different things benefit from having the right nutrition at the right times. And so oftentimes I think that my competitors, at least they're out there getting that message out to people and then let it boil down to who has the best product. And, you know, I don't think anyone spends as much time as we do on the quality of building a quality product and that tastes good and works well, the way ride up power does.

Scott (00:25:12):
Yeah. You guys are, are definitely focused on the quality of your product. And I, I think you're also focused on the quality of your service. Like you talk about fast shipping a lot and you know, your site shows, you know, talks about it also, cuz customers, you know, are once again really fickle. So you have to have that fast shipping, but you guys are also very focused on all natural, no artificial, no GMO. And you, you promote that and advertise that. So that quality product, the quality services there. So it all supports and that, and because you have a quality service and a quality product, you can spend the money to invest in marketing and acquiring new users and all those kind of things. You know, a total aside, you know, as, as I think I told you early on, we were doing your site redesign project, I've never been as afraid to launch as I was with yours because your conversion rate was ridiculous. I didn't believe it when I first saw it. Right. <Laugh> and if I remember correctly, your conversion rate was like a 8%.

Ryan (00:26:09):
Yeah. I mean, we, we, it would, it would, it would hit eight. It was like 6.7 to 7.5 and eight, eight once in a while. But yeah, it was, it was, it was nice to hear you say that because I had, you know, always just judged us against the six months prior.

Scott (00:26:28):
Yep. Well, and, and the interesting thing, like, you know, I always tell a Shopify store, you know, if you're doing 2%, you're doing good. If you're doing 3%, you're doing great. And then I see you guys and I've had, you know, clients head higher than that, but you guys are consistently six to eight. It's easy one once you under, you know, look at your business, it's easy to see why. Right. Because you're very focused. You're not marketing to everybody. Yeah. You're very focused on we're going after the two wheel sports enthusiast, whether it's mountain bike or motocross and BMX and those kind of things, and you ha you're a, you know, a replenishable product. Yeah. So people are coming back. And as you said, before, seven outta 10 of your customers are repeat customers. So they're coming back. You don't have to sell them the 15th time they're placed in an order. They just wanna place another order. And your job's just not getting their way. So that really high conversion rate is a function of being very focused in your marketing and having a replenishable or consumable product.

Ryan (00:27:23):
Exactly. But you know, the nice thing about working with you on the project was the number of different companies that you'd worked with. And you point something out to us that I've been taking to the marketing team on a daily basis is maybe because the conversion rate is so high, are we showing ourself to enough people? And I never thought about it that way. I thought, oh man, look, we're doing well. This is growing. This is growing, but are we showing ourselves to enough people because maybe we should be a broad, slightly broader audience and then let the conversion rate be four or five, seven or eight, you know, maybe you're just not marketing to a broad enough audience.

Scott (00:28:01):
Yeah. That, that is absolutely possible. Right. But it, it just, you gotta go back to that, you know, investing from scratch with a new industry. So let, let's talk a little bit more about your focus on Moro, because if, if anybody goes and checks out rhino power, the website it's rhino and the first thing you're gonna see when you go to that website is you're gonna feel like you are at the track, right? This isn't some website where all the photos are just of the product with a white background, this site lives and breathes athletes performing unbelievably like the, the popup we have for, you know, Hey, you know, join our email list is a guy on a, on a motorcycle in the air where you don't see the ground. <Laugh>, he's just flying through the air sideways. Like it's absolutely crazy. And that's everywhere throughout the site.

Scott (00:28:52):
And these aren't stock photos. These are, these are photos that you guys go and get of your sponsored athletes. So you're not just, you know, generically pulling these things. These are your athletes using your products, your brand is on their clothing and on their, on their gear, you know, half the time, explain to me how you build a relationship with your athletes to be able to do that. You know, where they're willing to do photo shoots with you, how much work does that take? How much energy cuz I think it makes your site really pop,

Ryan (00:29:21):
You know, it's, it's it's hard. It's, it's, it's really difficult. Some of these professional athletes have extremely tight schedules. They're traveling all over the country. You know, they have sponsors paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars more than we give them. And you know, a interesting tidbit is we don't pay hardly any of our guys because we know we have the best product and if they wanna take something else and get paid by that company, they can. But if they want to get free product from us, we're willing to do it. If they're a top athlete in their sport, you know? So what we try to do is I think the reason these guys like us is we are real and they know we make the best thing. It's not smoke mirrors. And then we've maintained relationships for a long time.

Ryan (00:30:03):
Like some of our guys will win a championship one year and the next year, their 20th place and the next year, their 15th place. And we'll still take care of them because we know that they're just, you know, they switch bike manufacturers or they're getting used to something or they, you know, had something changed in their personal life, you know, that affected them. And then when they come back and win the championship again, it's that, that much sweeter and, you know, scheduling these guys is hard, but we just try to be completely neutral for them. And, and you know, whenever they're free, we send our photographer there or send our video guy there and we work around their schedule. And a lot of times they can be in town doing something and we'll just be there for their workout or we'll be there for their ride and we'll shoot it then. And we say, Hey Aaron, can you come over here for a little bit? We're gonna take some pictures and do some stuff. And you know, he gives us 10 minutes of his time. So we try to be really easy, not intrusive. We're not trying to, you know, stay in their guest room at their house and spend five days with him. You know, we just try to be there like ready to go and take care of 'em quickly and efficiently and not interrupt the, the cadence of their day.

Scott (00:31:07):
Well, the two things I hear there that are, that are interesting. One is it's, it's a personal, you know, relationship. I'm thinking back to Jerry McGuire, right? Where, you know, it's, it's Tom, exactly Tom cruise with one client and how that client feels really special where all the other sports agents have a thousand clients, because you guys are focused on one industry, it's a smaller set of people you get to know, so you can actually have a deeper relationship with them, right?

Ryan (00:31:34):
Yep. Yep. It's and that it helps a lot. And also, you know, the pedigree that we have of my business partner and what he accomplished, but also the writers that we've had. I mean, we've had guys come up through the ranks, be successful, become millionaires and retire since we started our company. So we're, we've been around long enough that, you know, they, they know us and trust us.

Scott (00:31:55):
Yeah. Your, your pool past athletes is an impressive portfolio on which you can sell. And the other thing that I heard you say, that's really interesting is you meet them where they are, right? Yeah. They don't come to you, you go to them and, and you're, you know, you make it as easy as possible for them to say yes. Yeah. And as hard as possible for them to say no exactly. For the photography in the video, is that an in-house skill?

Ryan (00:32:19):
Scott, this is, it's such a good question. Right now. It's in house. The video stuff is still subbed out. I have found, and I hope other entrepreneurs that listen to this or whatever. Hear me on this one. If I started again, 10 years ago, I would do two things. Number one, I would teach myself graphic design right off the bat. Unfortunately for Scott, I would teach myself web design <laugh> although finding someone like Scott, I've been through 500, awful, awful, awful people. And God, we're never leaving as long as you'll keep us as a client, I'm happy. But the other thing I would do teach myself graphic design. I'd like to learn a little bit more about web. And then I would also teach myself photography in videography because it has been so difficult to find good photographers or good videographers. And then half the time when you find someone, they go shoot, and then they get busy with someone else and someone else and someone else it's fun to shoot stuff.

Ryan (00:33:17):
It's not fun to edit it. Mm-Hmm then you're waiting and you're waiting and you're waiting and you're waiting. And then you get something that's that's half and they go, oh, well, this guy's paid me more money. So I to finish his stuff first, I had to rush yours and go, well then why did you take my money in the first place? So when we started to hire people in house, we have an in-house graphic designer, like the last six years now, different ones. But the latest is a great guy. His name is Christian. He knows how to do digital marketing as well as graphic design. And he handles our email blast. So he's been really good. And then our brand manager happens to have formerly done photography. So that's helpful. And we bought a nice camera. I think it's something that every entrepre should invest in.

Ryan (00:33:59):
We also bought studio equipment so we can shoot our own stuff, edit our own stuff, get it on the site. When an athlete comes here, we can do a photo shoot. When we launch a new t-shirt, we can go in the parking lot and we take a, a dirt bike or a mountain bike, and we put it in the back of a truck, or we lean it against the side of a fence and have the kid pose, looking at his phone or whatever. And we're able to do photo shoots right outside our door in two to three hours, or drive up to the local gym where the guys are, or, you know, when they're in LA or when they're in orange county or when they're in the inland empire or something, or in San Diego county, we can shoot them when they're here. And I think that's been really helpful is having those skills in house subcontracting has been the bane of my life.

Ryan (00:34:44):
As an entrepreneur, it's awful like relying on people who aren't professional and, you know, everyone knows some guy who's a graphic designer or some guy who claims he can build a site or some guy who might be able to do the videos, you know? And it's like, you spend your whole time chasing those people around and chasing them around. And if you can just have some good in-house people or find some good people who you trust to handle your website or handle your stuff, it's worth the extra money because you just, it, the friend of a friend you're only gonna get halfass stuff that doesn't work and you're gonna spend your whole time fixing it. And with photography and videography, we, we have almost all of it in house now.

Scott (00:35:26):
Yeah. The way I, I think about it is you, rhino power is a brand, right? It's not just a store, it's a brand and most Shopify stores are trying to be brands. And if you're gonna be a, a brand content's an important part of that strategy, right? If you're just gonna sell Alibaba, you know, or, you know, resell stuff, you, you don't need a brand and you're just gonna do, you know, Google ads or Facebook ads that that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want a long, sustainable business, that's based on a brand, content's gonna be an important part of that. And I think that anything that's important to your business should be an in-house skill set. Yeah. And then content I've. And especially with the changes that are happening with Facebook advertising, because the iOS updates and the upcoming cookies going away and all that kind of stuff, that advertising is gonna get harder where it's been really sophisticated and it's gonna get less sophisticated or less capable in the future, possibly. Yeah. And we're gonna be better as eCommerce brands in building a brand and doing that customer retention. And a lot of that is content based marketing, which is what you guys are doing. So, you know, bring that skill in house is, is super valuable and

Ryan (00:36:34):
Teach yourself how to do it. I mean, like you, this day and age was such a good camera and such amazing editing software. You don't have to be Ansel Adams to take a picture of a tree. You can take a picture of a tree with a, you know, Nikon 5,000 camera or whatever they are called these days. And you do the, the auto setting, you know, the, it tells you the best setting and you bring it into light room on your apple or into whatever, you know, Photoshop or whatever you're using. And you just click around. And it, I mean, the thing just gets sharper and better and more beautiful. Like if you're not a total monkey <laugh>, you should be able to shoot your stuff. And then at least the graphic designer can fix it up from that point, you know?

Scott (00:37:20):
Well, I, I think you're bringing up an important point that maybe people that don't do this taking their own photography and their own video yet don't realize is how much of the, the skill is not through the glass of the lens or the device. Right. How much of the skill is actually the software and how good are you with the software? Because nothing looks great raw, and it's, it's going through the software and editing, especially a video where, you know, any, anybody's watching YouTube video, that's really popular these days. Nobody just does a video anymore. It's video with, you know, text popping up and, and, you know, images floating across the screen and all this other stuff that keep you engaged. That's super valuable, but that's all in software. Right.

Ryan (00:38:02):
And, and, and, and you're right. They don't realize how easy it is. I, I was in Tennessee recently, and I was doing this motocross event that I go to every year with my team. And it's like all the fastest kids from the whole world. And they all descend on Tennessee and they race for like six days straight. It's called the Loretta live national. But anyway, we had these girls working for us and one of them had done like these little reels, these Instagram reels for a grocery store or something. And they give her some garlic or some organic tomatoes, and she shows you how to make something quick. And she explained the process to me. And I was just like captivated by it. It was so simple, but so thought out at the same time. Yep. It doesn't have to be that big of a deal, but she'd shoot the tomatoes.

Ryan (00:38:48):
Then she'd shoot the mozzarella. Then she'd shoot the garlic. Then she'd pour the, the mozzarella or the, the olive oil on the mozzarella. And she's shooting all these different things and you lay 'em out and you just drag them around. Yep. And then you find music. And if you're in TikTok, TikTok will actually edit the, the little clips to the beat of the music. It'll it'll, you know, and it's, it's insane, you know, the AI that they must be using for that. But the point is, I thought these reels were like being done in, in some kind of video editing software. I didn't realize you're literally just shooting 20 things through the day. And then you're moving these things around, laying it to a track and you, you know, extending the clip or shortening the clip. So it hits some beat. And it's it's really very simple.

Ryan (00:39:31):
So I was totally captivated by this 21 year old girl. Who's teaching me how to use the reels for the first time. Yep. The right way. And I had been like, you know, do we need to hire someone? Do we need to do this? Like, where do we find someone to do this stuff for us? And that, you know, so that, that was really a learning experience there. And yeah, we we've been surprised, but it's also a fine line. You know, I actually will, now that we are saying it out loud here, Scott, there is stuff you shouldn't do yourself. You know, like cuz you go to some sites and it was you that told us you, you gave us a lot of great advice throughout the process of working in the view, which I really appreciated. And one of the things was people notice your site runs better. That's great. It's faster, blah, blah, blah. But they notice your new banners and your new photos. So make sure that stuff pops, you know? And so there's certain things where you really should send that off to a graphic artist. If it's your, your homepage and it's, you know, your main products and stuff, if you're not getting that high quality crisp stuff, you, you need to send it off to somebody else.

Scott (00:40:35):
Yeah. Yeah. Your, your homepage banner. Did Christian make that one?

Ryan (00:40:38):
Yeah. Christian kicks ass on that,

Scott (00:40:41):
Anybody, listen, you gotta go to rhino and just look at the homepage banner, cuz it is a thing the second I saw it, I'm like, oh my God, that's that's, you know, way better than anything I could do. It's got like 10 different sports action images, overlaid and some are black and white and some aren't the, the whole product line of it's just beautiful. There's there's shadow there's depth. It's I don't know how he does it, but, and

Ryan (00:41:04):
It's not crowded it's yeah. Like I it's so good Scott that I've had him carry it now into like different things that we print different banners that we make, like this is become like the write up power 2.0 look.

Scott (00:41:19):
Yeah. No, it it's really nice. And, and just like you say, right. When people look at a website like, oh, I love that design. You know, the answer is actually usually no you don't, you love that banner a or that, that banner, right. Everybody looks at your side like, oh, I love the design. They're not looking at all the stuff that I did. And the tech that I defined and how we navigate around, they're looking at Christian's banner and going. That is really cool. Yeah. The thing is you gotta have both, but you know, most people notice the visual aspects the most. Right, right. So, you know, spend little time and money having that high quality imagery does make a difference.

Ryan (00:41:55):
Yep. And maybe us as the entrepreneur could have shot those photos ourselves, but give it to the graphic designer to make the final banner, you know?

Scott (00:42:04):

Ryan (00:42:04):
Yep. You know, look, I, I was rubbing pennies together. I put a bunch of my own money to get the company started and there was a million times that I couldn't afford the people that we needed, but I had to ask a favor or do this or try to do stuff myself. And you know, so we, we learned a lot to get to where we're at. And luckily, you know, I had a good business knowledge and I wasn't in a hurry. You know, these people who start businesses while they're working nine to five and you know, they don't have any time to go to events on the weekends. They don't really have time to put in. It's it's really tough to do that. I was, I was able to have a comfortable little foundation to build off of and you know, get this company going. But it's, it's definitely, I learned how to rub pitties together in a lot of situations.

Scott (00:42:45):
Well, that's, that's the whole, you know, one of the definition of entrepreneur I would think is, you know, how, how to make something outta nothing. Cuz that's what we, we all have to do with our small businesses is I gotta solve the, like when I started my podcast, like how do you do a podcast? I couldn't hire a consultant to go tell me how to do that. And I just figured out on my own and tried different software, tried different microphones. And as I got better, I bought better equipment and all that kind. And you just, you just grow. And you know, I, I do my podcast myself because you know, it is part of my content based strategy. I'm probably at the point now where I could outsource some of it and I probably should have done that a while ago. You know, you gotta learn to let go of things.

Scott (00:43:22):
But I also think that knowing how it's done, if it's gonna be an important part of your marketing and, and having that hands on capability and knowledge, like I remember one of the conversations you and I had about, about your imagery and you were using graphical terms that I had no idea what you were talking about, right? <Laugh> you were going back and forth about, oh, it's gotta be this, you know, offset black shade, blue or whatever kinda thing. And like you guys knew that level of detail, you know, where you are, are running a seven figure nutritional supplement business, but you understand the intricacies of graphics and how photos get processed because that's an important aspect of your brand.

Ryan (00:44:03):
Yeah. I mean the best, the best CEO or owner of a company in my opinion is the guy that can do every job in the place, you know, for the most part, but also knows what he's not good at. You know? You can't, you can't, but I can go down and ship orders. If I need to, I can, you know, do a consultation if I need to, I can go to the event and, and, you know, hustle the application, the support applications from the athletes. And I can mix up samples and I can formulate product and I, I even can make the product, you know, but those were all things that I had to learn over the years. And they've, I think they've made me a better owner and a better business person and you know, with the graphic design, oh man. Till I was blue in the face, trying to explain what we're trying to accomplish when we had offsite graphic designers was so difficult when you're taking a label and you're like, no, no, no, you needs to be a little bit more red or the stroke needs to be thinner or the fade needs to be on or you just needs the opacity needs to change.

Ryan (00:44:59):
And, oh, there were times where I spent so many hours over someone's shoulder. Then I was like, no click right there, pull this over there, you know, and you start to learn that things, but it helps a lot when you understand how the stuff gets made. And I think it starts to save you a lot of time and money.

Scott (00:45:16):
A absolutely absolutely agree with you. So as we talk about our, our motocross focus, your motocross focus, how do you decide, you know, how many events you're gonna go to, how many athletes you're gonna sponsor? How do you decide how much you're gonna invest and how, how do you, what levers do you have that you pull there?

Ryan (00:45:35):
You know, it's, it's really tough. I, I try to do like a, a rough budget, you know, at the, at the end of one year heading into the next year, you know? And I, I say, okay, I look at it and I say, we've gotta have a few guaranteed top guys. You know? So I have to lock in my guaranteed top guys, but then I know after that I have to have some other good guys. So I don't really mind if someone else is trying to poach them or take them because I have, I know I have my locked in guys. So, you know, I'm gonna try to match the previous year's budget on, on what athletes I'm sponsoring and who I have. Usually you lose people. They come back. Sometimes I slap their hand and I won't take them back. You know, they can pay for the product if they want it, because if you went and supported one of my competitors, like, and then that company went out of business, then you know, they didn't pay you more than me or they didn't pay you at all.

Ryan (00:46:28):
And neither did I, but you went over there anyway, cuz of what, you know, they, they told you, they were gonna take more pictures of you or Polish your fender for you or something. You know, like these are things where, you know, these natural progression happens. But what I try to do is I try to know who my top guys are and make sure I have them locked into place. And then as far as go, going to events, I try to make sure that when I feel like we're losing market share in something, or we have an opportunity to gain more market share, we'll hit those things. And a lot of it depends on who my full-time staff is. You know, like when we have nine and to 12 people, and there's a couple kids that are single, they don't have kids at home or no wife at home or husband at home.

Ryan (00:47:10):
And they don't mind being on the road all the time. We might hit 35 events that year, you know, but right now, for instance, the staff everyone's married and has kids and stuff. And it's there's only two people that aren't that way. So it's a lot to put on their shoulders and it's been difficult in the last three years with COVID and all that. But especially this, this weird post COVID economy that we're in, people don't want to go make 200 or 300 bucks working part-time at an event for you. So we've found it has to be full-time employees. So we're actually dealing with that looking at 2023, going, we're gonna hire two or three more in-house people look for people without a lot of family strings attach young up and coming kids with good personalities that we can send to events, going to events is, is trying to find the events that you don't have to pay two or $3,000 to be at.

Ryan (00:48:01):
Although we'll do a few of those every year, cuz they're the biggest ones, but not getting sucked into the $500. If you're paying 500 for a booth, the event sucks. The promoter's just screwing you over. You know, I should be able to go somewhere for free and set up my booth because I'm gonna pass out stuff and enhance your event, whether it's a triathlon or a CrossFit event or a motocross race or BMX race. So we try to identify those and then we wanna make sure we don't hit the same place every, every week. Like we hit Phoenix one weekend, central California, the next weekend Los Angeles county go out to Nevada, Las Vegas area hit orange county, Los Angeles, then San Diego, San Diego, San Diego, because the no hotels are needed down here, you know? And then we try to do kind of the loops again.

Ryan (00:48:45):
So we, I wish it was more of a science and I wish I could tell you, I had a better plan, but it's, it's like what's available, what events are popular right now. And then where can we go where it doesn't cost us an arm and a leg, but we're still meeting new customers, you know? And so that's how we put our event plan together. And you know, that, that determines a lot. Now, one of the things I've been doing lately is preparing a lot of budgets for a private equity firm that we're talking to. And it's funny, you start talking to one and then two others pop up, you know, and they, they wanna talk to you too. But one of the things that we feel is that is a good opportunity for us is that is to do more events nationwide so that we would hire three to four full time employees nationwide, one guy in like a great lakes area, one in the Northeast, one in the Northwest, and then one in the Southeast and then one in greater Texas area. And they would hit three to five events per week. Those small events, like I just described, and they would pass out the samples and do the swag bags and do all the stuff. All of the customer information would come into us. And so that's something that we're working on right now.

Scott (00:49:52):
Do you might actually have regional event reps full time across the country,

Ryan (00:49:58):
Exa yep. Coming into the digital ecosystem that you helped us build to get, you know, get them in the door. And hopefully once we have their email that on email list, if apple doesn't completely shutter the advertising industry, we should be able to be hitting them with ads for the next six months. From the time they enter our ecosystem. And I mean six years for that matter, but like yep. You know, we're gonna hit, 'em hard for the three months after they kind of join our email list with emails and, and digital ads and all that. So hopefully we can do it.

Scott (00:50:31):
Right. Yep. Now you kind of alluded to it a minute ago. I heard you say you, you basically have a gut feel for, are you spending enough? Are you not spending enough? Is, is there any sort of hard metrics where you, you look at some numbers to judge the success of all these efforts?

Ryan (00:50:51):
Yeah. So all of the without giving away too much of our trade secrets, all of the people that we meet in the events come on to a spreadsheet and we will cross check that spreadsheet with purchases and try to get conversion rates. And so if our conversion rates under 30%, then I know a few things are wrong. Number one, maybe we're not making a, a good first impression on them at the event. Number two is we're talking to the wrong people or number three, which is usually the corporate is the person in the office doing their relationship building. Isn't doing their job. You know they're shooting out of mass email saying, dear person, not dear, you know, Scott Austin, thanks for meeting us at the, you know, San Diego triathlon last weekend. It was great seeing you, you mentioned that you like chocolate protein and you buy X, Y, Z companies, chocolate protein.

Ryan (00:51:42):
I wanted to tell you that we make a chocolate protein. That's better. It has more grams of protein and uses organic ingredients, blah, blah, blah, blah. I can see those metrics when they're not working. And I also know that if we're not getting those, the, the contacts, if someone goes an event only three or four people sign up for the email, then I know there's a problem. You know, I know that person's not being personal enough. They're probably sitting at the booth on their cell phone, you know, playing with Instagram. And that's, that's what we've learned over the years is what a successful event is. And furthermore, if you know that you have your best guy and he's going to some kind of event and only getting three or four emails, then chances are, we shouldn't be going to those events anymore. And we had that happen. In Colorado, we sponsored a big mountain bike in Durham race. And what we learned was this promoter had everyone like park in this area. Then there was a sign up over here. And then the vendor area was like separate from both those areas. So these guys signed up, went back, got their bikes lined up and raced. And at no point in that circle where they ever like at the vendor row. So you didn't have anyone coming down to your area. So, you know, you gotta make sure you get the right events.

Scott (00:52:52):
Yep. So what I heard is you actually are measuring the event performance by how many email addresses are collected. Yep. And you actually track those email addresses, conversion rate on your website. Yep. Amazing amount of work.

Ryan (00:53:06):
Yeah. It's, it's it's and right now it's a little bit manual, but we're trying to integrate some software. That's gonna help us with that. So we can like say, you know, what is the average conversion rate for a BMX race versus a mountain bike race versus a motocross race. And then what's, you know, like we could start bonusing our event, people and our in-house writer, support manager, athlete, support manager, we call 'em, you know, on the conversion rate, we could say, if you hit a 40% conversion rate, you know, for three months in a row, you get a thousand dollars bonus or something like we could, we could get those metrics. So we're trying to find some kind of software that could do the work for us, but right now we're, we're doing it manual.

Scott (00:53:44):
Yeah. And you know, at companies the size of yours, right. A lot of it's gonna be manual, as you've heard me say before, it's, you know, companies like Facebook and Google and Microsoft that automate that stuff. But they also have a team of 10 developers for two years costing, you know, $3 million to build that automation. So exactly.

Ryan (00:54:01):
That's like it sure. Nice when you have that.

Scott (00:54:03):
Yeah. Yeah. Small companies gotta do things by hand because it's too expensive to automate, even though it would be nice. If you could, on a lot of these things, you automate what you can and just do the manual stuff. When it's time to do manual stuff, you've gotta suck it up small company. And I actually I'm surprised and impressed that you have more direct metrics on these, this event return on investment than I thought you guys did. That's that's really cool. It's

Ryan (00:54:25):
Been a, it's been a work in progress, but yeah, we, we have of now and I'm kind of a stickler on it because again, you know, it must be nice to start a business with 10 million that maybe you borrowed from your parents or that some angel investor gave you. But the truth is that's so rare and I don't know, very video entrepreneurs that get that you hear about it on TV and any millennial that you talk to, no offense to any millennials listening to this podcast. But like, they're gonna tell you like, oh, I've got this idea and I'm just gonna get an investor. And then I'm just gonna pay this guy and he's gonna work the store for me. I'm just gonna keep doing my normal job, but I'm gonna invent this thing and I'm gonna do it. And people are gonna give me money. And I'm just gonna sit on the couch and get rich, you know, like that doesn't actually happen. You know? It's a, it's a, it's a blood sport, you know, and it's, it's a, it's brutal and you know, you lose sleep and you lose hours off your life and years off your, your life and you get great hairs, but you know, when it goes, well, it's so worth it, man. It's so good when it goes well.

Scott (00:55:23):
Well, and you know, I, I think, yeah, I, I agree with you that the the overnight success stories are, they're more mythical than real and when they are real, they're the exception to the rule, right? Yeah. And you know, it's, it's a marathon and you guys have been in business for 12 years and the world of eCommerce, you guys are ancient right on the block. And I've got some clients who go back even before there was e-commerce and, you know, they were doing things in retail and that kind of stuff. It, but it just, it always builds, you know, if you're doing things right, you're always gonna get bigger and you know, there's ups and downs, of course. But it just, you're doing all the right stuff every year. You just keep getting bigger and bigger slowly and slowly. That's the way Jade, Puma, where, you know, every year, you know, I probably do 30%. I actually, I've never run the numbers and looked at the year of year, but I probably go to the business by 30% every year for the past five years. And it's to the point where it's actually, you know, it it's, I, I can make a living off of it, but it wasn't that

Ryan (00:56:24):
It was a nice feeling when you get to that point, right. You go, wow, like this is all right. You know, like people like my stuff,

Scott (00:56:30):
But you know, I'm also living off of investments that I made in 2014 and 15. Right. And, but you gotta make those investments and, and the, they pay off over time. Like you guys, you guys have been investing in your community for 12 years now, and you've got this brand and this reputation and this market awareness, but that would evaporate tomorrow if you stopped investing. Yeah. But you have to invest, you gotta keep investing to be dominant in your niche. Right.

Ryan (00:56:56):
Exactly, exactly, man. And that's what we gotta figure out is how to keep doing that and then how to mimic it in the next niche, you know, and then, but stay, stay true to your original. That, that that's the big next step, you know? Yeah. Yeah. You wanna do Garth Brooks, what was the weird album that Garth Brooks put out? It was like the alter ego. You don't wanna do that.

Scott (00:57:17):
I don't a country. So I, oh,

Ryan (00:57:19):
He he, he like had these like five Grammy winning albums and, you know, gold record, whatever. And then he released one and it was the Garth all, he was like a, he was like a, a emo goth guy. And it was a totally different genre of music. And everyone said, what the hell? Then he quickly came back and had another country album, you know, it's

Scott (00:57:40):
Like went and played baseball. Yeah,

Ryan (00:57:43):
Yeah. It's a little, it was a little strange, you know, it was like, okay, you're the best at this? You don't have to try to try to do everything. But, you know, we want, we think there's some natural progression for rhino power to grow into other endurance sports. But we know that with motorcross or pedigree, there's a little bit of like cool factor, a little bit of edge to it. And so when we attract triathletes and we attract CrossFitters and we attract you know, all these other sports, they're, they kind of feel like they're a little bit cooler, a little bit more badass than maybe the other people that they're competing with and playing with. And so rhino power is the supplement for them. And, you know, that's, that's this whole next level of branding and marketing that I'm trying to immerse myself in, but with, you know, Simon Sinek and good to great, and all these books that everyone tells you to read. And, but they really, these guys are so good at kind of helping you understand who your customer is and how to expand on that.

Scott (00:58:37):
Yeah. Yeah. And I'm glad you just said that. Cuz Beth, the next thing I was gonna say is, you know, what I'm always amazed by with successful companies is how well they know their customer. Right? And you guys know your customer really well. Now half of that's because you know, Ryan used, you know, is your target audience, right? Half your ownership is, is your, your target audience. But you also, that makes it authentic because you do know your customer so well, but you know, you gotta go to the events, you know, you gotta like meet them where they're at because you know, you're not gonna, you know, you're not gonna be able to demand their time from them and you've gotta accommodate their schedules and all that kind of stuff. And that's just more, you know, everything you've said just is we understand our, our audience. Yeah. And we're part, part of that community.

Ryan (00:59:21):
And we're trying not to have a big ego and we're not trying not to, we, we are like, we are here for our athletes and we're here for our customers and you know, we're a service business, you know?

Scott (00:59:32):
Yep. Now, as we talk about all the, the positives of focusing on a niche, what I wanna do to end it is, are there any negatives, like what, what are the downsides of being focused on a niche? If there are any,

Ryan (00:59:43):
You know, that's a good question. And I, and I think I'm experiencing it on some levels, you know, when your main customer base is a niche and they're not used to buying your product, you know trying to think of what another example would be like, you know, we're, we're focused this motocross audience and they love us and they embrace us. And let's say our sales are based on that. And we're relying on a, you know, 10 to 20% annual growth rate and then a, you know, 70% returning customer, well, you get a competitor in and if your, your field of potential customers, isn't deep enough. And then the people within that, that field of customers, you know, you're only gonna get 20 or 30% of 'em to buy yourself. Anyway, another competitor comes in and now he takes a slice of your pie. So that is difficult.

Ryan (01:00:27):
You know, you could be the best of your group, but they're still gonna get bored and try other things, you know, they're still gonna try other customers. So I, I think those are some issues, you know, I think also, you know, there was a time period where this trainer was training, like the very, very top motocross guys and they kept winning championships. And this trainer would say publicly, oh, I don't believe in supplements. You know, he'd like to send his people into catabolism, which is when your body eats its own fat, it creates adrenaline and testosterone because it thinks that you're starving to death, you know? And he like had his rider doing this, you know, in order to create like fast, I guess in his theory was faster. But, you know, so you go through like trend changes and you know, you lose market share there.

Ryan (01:01:11):
So there's these different things that can happen. And I do. I think that if I had done it differently, I might have taken more money somehow in the beginning from somewhere and try to make sure I hit motocross, mountain bike and BMX as a trifecta. And we hit, you know, out of the 26 events per year, it was, you know, the eight, eight to eight or, you know, some something to that effect. And we, we did that over and over every year and instead of four or five top motorcross, it was two motocrossers two BMX. There's two mountain bikers every year that were on salary that another five or six that, you know, were like our top guys getting free stuff and getting some pampering. I might do that differently, you know, but we're accomplishing that now and it's working, but you know, there is some of that to be scared of is putting all your eggs in one basket sometimes could bite you, I guess.

Scott (01:02:00):
Yeah. The, the eggs in one basket. When I heard you, you saying it the way I was thinking about it was when you live in a small town, you gotta watch your reputation, right? Mm-Hmm, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, you know, you get, you know, you get stupid one day and you know, do something in public. Everybody's gonna remember that for the rest of your life, where if you do the same thing, big town, nobody notices, nobody remembers. So really small. You, you gotta be worried about the new kid on the block and your own reputation being tarnished by some stupid little mistake.

Ryan (01:02:30):
Yeah. Yep. A hundred percent.

Scott (01:02:33):
Excellent. Excellent. So any advice for potential Shopify store owners or Shopify store owners on how they should focus?

Ryan (01:02:41):
The customer experience has to be really good. And I think sometimes people put so much information on their pages and so much, so many layers of stuff. And they think like you have to remember that you might be the world's expert with your product. And I might know every ingredient and every milligram and all this stuff, but you have to remember your customers, you know, they're shopping on their lunch break or they're shopping when they're back home. And their brain is half turned off. They've had a beer, you need to captivate them with some good information. Them buying a 20, 30 or a hundred dollars item is not gonna be the most expensive purchase they do in their lifetime or that day or that week ago. So sometimes you gotta remember that. It's like not to overthink it as kind of some of the advice I'd like to give people.

Ryan (01:03:25):
I've, I've tried to think of all these different ways our pages could do these things and you know, these videos and these pictures and these explanations and ingredient spotlights and stuff. But what it really boils down to is like, you know, some good testimonials, some good crisp pictures, a nice functional site where the checkout process is easy, you know, make sure your apps work, make sure everything's, you know, functioning well have the right web guy working on your stuff. That would be my advice to Shopify owners. And, you know, I, I, I go back and forth on like how many items a good store should have. You know, it's kind of like you go to a restaurant and there's 300 things on the menu. It's hard to pick because you're gonna have 10 things that you kind of want. And so when it comes to e-commerce, you almost don't want to have too much stuff, you know, and an easy shopping experience means you don't have 300 different things to choose from, but I think it's the most important thing is just having an easy, to, easy to navigate functional website with a good product.

Ryan (01:04:22):
And then, gosh, keep in touch with your customers, have good email blast, have good follow up because you know, seven outta 10 of my customers are returning without them. I couldn't imagine only making 30% of sales that we make.

Scott (01:04:34):
Yeah, yeah. That, that you have a lot of stuff there. And all of it was good stuff. You know, one of the things that, that I was hearing, as you were saying, that was, maybe you don't have to have as much information on your website because you do such a good job in building a brand and being a good community member, right? Yeah. Yeah. The stores of the brands that don't have a brand yet or recognition or aren't part of their community that have to try to prove themselves more and are doing that with onsite efforts where you're doing that with a lot of your offsite efforts,

Ryan (01:05:07):
That's a good yep. And, and the reputation will speak for itself. People trust it. I can release a new product. They don't have to worry about it. They, they know it's gonna be

Scott (01:05:15):
Good. Yep. I think at least five times during our conversation today, even though I didn't bring it up and the question you always said as part of the answer, great product, great service.

Ryan (01:05:25):
That's just the salesman in me. <Laugh>

Scott (01:05:28):
But it's also the focus your business has, you know, you know, for you, your website is a means to an end, right? Yep. It's the customers are important. The product's important. The service is important. The website just facilitates the connection between them all.

Ryan (01:05:42):
Exactly. It's the platform that we get to do all

Scott (01:05:45):
That. Yep. Well, excellent. That was, that was really helpful. Thanks for your time today, right? Oh,

Ryan (01:05:49):
Thank you, Scott. I really appreciate that was fun, man. Let's do it again.

JadePuma is a certified Shopify Expert. If you need any help with your Shopify store, we can help.