How I Turned My Love For Bikes Into A $12M/12 months Electrical Cargo Bike

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Whats up! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

Ben Sarrazin, Founder, and CEO of the Yuba Group, designer, creator, distributor of load-carrying bicycles (bikes to hold issues, passengers, sports activities tools, instruments, pets).

We have now been providing what we name longtail cargo bikes such because the Yuba Mundo, Spicy Curry, or Boda Boda. Yuba began a storage container about 15 years in the past, and along with turning into a $15M firm, we have now additionally pioneered the sphere of a wholly new section within the business.

Over the previous 15 years, Yuba has put over 50,000 cargo bicycles on the highway. That’s a whole lot of joyful households.


What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the concept?

I grew up on two wheels in Strasbourg, France. Since these first rides, I’ve been in love with bikes and what they will do. Over time, I’ve had a whole lot of adventures. I traveled in East Africa the place I noticed retailers transporting their items on two wheels. I hung out in Latin America had been grime roads and damaged vehicles made bikes one of the best ways to get round.

Generally what I noticed whereas touring upset me: waste, environmental injury, or social inequality. For lots of small companies or households residing in distant areas, I noticed that bikes might allow individuals and make their lives higher.

Ultimately, I grew up(ish) and translated my ardour for bikes and observations of the world into Yuba Bicycles, named after the California river the place I like to kayak and join with the pure world.

On the time, I had little or no cash, nor expertise within the bicycle business or any business for that matter. To me this idea felt so proper, it was on the intersection of all my pursuits and passions, doing one thing to forestall environmental degradation, the outside, bicycles, and social change.

Being round 25 years on the time, I had little cash, however I made a decision to speculate each penny and ounce of vitality I had. The difficulties I needed to face had been the shortage of relationships within the business and greater than something the shortage of monetary capital.

Take us by means of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Making bicycles is often made by contract factories in Taiwan, these factories specialised within the meeting of bicycles. Nevertheless, to be in enterprise one must finance a full container of bikes (between 200 and 350 models) for a value of $100K-$350K.

To get began since I had no cash, whereas at a motorbike present we focused a manufacturing unit we thought could possibly be manufacturing our bikes in Europe. We drafted an settlement with them the place they’d make the bikes with none cash upfront, the place they’d receives a commission as soon as the bikes offered would ship.

Now we have now a group of engineers and designers that work on new merchandise. The prototyping and the design are executed at our headquarters and manufacturing is most frequently executed in Asia. Our prospects vary from younger households to bicycle entrepreneurs (suppose Taco truck however on a motorbike!), to urbanites who don’t wish to personal a automobile.


Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

I began Yuba with a easy web site that I designed and coded a fundamental promote sheet in PDF format and a possible buyer listing. I emailed these potential prospects and created some Press Releases to ship out to specialised media. That is how we offered the primary manufacturing of bikes – the Mundo! We constructed a wordpress web site and used consultants to customise the format and the performance.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?

Yuba bikes have existed for over 15 years. We promote merchandise internationally to distributors, massive chains corresponding to REI, small bike retailers, and we do 20% on-line direct to shoppers.

Since launching, what I’ve seen works essentially the most of all to draw prospects is just a well-functioning web site. Good images, good copy, supporting tales that includes the best way individuals use our merchandise.

Moreover, we use search engine marketing – utilizing key phrases and sentences that individuals seek for in Google to direct them to the web site. To search out key phrases, we used on-line instruments together with google advertisements to check key phrases and demographics.

Bodily occasions corresponding to bicycle gala’s are additionally essential for our prospects – face-to-face client occasions the place individuals can see the bodily product is essential to understanding product options and traits.


We do a whole lot of press promotion – endemic bike media is all the time up to date with our newest information. Even non-endemic media – we current a brand new method of utilizing a bicycle and a way of life story (exterior journal, individuals, fashionable mechanics, and so forth.).

A enterprise just isn’t a interest – a enterprise is for earning profits. If it’s not for earning profits it will not work. If you’d like a interest, go crusing.

We spend promoting cash on google pay-per-click – Advert phrases or buying advertisements.

We DO NOT promote on Amazon – we tried to promote one product on Amazon, and we discovered that the seller portal was arduous to make use of, and we weren’t pleased with the domination of their system. You must play by their guidelines.


How are you doing right now and what does the long run appear to be?

Our group is about 12 individuals within the US, dealing with Gross sales and Operations, and Buyer Service, and we use a third-party warehouse to satisfy our orders.

Sooner or later, we’ll all the time be enhancing our merchandise, including Add-Ons and Equipment to satisfy the precise wants of our prospects (i.e. surfboard, ski rack).

We’re additionally consistently including new sellers/retailers within the US and EU to develop our community, and we’re investing extra into pay-per-click promoting and digital acquisition.


By way of beginning the enterprise, have you ever discovered something notably useful or advantageous?

A very powerful factor I’ve discovered is to be affected person and protracted. No matter success appears prefer to you, you’ll all the time must be persistent to get there and be open to evolving and altering course quickly.

Moreover, it is very important create sufficient psychological house exterior of the every day duties to maintain psychological readability.

With the ability to give attention to one process at a time with out the distraction of individuals or your cellphone is a key factor to getting stuff executed.

The most effective and the worst choices I made within the enterprise are round individuals – it is advisable decide and spend money on the fitting individuals, that makes all of the distinction.

What platform/instruments do you employ for your enterprise?

What have been essentially the most influential books, podcasts, or different sources?

Ebook – Rising a Enterprise by Paul Hawken

Ebook – 7 Habits of Extremely Profitable Folks by Stephen Covey

Podcast – How I Constructed This with Man Raz

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?

A enterprise just isn’t a interest – a enterprise is for earning profits. If it’s not for earning profits it will not work. If you’d like a interest, go crusing.

The least useful factor while you begin a enterprise is having an excessive amount of cash. A enterprise that’s money poor makes the founder far more artistic about discovering options on making merchandise and financing merchandise and methods to pay individuals – you may stretch your greenback. It’s actually arduous to earn cash, so when you’ve a whole lot of it, you burn it quick.

Beginning a enterprise just isn’t about spending cash. Preserve your enterprise as lean as potential for so long as you may. That is the recipe for long-term success in your enterprise.

Are you seeking to rent for sure positions proper now?

We’re searching for Buyer Service, Gross sales, and Admin Workers in our Southern California Workplace!

The place can we go to study extra?

When you’ve got any questions or feedback, drop a remark beneath!


Ben Sarrazin
Founding father of Yuba Cargo Bikes

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