Secrets to success at DiscountRamps.com | Business
WEST BEND - There are several things Joel Lederhause is keeping close to the vest as he rolls out plans for the second and third quarter of operation at DiscountRamps.com LLC.
Lederhause has already achieved over $18 million in annual sales in 10 short years. His new goal will be to double revenue and the size of his company in half the time it took him to reach this stage.
A couple secrets of success for Discount Ramps.com include a diverse product line, insightful lender-financing strategies and the ability to take a hard line on expenses.
“Diversification is key,” said Lederhause, who started the part-time business in 2001 and saw double-digit growth within two short years.
With over 11,000 different products on its websites, DiscountRamps.com focuses on loading, hauling and transport needs – selling to customers worldwide.
The online retailer carries equipment for motorcycles, pets, wheelchair users, auto cargo use, pick-up trucks, medical direct hitch-mounted carriers, semi trucks, ATV’s, and almost any application you could imagine.
Buying direct from the manufacturer and selling exclusively online, allows Discount Ramps.com to keep the customer first.
“Many of our exclusive brands are shipped directly from the factory to the consumer, allowing us to offer the best price possible,” said Lederhause.
Aside from product diversification, DiscountRamps.com uses a variety of Internet outlets including Amazon, EBay, and Google to market to a diverse audience of online consumers.
GROWTH, BUT AT A COST…
In order to grow his business, Lederhause managed to ensure a consistent flow of financing through simple changes including a bank credit line and re-investing all profits back into the business.
“Our management team focused on several ways to cut costs,” said Lederhause. “We invested in additional technology to make the business run more efficiently.
“It’s a little less manpower up front, but saving on my credit line means I can grow the company and add more employees in the near future.”
Due to a lack of outside funding and the external forces of a shaky economy, Lederhause looked at every aspect of the business - cutting costs where practical without affecting increasing sales.
“We were successful in both growing annual sales and doubling our profits in 2009,” he said.
"Adding these efficiencies was critical to maintain our fast-paced growth rate because growth is expensive. In 2010 we managed to achieve 18.5 million in sales with only 30 full-time employees and eight part timers."
Growth, however, has come at a cost.
“Generating over $600,000 in revenue for each full-time employee is a major accomplishment,” said Lederhause. “But it means every individual on our team is taking on the tasks of two or three people."
SECURING A LOAN…OUTSIDE FUNDING
With an eye on the future, Lederhause foresees massive growth, but said he’s going to have to rely heavily on outside funding to make that happen.
"Investors are critical so we can put resources in place to really push the business to the next level" said Lederhause.
In the first quarter of 2011, DiscountRamps.com has met with several interested parties about funding.
“I’m hoping to land an investor who understands the complex world of Internet marketing and sees the potential in building on what we’ve already achieved,” said Lederhause.
“Business is moving faster these days. Whether we find synergy with an outside investor or not, we will continue to grow as the adoption of online purchasing increases and our business continues to evolve.
“At DiscountRamps.com we don’t want to just set the pace but lead the way.”
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