FROM HOBBY TO PROFESSION
The basics were already in place, but converting a blog into an actual, profitable webshop was a big job. “I worked 80 hours a week in the beginning, first of all I had to look for suppliers. To get that done I even bluffed about quantities in the hope that it would go well. I started delivering only in the Netherlands, but within six months we also had an English webshop. Since this year we also have Choppershop and we started to put energy in b2b instead of everything b2c. That’s how I generated business customers as well.”
Within three quarters of a year, Reinoud manages to make a living from his webshop. At that time he also started outsourcing the logistics. At the moment, Reinoud employs about 6 people. Last year, there were 8, but by cleverly applying innovation and automation, he was able to reduce the number of staff.
“You have to sit down where the pain is, see why something is not working and adjust it.
REINOUD TJALLEMA | OWNER CAFERACERWEBSHOP
Turning your hobby into your profession, Reinoud Tjallema did it. Seven years ago, together with a friend, he started a blog and a Facebook page entirely dedicated to Café Racers: Caferacer United. At the time he was still working in marketing and sales. He had a lot to do with software and noticed that a lot went wrong in that area. He could do better than that. Meanwhile, Caferacer United had already expanded to include Caferacer Webshop, a small online shop with a smooth blog that was getting more and more traffic. He quit his job and decided to officially start his own business and take this hobby project seriously.
Now Caferacer Webshop has expanded to include Choppershop and Reinoud is active in four countries.
“I am very driven. And you have to be, you want to do it right. For example, by just spending an hour with the consumer in the evening, doing a bit of emailing. You have to treat the customer as you would want to be treated yourself. People are still surprised that they are dealing with a human being and get a personal touch.”
UNIQUE SELLING POINT
Competition in the online market is fierce. As a company you therefore really need to create your own identity. With a background in marketing, Reinoud knows this like no other. He makes sure that every customer receives a personal bill and gifts such as stickers with their order. He does this from the very first moment. With this, he wants his customers to know that his shop is all about service. After all, service is something that even the biggest competitors cannot influence. In addition, Reinoud and his team know their stuff. “We are people with a lot of knowledge about engines and many of us have an influencer background by blogging. Through blogging, I was also familiar with that revenue model. So I started an online shop, but with its own channel that people can advertise on.”
“GMU has helped us in looking at what content is best, why and how to see if it works”
“THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING”
“The collaboration with GMU started at an early stage. We simply didn’t have the time anymore to take on the online marketing ourselves, it was really a matter of outsourcing. At the time I followed my instincts and looked at the proof, the proof is in the pudding. At GMU they speak to you in a clear language, not just in technical jargon. Especially when you work together for a longer period of time you notice that proactivity and connection with each other’s business and clients is established.”
GMU helps Reinoud in both SEA and SEO areas. Because Reinoud was already heavily involved in blogging, SEO was a logical option. “We are kings at creating content in topics that others know nothing about. Placing content just takes a lot of time. Of course, you can just write anything, but GMU did help us in looking at what content is best, why and how to see if it’s working.”
Our SEA team helped Reinoud steer by margin per product and deploy an automation effort. “That’s how we found out that many of the products that scored well were not directly typical of our customers. An engine consists of many facets, so we automatically have many products with all different margins. We therefore started to look at what the customer for Caféracer Webshop was. This requires a lot of data and a lot of communication. Only then can you create that insight together.”
Reinoud also started remarketing with us. He likes that because, in his own words, it is an ongoing story. Because assembling and refurbishing motorcycles is a big hobby for many people and requires a lot of equipment, it’s very profitable to target earlier visitors in the hope that they will return.
“If you have good service and good products, it doesn’t matter which country you deliver to. We have managed to put together a unique offering. We are exclusive, even for international people.” Choppershop will also have a launch in Europe and there is even thought about launching in America, “maybe we will open Choppershop in America. On the horizon it’s something that’s interesting, but we also have plenty of profits to make here on the mainland in Europe. From choppers, to caferacers we want to bring everything together in one shop.”
MARKETING RESULTS WITHIN 6 MONTHS
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“Don’t think it’s going fine the way it is, it always has to be better:”
ACROSS THE BORDER
Caferacer webshop is active in the Netherlands, Germany, France and England. GMU is therefore helping Reinoud with international marketing.
De internationalisering van Caferacer webshop is een succes, maar dat is lang niet voor ieder bedrijf het geval. Reinoud weet als geen ander dat de juiste strategie vinden essentieel is.
The internationalization of Caferacer webshop is a success, but that is far from being the case for every company. Reinoud knows better than anyone that finding the right strategy is essential.
“First look at whether you can continue to grow in the Netherlands and try not to be everywhere at once. look at what the values of your company are and see if you can deliver them in other countries. We are pretty good at French and German, so that is also appreciated. Don’t think: this is a new market, there is money in it right away. That’s not the case, it can actually create a distraction, so that your own country goes to hell. Sometimes the time is not yet ripe, sometimes there are great opportunities, be critical. In a new country nobody knows you yet, you start all over again. so before you really start making money, you’ve already lost a lot of money.”
Whether it’s about conquering the Dutch market or that of all of Europe, Reinoud has a clear vision: “Don’t think things are going well as they are, they always have to be better. An entrepreneur who only works to make money is stupid, pump all your earned money back into your business, only then can you serve your customer well.”