Business Profiles

by MeloYelo E-Bikes

last updated 11/12/2020

Yelo Fever

by MeloYelo E-Bikes

last updated 11/12/2020

MeloYelo offers a low-investment entry into the  fast-growing market for e-bikes

MeloYelo founder Rob McEwen

The market for e-bikes is virtually doubling every year. E-bikes have become popular for recreation, exercise and commuting, and enable Kiwis to enjoy the outdoors more easily. With the success of the Otago Rail Trail, it seems that every week a new bike trail is opening up, while cities and towns throughout New Zealand are developing dedicated  cycle lanes.

Kiwi-owned MeloYelo is one of the fastest-growing brands in e-bikes – and they are looking for franchisees nationwide to sell and service their exclusive designs. Founded four years ago, the company enjoys a reputation for excellence at an affordable price. ‘The market is big but fragmented, so we set out to be the Toyota of the e-bike world,’ says Rob McEwen, the founder of the memorably-named MeloYelo. 

‘Yes, you can pay $10-12,000 for an e-bike at the Rolls Royce end of the market, but we can provide well-designed, ultra-reliable bikes from $2,700-$4,200. Our range includes off-roader, commuter and touring bikes, so there’s something to suit everyone.’

And the brand is about to receive a big boost from joint promotions with Stuff and the Sunday Star Times over the next six months which will see 25 bikes given away and MeloYelo receive more than $1 million-worth of exposure. ‘It means new franchisees will start with a massive advantage,’ he says.

Home-based opportunity 

It’s the sort of strategy you’d expect from the highly-experienced Rob, who ran his own hi-tech marketing agency with 35 employees in the USA before returning to New Zealand and combining his passions for clean energy and business in a number of ventures. That included founding EVolocity, a charity which challenges high school students to design, build and compete in electric vehicles. He originally created MeloYelo to help raise funds for the charity, ‘but I had no idea how much it would take off,’ he says. 

‘Our first shipment was 14 bikes – now we’re doing 500 a year and are set to grow much faster – in the last few months, we’ve been 5-7 times up on last year. The demand is there; now we need franchisees who will get out there, demonstrate the products and treat customers so well that they can’t say enough good things about Melo Yelo. You don’t even need a shop – MeloYelo franchisees work  from home.’

Show and tell

In Taupo, Malcolm Dalgity knows exactly how well the business works. On a nice day, he gets out a brightly-decorated trailer and spends time down by the lake demonstrating the bikes, explaining how they work, ‘and talking myself hoarse,’ he chuckles. ‘Some days I make three or four sales, others I only make one. I’ve sold a lot of bikes.’

Malcolm says that about half of his business now comes from word-of-mouth and being known in the local community. ‘I walk around Taupo with my hat on and people say, “Are you the MeloYelo guy?” But with Rob’s marketing skills, he’s very good at driving business our way from the centralised marketing, too.’

Quality assured

Malcolm has been involved with MeloYelo from the beginning, when he retired from his maintenance job and joined MeloYelo as National Service Manager. That’s given him a lot of confidence in the brand. ‘MeloYelo bikes are designed and manufactured specifically for New Zealand conditions,’ he says. ‘We have a German engineer living in China who supervises the production side there, and the result is quality products that require less servicing than many more expensive brands.

‘We provide a two-year warranty on all bikes, with a free service check after the first 200kms. We’ve seen bikes with over 9,000kms already. The batteries are good for 500-600 charge cycles before performance starts to reduce, which is 2 years if you charge them every day; 12 years on once a week.’

Low investment

With MeloYelo well-established, the company is now ready to appoint franchisees around the country to drive sales and provide service in all regions. ‘This is a work-from-home business with the potential to grow from around 10 hours a week to a full-time business in a couple of years – or even faster,’ says Rob. ‘There is also the potential to operate it as an add-on to an existing business, such as tourism or equipment servicing, or to employ people.’

The investment is just $7,500 +gst, plus the cost of demo bikes. There are no ongoing fees other than a requirement to invest 2 percent of turnover in local marketing. Full training is provided.

‘Franchisees provide both sales and service in their exclusive territory,’ Rob explains. ‘If you have some basic DIY-type skills the technical side  is easy, and we have an excellent training programme with a lot of  online resources. 

‘More important is that you have the motivation to succeed and the ability to look after people, especially baby boomers. Sales people often talk more than they listen, but we want people who ask lots of questions, who can understand  their customers’ needs and guide their selection.

‘If you have some business experience and know how to deliver and exceed customer expectations, we want to hear from you.’   

See this advertorial on page 11 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 29 Issue 3

Contact details for MeloYelo E-Bikes

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