last updated 24/03/2021
Powering Into The Future
last updated 24/03/2021
MeloYelo franchisees make e-bikes accessible, affordable and practical
David Morrison-Jones spent many years working as a performance coach with a range of companies from corporates to start-ups, so he recognises an opportunity when he sees one. ‘I’m also very keen on triathlons, so bikes and swimming are very much my thing,’ he says. Is it any surprise then that, last year, David became the third franchisee of MeloYelo electric bikes?
‘Well, actually, although I know a lot about bikes, I knew very little about the electric versions,’ he admits. ‘Then my wife, Jane, wanted one and while researching options she noticed an advert for the MeloYelo franchise. I knew it was a market that was growing fast, with dedicated cycle lanes in cities and bike trails throughout the country, so I got in touch with the company.
‘I had several long conversations with MeloYelo founder Rob McEwen, and probably just as long chatting with the other franchisees. It all gelled – I liked the product, the equipment and the culture of the company which is big on trust, collaboration and community. I started trading from my home in Nelson in October 2020, and Growth has come with a capital G ever since.’
e-Bikes for all
Rob founded MeloYelo five years ago with the stated intention of being the ‘Toyota of the e-bike world.’ As he says, ‘You can pay $12,000 for an e-bike at the top end of the market, but at MeloYelo we can provide a custom-fitted, ultra-reliable bike from between $3,200-$4,200 and we have a range of exclusive designs to suit everyone from off-road to commuting, as well as touring and leisure.
‘But you need to get people to realise how affordable, easy, practical and fun an e-bike can be – and that means having people on the ground to demonstrate the products and help match people to the right machines. That’s where we need franchisees around the country who have some business experience and know how to deliver and exceed customer expectations.’
Five advantages for franchisees
So what are the big advantages of the MeloYelo brand for a franchisee?
‘First, you don’t need expensive retail premises,’ says David. ‘I have a workshop in my garage and people contact me for a test ride via the MeloYelo call centre which hotlinks enquiries from my area straight to me.
‘Second, Rob is a marketing guru with 20 years’ experience, and his campaigns generate lots of enquiries – he even arranged a big promotion with Stuff over summer. In addition, every franchisee has a branded trailer or van, so you soon get pretty well known in your area. That’s brought in many new clients, from the older demographic who were keen cyclists but are finding the hills a bit much, to brand new users. For example, one customer who lives in Stoke needed to commute to central Nelson daily and had been considering a second small car. An e-bike proved ideal for her journey which is now shorter, more pleasant and has saved her a packet in both capital and fuel costs.
‘Third, the hours are flexible. This sounds a bit weird, but I once sold a bike from my bath! Most people who are interested in purchasing an e-bike have usually done a lot of research. This person called and said, “Wow, you’re offering a far better spec’d machine at a better price than anything else in the market.”
‘That’s the fourth benefit – the MeloYelo formula is excellent. Our e-bikes are easy to put together, easy to service, dependable and without a Rolls Royce price tag. They come with a two-year warranty and a free service check after the first 500kms. Some bikes have exceeded 9,000km already!
‘And finally, there’s great training and back-up from MeloYelo, along with a Franchise Manager tasked with helping to get you up and running and keeping you up to speed with anything new.’
Growing demand, growing business
Rob says that MeloYelo bikes are designed and manufactured specifically for New Zealand conditions. ‘Throughout the last six months, other brands have suffered major disruptions to their supply chains, but MeloYelo achieved consistent product supply. That’s enabled us to keep growing.
‘Initially, the franchise can complement an existing income or business and, with the right approach it can generate significant profits within three years. It can also work well for couples who divide the roles, one taking care of sales and customer interaction while the other assembles the bikes, fits them to the customer and handles servicing.
‘The keys to success are strong product knowledge (our training is extensive); the right personality; knowing how to build customer loyalty and referrals; and the drive to build your own business. The investment is $7,500 +gst, plus the cost of demo bikes.
‘The demand for e-bikes is only going to grow as people realise a bicycle with rechargeable assistance is a genuine option, so if you enjoy bikes and biking and have some basic DIY skills, I’d love to hear from you. We have several territories still available in different parts of the country, so contact me and find out more.’
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