Website Closers® presents a 10 Year eCommerce Brand dedicated to the online sale of Sports Equipment for the Disabled; a category known as ‘Adaptive Sports’. This is a niche vertical with many avenues for growth where an investor not only acquires a thriving cash cow, but also takes part in a business that does great things for those with disabilities.
The SBA Pre-Qualified business has soared in the past decade. The brand was originally created out of frustration and a need to fill a gap in this industry. Years ago, the owner was shopping for a hand cycle to compete in an Ironman triathlon. The only online stores that offered adaptive hand-cycles were “medical supply” stores that also offered a few wheelchair sport options and would recommend the addition of shower benches and other medical equipment to the customer’s shopping cart. The owner decided that there was a need for a website dedicated to adaptative sports for active lifestyle disabled people, and from there went on to found the business.
The business has been on a tear since they launched 10 years ago. They are the de facto leader of the adaptive sports equipment market, providing adaptive athletes with large ticket items such as handcycles, basketball wheelchairs, tennis wheelchairs, everyday rigid frame lightweight wheelchairs, and much, much more, as evidenced by their 730-strong SKU count. All wheelchairs are custom built-to-order and Drop Shipped from the manufacturer, which helps them perfectly match the specific needs and preferences of their customers without compromising their quality or shipment times.
The drop shipping nature of their business is important to understand as this allows ownership to be much more cash positive due to the free cash flow the business generates. Instead of reinvesting cash into inventory, the company can use those funds to either pay distributions or grow the company in other ways. In addition, there is no need for warehouses or warehouse personnel, something that also can weigh down the P/L of an eCommerce Business. And below we will dive more into marketing where you will see that the business also generates sales via organic traffic. All of these things combined generate an enviable net margin of 24% (2023E).
The brand is maintained by the owner, a full-time employee who manages admin and customer service, and a sub-contractor who helps with shipping items from their location.
Wheelchairs are not the only product that the company offers. They are also the official parts vendor for multiple college adaptive sports programs, such as the University of Michigan, the University of Alabama, and the University of Arizona. The strength and versatility of their SKUs have given them an Average Order Value of $659, and while they see stronger sales during certain seasons, they have no “dead seasons” to speak of and enjoy generally consistent profits year-round.
The largest percentage of the company’s sales would be their products made by a brand dedicated to manufacturing sports wheelchairs and everyday wheelchairs. This business is easily the largest re-seller of that brand in the US; the company attends the Nationals of the wheelchair basketball world each year on behalf of this brand. Though these products are their most popular, no one specific product makes up more than 15% of the brand’s sales, keeping their profits diversified, concentration risk low, and ensuring that they aren’t dependent on one sole SKU to drive sales.
They work closely with many VA hospitals in the US, along with many US-based non-profits that order for their organizations. The business fulfills grants from multiple non-profit organizations for their grant recipients and act as the paid “wheelchair technician” for the official US OPEN tennis tournament each year in New York. The company is paid nicely to attend and handle wheelchair mechanical issues for the 10-day tennis portion of US OPEN, with all their
expenses paid for them, showing just how valuable their presence is at these tournaments.
The strength of their reputation doesn’t stop there. Over the decade that the brand has been in business, they have done almost zero paid advertising, relying on word-of-mouth traffic and organic marketing. As simple as this strategy has been, its effectiveness speaks for itself. Not only do they have between 250 to 300 visitors on the website daily, but they also organically appear on the first page of Google for almost all of the products they sell, and have generated an
international following that results in 25% of sales.
Though they’ve enjoyed steady growth since inception, the business could easily scale with the help of a savvy buyer. Without a marketing budget, growth could easily come from focusing on the brand’s social media presence, which, to date, has been under-utilized. As they operate in a small niche within the disabled community, gaining traction on social media and cultivating a following on their platforms shouldn’t present much of a challenge. They could also make use of their nearly 9,000-strong email base through newsletters and email marketing.
The biggest, and likely most effective tactic to increase traffic, would be through paid advertising. The owner has, at most, spent the occasional $50 on Facebook or Instagram, but has never done Google ads. By investing in PPC or engaging a digital marketing agency, the company should be able to significantly grow the business as this is one of the few businesses catering to the active disabled community.
Expanding the brand’s storefronts would also be a profitable move to make. The company is currently 99% eCommerce, meaning that a buyer with a local retail presence could benefit from this untapped feature. They also launched an Amazon storefront years ago, but it has been neglected, with only a couple of products available. Adding new SKUs and advertising would diversify revenue, make their products more accessible to the massive consumer base that uses
Amazon, and broaden their reach.
They were also recently approached by Walmart corporate to be part of the “Inclusive/Adaptive” online category as the go-to adaptive sports store. They will be featured with a banner ad on the Category main page, and likely have their products featured in email blasts. Though Walmart has not officially gone live with the page, they have sent screenshot samples of the banner, which looks promising thus far. This new storefront could be a massive boon for the brand.
Outside of marketing and expansion, the buyer could appeal to current and prospective customers alike by adding to their product roster. They could add new varieties of wheelchairs for different sports or sell new types of adaptive sports equipment to cover needs that are going unaddressed at the moment. The company also has multiple products, specifically dropship items, that the owner hasn’t had the time to add to the website. Doing so would be a quick and easy way for the buyer to boost profits right out of the gate.
This acquisition presents a great foundation for a buyer with the skills and know-how to make the most of it. They offer a line of products that let customers with disabilities more easily enjoy their favorite sports and active hobbies and have a thriving reputation within their low-competition niche.
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