BikeBandit is an online superstore that specializes in motorcycle parts and other motorcycle-related products. As a result, it is a must-visit website for motorcycle enthusiasts. For that matter, its product selection can prove rather interesting for people interested in a wide range of other motor vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, and personal watercraft. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about BikeBandit:
1. Headquartered in San Diego
As stated, BikeBandit is an online retailer. However, its products mean that it has brick and mortar operations as well, which are what makes its online operations possible. Currently, BikeBandit is headquartered in San Diego, which is the same place where it was founded in 1999.
2. Founded By Ken Wahlster
BikeBandit was founded by a man named Ken Wahlster. Nowadays, Wahlster remains the CEO of the corporation, meaning that he continues to be responsible for overseeing its revenue-earning operations. As for why Wahlster founded BikeBandit, well, suffice to say that he had a love of powersports as well as a very useful background in both computers and finance.
3. Wahlster Had Previous Motorcycle Retail Experience
When he was still in college, Wahlster worked at a motorcycle shop. As a result, he is one of the numerous people in the late 1990s and early 2000s who used their brick and mortar retail experience to capitalize on what were then the new and exciting possibilities of e-commerce.
4. Passionate About Business
Naturally, the people at BikeBandit are passionate about motorcycles and other motor vehicles. However, Wahlster believes that what sets them apart is that they are also passionate about the business side of things. Simply put, the people behind specialized retailers tend to be passionate about their specialties, but if their interest in running a business can’t keep up, that is going to cause problems.
5. Biggest Challenge Has Been Managing Growth
BikeBandit has seen incredible growth over the course of its existence. However, expansion is challenging because most businesses can’t just scale-up their revenue-earning operations with the snap of a finger. For that matter, there are the potential pitfalls of over-expansion as well, which have brought more than one business to the point of ruin. Combined, it is no wonder that Wahlster has stated that managing growth has been the biggest challenge of running his business.
6. The Website Mascot Is a Real Dog
It is interesting to note that BikeBandit’s mascot Bandit is a real dog. Wahlster picked him up at around the same time that he started up his business, which is why he often brought Bandit with him to work. Eventually, BikeBandit chose Bandit to serve as its mascot at the suggestion of an advertising agency.
7. Bandit Embodies BikeBandit’s Values
The advertising agency suggested Bandit because they thought that a Labrador Retriever would be a perfect embodiment of its values. After all, the breed is famous for its loyalty as well as its trustworthiness. On top of that, it is hard-working as well, which is another appealing characteristic in businesses.
8. Bandit Enabled BikeBandit to Stand Out
On a related note, Bandit was also a great choice in that it enabled BikeBandit to stand out from its counterparts, which tend to make use of much flashier marketing images and materials. Bandit isn’t particularly exciting by motorcycle marketing standards, but by going with a very distinctive marketing approach, BikeBandit managed to make itself that much more memorable for those who come upon it.
9. Location Chosen Because of Tax Credits
It is amusing to note that BikeBandit is based in the southern section of San Diego because said location has zoning regulations that provide it with tax credits. This isn’t particularly uncommon, seeing as how cities have plenty of reasons to encourage businesses to start up within their boundaries while businesses have plenty of reasons to benefit from such incentives.
10. Founder Expects to See More Growth
On a final note, Wahlster is expecting to see more growth for BikeBandit in the decade ahead. In part, this is because motorcycle riders are enthusiastic about their rides, meaning that there is a sizable market for BikeBandit’s product selection. However, Wahlster is also counting on BikeBandit’s focus on service to secure a bigger share of the potential market that exists out there.