Ecommerce Website - $9k+ per month
Stock Included: No
Stock Value: 20000
Years Est: 2009
Gross Revenue: 111803
Starting in November 2009, Cushie Audio is a long-established brand in the lucrative automotive accessory niche. Securing exclusive distributor rights with two key suppliers to all of Australia early on, the business has established both a wholesale and retail sales channel. In both areas, the brand has become well known for it's quality range of products and service and has a strong word of mouth presence around car forums.
Cushie Audio was born on the back of connectivity adapters for factory car stereos, allowing users to connect their music via auxiliary/USB/Bluetooth without expensive equipment or sub-par FM transmitters. These products continue to be in high demand, serving 100s of cars manufactured prior to 2013.
Inventory is held locally in selective supply, I store it in my garage and it's reasonably compact (i.e. not a lot of space is needed).
Majority of sales are made in Australia, with the occasional O/S order.
A lot has been invested in producing a user friendly website that minimises pre-sale support required, and converts sales really well. In addition a number of backend systems are well-connected to reduce time necessary to “run” the daily operations.
I am looking to sell this business as other ventures are taking up more time than I have at the moment. It has been an excellent little ecommerce business, rock steady cash flow, and very minimal hours to maintain.
In 2017 the business made $111,803 in revenue, profiting $31,613 - a fantastic 28% net profit margin. It would typically do $9000+ in sales each month, with the record standing at over $15,000.
There are some current expenses that I would recommend to the new owner to review with the view to reduce or eliminate them, boosting the bottom line. Otherwise the main expense is really just COGS (stock, processing fees, shipping).
Who will this business suit?
I believe the business would be well suited to someone with an interest in the niche (automotive), and perhaps already has a play in this space where the two entities could mutually benefit one another. That said I knew literally nothing about this niche, nor do I have any interest in cars, and I've still managed to make good progress.
Some of the products are technical in nature, so you should be someone who's comfortable with tech in general. It's not complicated to understand and there are a wealth of resources to rely on, but if lingo scares you then you'll struggle to fit in this niche.
Anyone looking for a low-effort lifestyle business, this would suit well. It's a very "cushie" (pun intended) business to run.
While not impossible to run for overseas, it makes the most sense that the buyer would be in Australia.
Products & Niche
The core of the product catalog is made up of two brands - GROM Audio (US) and Dension (Hungary). Both are well known for their quality products, and both have exclusive territorial distributorship agreements with Cushie Audio. We have the best pricing available with no MOQs.
These products are known as "car kits" that integrate auxiliary/USB/Bluetooth into factory car stereos. They're DIY friendly (bar a couple) and affordable, and they fill a niche in the market between people who buy off-the-shelf transmitters, and those who do total car stereo upgrades.
To give you an idea of market scale for these products, there are 119,000 cars for sale online right now in Australia manufactured between 2000-2013. The vast majority of these cars will not be equipped with modern connectivity.
There are two main categories of these products, the DIY end which we sell a lot to Subaru, Mazda, Honda and Toyota owners. Then there's the high-end products fit for fibre optic systems (Euro cars) that are often sold through our trade partners.
In an effort to diversify our product range, I've started to source new products related to the niche.
GROM Audio have recently released their new WIRELINQ product, which is a "smart cable" that allows Android phones to fully integrate with a car via USB.
Dension are strongly pushing their range of DAB+ (digital radio) products, and have just released two new variations of it that are universally compatible adapters. They’ve been very supportive of my efforts to get this range into retail automotive stores, and there’s much more runway here.
I've partnered with a local supplier of car accessories who offer a "home brand" of car accessories (reversing cameras, dash cams, etc), as well as distributor for some better known brands like Thinkware. I've only just recently listen some cameras on the store, but I anticipate that it'll help to boost LTV of a customer.
I've also partnered with Crux Interfacing and Prestigious Society, both of whom sell interfaces/adapters for a broad range of cars. These products can do things like disable "video in motion" lockouts of modern cars, enable CarPlay in cars where it's a factory option, allow users to connect video playback devices to in-car screens, etc.
In an ever changing tech space, there's constantly going to be new products that fit this niche. For example, a generation of high-end HUD products are hitting the market. And more devices that "connect" with a car, heading into an era of IOT.
Website & Systems:
I completely revamped the website & systems used in the business during October & November 2016.
The website is based on WooCommerce, using a customised theme called Savoy. It's been heavily modified (child theme) to include necessary functionality for the UX I wanted to provide, allowing users to find products that fit their cars. Overall the website is very low maintenance, and requires no further work.
The website is integrated with TradeGecko for inventory management. I also do all of my B2B wholesale sales through here.
All orders through WooCommerce are piped automatically across to Shippit which is my shipping carrier. Here's it's one-click to print shipping labels & book a courier pickup, and it's very cost effective as well.
Payments are processed through PayPal (#1), Stripe (close #2), and Afterpay (distant #3).
I also use HelpDesk for ticketing, and LiveChat on the website. Everything is connected into my Xero account for streamlined bookkeeping too.
All in all, my systems are well integrated and streamlined and make it significantly quicker to manage the day to day.
Day to day management:
This business can be run with as little as 5-10 hours per week.
Every day there are 1-3 customer emails or phone calls to respond to, most of which are pre-sale questions. There's normally 1-3 orders to fulfill each day which doesn't take long. Maybe 1-2 calls a week from a trade partner (wholesale customer).
I also spend some time engaging in Facebook groups, specifically in the car clubs I sponsor.
Cushie Audio enjoys very strong sales with very minimal marketing. I have listed current marketing initiatives below, leaving plenty of room for the new owner to expand:
Google AdWords: I have some basic AdWords setup for PLA, and inbound keywords (product, brands, etc). I haven't explored a campaign targeting broader keywords (e.g. "bluetooth car kit") where there'd be an opportunity to reach a potential customer who's likely unaware of the products.
Facebook Ads: I run Facebook retargeting campaigns as well, and from time have tried various outbound campaigns to reach new audiences (with mixed success).
Sponsorships: I sponsor a group of four car clubs consisting of over 5,000 members, majority of whom are Euro car owners and an ideal target for our top end car kit products. I'm in my 2nd month of a 12 month sponsorship, so early days and my sponsorship fee has already paid for itself.
Email Marketing: There's an email list of nearly 3,000 customers in Active Campaign that's largely under-utilised. Being such a large list I've sent a couple of emails recently and managed to clean it up a little, and it's brought in a couple of sales too. With new products coming, it's time to focus more on email marketing.
Social Media: I don't make good use of the Cushie Audio Facebook back, however I do participate in a number of private FB groups. These places are easy to find, and they're generally happy for us to promote products from time to time.
All retail sales are done online through the website. It makes up a good 80-90% of our business revenue.
All wholesale sales are done personally through Trade Gecko, trade partners contact by phone normally with a customer requirement and asking for a product recommendation.
I briefly tried porting our products across to eBay, made a few sales, but in the end deemed I didn't have the time/energy needed to optimise the product listings there.
Domain names (4 in total)
Website & all current plugin/theme licenses
All relevant SaaS accounts - Trade Gecko, Help Desk, LiveChat, Active Campaign, etc
All process documentation
Distributor contracts with GROM and Dension
Goodwill (retail & wholesale customers)
You will be required to purchase my inventory on top of the sale. The current cost value of that stock is approximately $20,000.
I believe that Cushie Audio is well positioned for a new owner to take advantage of a number of opportunities I've set in motion. I will briefly discuss the core opportunities I see.
Rebranding: I've considered rebranding to Cushie Car and focusing on 'quality of life enhancements' for cars, this fits well (I think) with the product diversification. I have branding done for this.
Email Marketing: The 3,000 strong customer database is largely underutilised. As new products are listed, it will be a gold mine for more regular marketing.
SEO: The original website was incredibly clunky and confusing from a UX experience, but had a whole lot more pages. The new website, while better conversions and UX, dropped some organic traffic. There's still a lot of room to optimise the site, in addition, I have a well documented and outsource ready process for producing content for long tail keywords (potentially 100s).
New Products: The new products from GROM (Wirelinq) and Dension (DAB+) need to be advertised properly, both should be very popular products. There's also still a tonne of new products from my other three suppliers yet to be listed on the website, plus new products are always emerging.
Customer Loyalty & Referrals: I'm not making use of in-box marketing when filling orders, whether it be a coupon or referral code.
Direct Marketing: CarSales.com.au has 119,000 potential customers listed on it. I have an idea on how a new buyer could target car SELLERS, to promote products to the people who buy their cars.
Sponsorships: I sponsored a car club with over 5,000 members and found it to be a good revenue source. I would definitely explore more opportunities - there are HEAPS more clubs like this around.
Wholesale: I recently completed an outreach to auto-electricians Australia wide, and brought on some new trade partners. There are still many more outreach and education opportunities (auto electricians, mechanics, audio shops, used car dealers)
Advertising: There are many more untapped advertising opportunities available. Including broader PPC advertising, and targeted display advertising. There's also industry or special interest magazines that could prove highly beneficial.
Social Media: An under-utilised channel. I've begun researching and joining special interest Facebook groups, many of whom are open to business promoting products that benefit the community. There are literally hundreds of these places worth targeting. I post in one Subaru group every three months and make $1-1.5k in sales each time.
Video Marketing: One of the barriers is product education, and I think that's best answered through video marketing. Manufacturers have some, but they're not great - some focused video marketing could really help boost sales.
Training & Handover:
I want to ensure that the new buyer can hit the ground running with this business.
Given there's physical stock to be transferred in the sale, I'd be happy to do a face-to-face handover in Adelaide and give you a run down of the products.
Either way I'm happy to provide a couple of intensive 1:1 training/support, as well as 30-day ongoing phone/email support.
It took me, with no interest/knowledge of this niche, about 1-2 weeks to get a solid grasp on the products with some pretty poor training from the prior owners. I can get you up to speed much faster.
Most importantly, the two key suppliers both have a tech team who you can lean on for support.
First things first, I'm not in a rush to sell. This business is easy to run, steady profits, and I can sit on it happily for another 12+ months earning good cash.
This is a rare opportunity to take over a low maintenance online business that has such a strong and consistent track record for success. For as little as 5-10 hours per week this business can easily just 'tick over' earning good cash flow, however it also has a heap of opportunity for a motivated buyer to take it to the next level.
Looking forward to talking further with interested parties.