How Ramon Van Meer Turned A $350k Investment Into $35 Million Selling Dog Ramps

“Some people are good at going from zero to one (builders). Others are good at going from one to ten (scalers). I’m not good at building. I’m better at scaling.”

Ramon Van Meer’s Three Big Idea’s

Why It’s Easier To Buy Than Build

 •  Some people are good at starting businesses; others are better at scaling them.

 •  Ramon says he’s the latter. That’s why he prefers buying than building.

 •  This gives him a history and data-set to work with to find the right areas of the business to focus on and grow them fast.

Avoiding Business Lemons

If you’re a business novice, the best way to ensure you’re not buying a lemon is by hiring a due diligence company to look all through the traffic, revenues, and data to find out whether the business is worth the asking price.

You Don’t Need To Do Everything Yourself.

When Ramon was younger, he ran a construction business. On his very first job, when he couldn’t do the wiring work, his client advised him to hire contractors to do the stuff he couldn’t do.

“You don’t have to know everything or do it yourself. If I were you, I’d find freelancers. You focus on getting the work and outsource it to freelancers.”

He ended up scaling his construction company to multi-millions in revenue by hiring contractors to do all the work while he focused on sales.

Ramon Van Meer

Ramon Van Meer recently joined Shaan Puri on My First Million Podcast to discuss why he prefers buying businesses than starting them. 

Ramon Van Meer is the CEO and founder of Alpha Paw, a pet brand company that offers breed-specific products for every breed-specific health issue. Ramon bought the business for $300k and has built it to $35M in revenue within three years. In this episode, he shared some insights and tools to research a business, find untapped ideas, scale them, and much more! 

The Goods

How To Go Viral On Twitter

Every viral tweet needs three elements: the hook, the promise and intrigue.

 •  The hook: “Two and a half years ago, I bought a dog ramp business for $300k. Since then, I’ve sold $35M of dog ramps.” 

The hook grabs peoples attention. What’s a dog ramp business, and how did it grow so fast?

 •  Promise: “I’m going to explain why I bought it, how I scaled it, and why I bought a business vs. built from scratch.”

The promise tells people why they should continue reading. What are they going to get from your thread?

 •  Curiosity: “But first…dog ramps?”

You’ve got to create curiosity, so people want to read more. In this example, even if you don’t care about business and revenue numbers, you’ll likely be intrigued by ‘dog ramps’.

What To Look For When Buying A Business

 •  Ramon looks for websites with product/market fit and sales traction but is poorly optimised.

 •  He also looks for businesses that solve real problems, has low competition, and have a large market size. These factors combined equate to high potential, i.e. a dog ramp company.

 •  He wants websites selling a product that solves a problem and researches the product to make sure there is a need.

 •  You can see how many people are looking for a product or solution with Google trends and other keyword research tools like Keywords Everywhere.

 •  Social media is another medium he researches for good signals. Does the product have a fanbase, or are there large audiences with interests related to the product.

 •  To get an idea of possible sales volume, he uses the ‘Helium 10’ chrome extension to see sales volume on Amazon.

“Are the traffic channels diversified? It could be risky if it’s all paid traffic from Facebook.”

Alpha-paw was initially just selling dog ramps. He said the website was selling a lot of product even though it sucked, so the potential was obvious. He switched the website to Shopify, improved the content and images and immediately saw sales improve.

“I like the types of niches that not a lot of people think about but have a huge search volume.”

How To Find A Profitable Content Niche

 •  The first website Ramon bought cost him $500 on Flippa 12 years ago.

 •  He then got the idea to start a blog after seeing a similar website listed on Flippa for $100k.

 •  He tested 30 different blog niches by posting content on Facebook. The categories that got the most engagement and page views were politics, soap operas, and wrestling. He chose soap operas.

 •  Like his construction business, he paid freelancers to do the work while growing the blog and building business relationships.

 •  His blog later sold for $9M.


We made a 500% ROI by following a similar strategy when we brought and grew a hair salon. You can read about it here.

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