919
9 min 25 sec

Mountain Biker Takes B-Line To All-Natural Profits

When two friends create an all-natural energy gel that’s as good as the processed alternatives, they shift into a higher gear and crank out a side hustle.
Fitness Health & Wellness Manufacturing Product

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What It's About

A mountain biker creates natural-energy gels for those on the go.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Product Development & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

There's nothing wrong about jumping in and building a plane as you fly it, but why not preserve time (which is also money in this case) and find a company or person you admire in a similar field and meet them—talk with them. Ask them all the questions you think you have and then more. You don't know what you don't know. There's a reason why we all have parents, to grow and be guided safely through the life process and starting a business is no different. I would say go find a business "parent" and ask for help in raising your entrepreneur self.

Fun Fact

Energy gels are very popular with endurance athletes because they give a quick dose of energy. Most are highly processed and the main ingredient in Maltodextrin, a processed sweetener made from corn, rice, and potato starch. While common, a lot of athletes view them as a necessary evil because eating them often leads to a sore tummy and a run to the restroom shortly after a race.

Notes from Chris

Episode 919
Chris Hawks and his friends are avid mountain bikers and endurance athletes. On any given weekend they’d much rather be pedaling their way up a hill than sitting on the couch watching Netflix.

Chris enjoys his day job—he’s Director of Sales for what he calls the best dairy company on earth—but it’s his extracurricular activities that really get his wheels turning.

Mountain biking is hard going. You can burn thousands of calories in a good session and if you want to keep going, you need to replace that lost energy… fast! For Chris and his friends, they typically turned to energy gels, a sweet carbo-loaded jolt of energy that came in a squeezable packet for on the go eating.

The only problem was that these gels were highly processed and often left Chris and his friends feeling a little off in the gut. This isn’t surprising, considering that they are usually full of junk ingredients. But they worked, giving a much-needed carb dose when your body needed a good pumping up.

Chris believed there must be a healthier way. So, together with one of the friends, he asked a nutritionist for a good natural replacement. Turns out, the replacement was very simple.

The nutritionist advised them to mix honey and molasses in a 1:1 ratio. Both are all-natural ingredients and would serve a similar purpose to the processed gels they’d been using.

It worked... and not only was it totally natural and healthy, it was also delicious. They had just created what they called “craft energy food.” The mixture became a staple of their mountain bike sessions. In fact, they loved it so much they wondered if they could turn it into a product.

Chris had had ideas for businesses before but never got past a note on a scrap piece of paper. Something about this idea stuck with him. So, he and another friend decided to crank it up and see if they could make something happen.

Soon enough they had their first pro-quality batch and decided to go on a long mountain bike trip to celebrate. Of course, they’d be powered by their own brand of all-natural energy gels. They called it B-Line Natural Energy. B-Line is a common way to describe an alternate path in mountain biking, what they were all about.

A few years after its inception, B-Line had become a viable brand and product operating in a competitive space. The team believes they’ve found the right market fit and now it’s just a matter of getting the word out through marketing. Over time, they started to make more money too.

They’re not earning a full-time income yet. But, as Chris puts it, last year they made enough that they could have purchased an SUV with the profits, to use for mountain biking adventures of course. That’s tens of thousands of dollars, and hopefully more to come as they grow.

Their end goal is to generate enough revenue to be their only source of income. For their next climb, they’ll be launching another food product line in the near future with funding coming from sales of B-Line.

They’ll never forget the lessons learned from their first side hustle. The next product launch should be just like riding a bike.

 
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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If we could go back to day one, we would have sat down with a business mentor before we even got to naming a product to walk through the basics of a business plan, investor pitch deck, legally forming a business entity and various other ABC's before we even took a product to market.​"
—Chris Hawks #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau