SBM #13 - Nikolas Hulewsky growth hacking boring businesses

Growth hacking boring businesses

‘The Small Business Mentor' exists to tell insightful, interesting stories about initially successful small businesses that faced obstacles and somehow found a way to overcome them through whatever means necessary. 

Last week we learned about how St. Cyr Pool & Spa struggled to scale their operations at the same rate the business was growing. 

This week we are going to go slightly away from the traditional entrepreneur and learn more about Nikolas Hulewsky, a seasoned entrepreneur who has found a lot of success in buying businesses. 

📓 The Overview:

  • Business: RV Park 

  • Barrier: Establishing the correct market rate

  • Learning: Growth hacking isn’t just for tech start-ups

📓 The Story:

We’ve had some great editions of The Small Business Mentor so far. 

We have learned a lot about the struggles and obstacles a small business owner must overcome to build their business. 

But this is the 13th edition - a number traditionally referred to as bad luck. 

Now I’m sure many would consider their business hitting a roadblock to be considered ‘bad luck’.

But honestly? 

It’s reality. 

If you’ve hit a roadblock, that means you’re ready to go to the next level. 

And remember we never fail, we only learn. 

My friend Nikolas Hulewsky can vouch for this. 

He’s a man who has his fingers in a lot of pies. 

He is the definition of a hustler founder who has specialized in acquiring businesses. 

Something I wish I had done. 

Don’t get me wrong, the 5 years I spent chewing glass to try to scale my business was a journey. 

I learned many things. 

But if I could go back in time? 

I would buy a business instead. 

And that's where our friend Nik comes in. 

Nik is a champion of buying businesses.

But there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. 

One way to help yourself is: to do your due diligence. 

Use the public information available to you. 

Take for example his recent business journey on purchasing an RV park in Waco Texas. 

Nik was interested in this space and wanted to better understand the market demand for an RV pad. 

But he didn’t want to make an impulse buy, that's just not his style. 

Nik and his partner Chris are methodical and data-driven men. 

They do not make impulsive decisions. 

So Nik did some research. 

He saw that the standard rate was $150 per pad. 

Which he thought was astronomically low. 

But he had to be sure. 

So he decided that he needed to investigate further. 

He picked up the phone and called around other parks to get a better understanding of what the average market rates should be for an RV park. 

Which was a great move. 

Simple but effective. 

This is a great example of using the information available to you. 

This data point told him that $150 is not the market rate. 

But Nik’s partner Chris had an even better idea. 

He decided to take out two Facebook ads on the FB marketplace renting out the mobile home park for $400. 

Just to test the waters. 

And guess what? 

Within 3 days they received over 6 phone calls interested in renting a spot in the RV park for that price. 

This data point allowed them to validate their thesis that the market rate was well above $150. 

After confirming the price point, they decided to buy the park that had around 20 pads, raised the rent to $400 and now it's officially worth three times as much. 

This is next-level stuff and it's why I hold Nikolas and his business partner Chris in such high regard. 

They took out FB ads on a park they didn’t own to figure out the demand. 

Once they had confirmed their thesis they went ahead and purchased the RV park. 

Although it may seem so simple, why is nobody else doing this? 

That is why I always stress: use the public information available to you. 

In this digital age, we have a plethora of ways to obtain information but we don’t use it enough. 

These are the kinds of techniques tech startups have been using for years. 

It’s cool to see Nik and Chris apply them to boring, Main St businesses to profit with minimal amounts of stress. 

🧑‍🎓 The Lessons: 

  1. Market analysis, when done right, can be your competitive advantage.

  2. Growth hacking isn’t just for startups. Regular old boring businesses can use the same techniques

  3. Spend time with Nik and Chris. You’ll learn something.

📅 Next Week:

In the next edition, we’re going to cover Nikolas Hulewsky again as we go into more detail on the ups and downs of an acquisition entrepreneur. In his journey, you will learn many tricks of the trade to help you make an informed and data-driven acquisition. 

Keep growing,

Alan

P.S. 
The most recent episode of The Small Business Mentor Podcast is live. My guest this week was Nikolas himself. We went into much detail on his life and journey as a true entrepreneur extraordinaire as we discussed the importance of buying a business and the creative ways you can get ahead of the competition. 

Check it out here: 

P.P.S. 

Do you have a small business growth story and want to be featured? Ping me on X @apentz, or submit at http://www.fame.so/sbp-story

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