How Innovation Lead to Over $2.5M in Sales in Just 2 Years
"Business is NOT about money. It's about quality of life. Money is just a tool. Make sure you have passion for your products."
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Perry Rubin, one of the owners of the ALP Brand. I enjoy off-roading, 4x4s, Glamping, Overlanding, camping, and classic cars. I am passionate about the ALP brand and enjoy innovating new items for outdoor sports.
From concept to finished product, I make it happen. I built the company with partners but all the operations were designed and built by me.
What is ALP Generators?
ALP is the first 100% Propane only small portable generator. At ALP we innovate an economic and ecological greener way to generate power for the Overlanding, Camping, off-grid living, Rving, and home emergency markets.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
ALP Generators' team member: "It's a great story, but a bit long so you get to cut it up. Perry had been going to China 4-6 times a year with Partners Kent and Steve starting in about 2015 to build projects into and out of China. They have 40 years of relationship. Perry owns and operates a Fulfillment warehouse in Southern California.
One of the first projects was to take health supplements to China as Perry has many supplement company connections. Another was Golds Gym and Home Helpers as well. In 2016 one of the Chinese investors asked me to go to his Generator Factory for a visit. Perry being a classic car guy was a kid in a candy store with the motor production lines and all the trick testing equipment.
The Factory did a presentation to Me and asked if I would take their product line to America. At that time the factory specialized in diesel generators. I explained their products will not sell well in America. I was asked to come up with an idea and "BTW" we need you to do a presentation to our bank in 30 mins. I asked if they could build a 100% propane 1000-watt generator and that was the start.
I didn't want to be just another gas generator and being an off-grid camper myself propane came to mind. It was unique and better for many reasons."
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
First, was to decide WHAT we wanted? What size, how many plugs, 12volt, a LED light, USBs? Then we had designers get us pictures of ideas for the shell. We wanted a flat top to allow storage on top when put away and to make it harder to cut the handle if using a chain or cable to lock it up, and where to hook up the fuel line, etc. Also quality was a question.
What market do we want? High-end or the Cheap crappy units that sell a bunch for low prices. We chose the highest quality with the best motors and inverters. Next was the prototype with plastics all made by 3D printers. It did not have all the options as we were more interested in the performance at sea level, high elevations, and hot and below freezing weather.
Next came Proto #2 and then #3m each with upgrades and adjustments to cosmetics and performance.
Describe the process of launching the business.
3.5 years later we launched the FB ads and website Oct 2019. We hired a team that already knew how to sell on those platforms. 80 units we imported. We tested each unit to make sure they work to our standards, which we still continue today to test. We did our research for the so-called competitors and set our pricing.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
FB and Google ads worked well in the beginning. Good photos showing what our generator does and in the Outdoors scenes. On our website, we have videos teaching how to use it. Having a site that has lots of information is very important.
The fact that our customer service phone lines ring into our offices and get answered by the staff and having a full-time Technician to answer questions gives confidence that the other companies can not offer. They use call centers with a script.
What's the reason customers pick ALP Generators over your competitors?
Mostly it's because it is engineered to run on Propane vapor and the run time is 45-60 hours on a BBQ 20 lb tank. Storage of fuel and the ability to travel with a tank, not a gas can is another advantage. And of course, the generator can be stored inside a vehicle without smell or leakage.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We launched Zero sales in Oct. 2019 and within 2 years have made a name in the market and sold over 5000 units. We need to get our electric start and 2000 watt models to market and that will take us to the next level. TikTok and Youtubers contact us now to promote and we usually get a lot of orders right after the postings.
Since starting the business, what's the number 1 thing you have learned?
That in this industry all the generator companies exaggerate what their specs are. ALP does not. In a business plan, set a goal and then decide how much to invest in the inventory and Marketing. If you have a sellable item 2 things - Inventory and Marketing that make the sales.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Shopify, YouTube, Instagram, Google, Facebook, Shipstation, hire people or companies to do what they can do better than you and if you hire employees use an employee leasing company. Limit your responsibility.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Business is NOT about money. It's about quality of life. Money is just a tool. Make sure you have passion for your products. Don't try to sell just educate the buyers on what you have and if it fits them, it's a win-win.
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Frequently Asked Questions about ALP Generators
Where are ALP Generators made?
ALP is designed and tested in America. Parts and assembly are done in Nantong China.
Who makes ALP Generators?
Propower LLC is the Owner of the ALP Brand.
Do ALP Generators Offer a Warranty on Generators?
ALP has a 1 year warranty.
How Long Does it Take the ALP Generators to Ship & Deliver?
We ship all orders M-F of the same day or the next day received.
Where Is the ALP Generators' Store Located?
Most of our sales are from the Internet. ALP is in some independent stores. Our warehouse and offices are located in Santa Clarita California.
ALP Generators - Customer Reviews
ALP Generators has a rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 based on 159 customer reviews.
A man is only as good as his word, the same goes for any company,
You at ALP Next-Gen Propane Generators have built a great generator. We had purchased the same generator a few weeks ago and liked the benefits of it so I've purchased a second one to use around the ranch. It's light weight and can be moved from point A to point B with no Read more about review stating Honestyproblem at all.
I suggest anyone wanting to have a power back up system look into the 'ALP Digital Inverter Propane Generators'
Before I purchased this ALP Generator I spoke with the person who developed this generator Perry on the phone. I needed to be sure this generator would meet my needs.
I found Perry to be both helpful and knowledgeable.
It is very unusual to be able to speak with the person who actually developed an item they sell!
A few days later I re-Read more about review stating Love this ALP Generator. Received my ALP Generator. I found it to be very nicely made, lightweight and very easy to start!
This generator is very quiet, about the same as a Honda!
The run time on this unit is the best I have ever seen!
The instructions that come with it unlike other generators is very thorough! It not only tells you how to start and operate this generator, it tells you how to properly maintain and care for it! I highly recommend this generator!
I am the co star of the show Dual Survival on the Discovery Channel. I know what works and what doesn't work when it comes to gear and equipment that I am going to have to rely on in a bad situation.
No doubt my ALP generator is going to be an excellent addition to my survival kit. I only buy quality, and this generator exceeds my standards.
Excellent product, quick responsive Customer Service, and overall great experience. The order shipped quickly and was received quickly. I had a follow-up customer service request that was quickly answered and resolved. Great company to do business with.
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