According to Frankenstein Trikes’ owner Frank Pederson, he was approached by Linn County Economic Development Director Dennis Arnold concerning the program and subsequently filled out the application. He found out approximately two weeks ago that his company was a recipient of technical expertise in marketing his business.
Frankenstein Trikes manufactures trike kits namely for Harley-Davidson Motorcycles that are smaller, more compact and maneuverable than other trike kits found on the market.
Pederson said that with the increase in riders from the “baby boomer” generation, plus women riders, more people are looking for trikes to enhance their riding experience.
“Baby boomers have been riding bikes all of their lives but are starting to experience health problems with balance, bad knees, etc. but don’t want to quit riding. Women riders want something that is more stable for them to ride and it’s an obvious market for us,” said Pederson. “It’s about being comfortable. If you don’t enjoy it, why do it.”
The Economic Gardening program “embraces strategies to grow existing second-stage businesses (defined as businesses that are not start-ups but also are still growing)…and is an innovative, entrepreneur-centered, economic growth strategy focused on providing tools to grow existing businesses that possess the characteristics of second-stage businesses.”
Businesses that are eligible to participate in the program must be for-profit, privately-held companies headquartering and operating in rural Kansas that do between $600,000 and $50 million in annual revenue.
They also must employ at least five but not more than 100 employees and have maintained their principal place of business in Kansas for at least the past two years.
The program also details that the business provide product or services beyond the current service area to regional and/or international markets.
According to Pederson, the program fits a company that helps other companies with marketing and market research.
“We are hoping to get help with our competition and what they’re doing,” said Pederson. “The company does market research and tells us what works and what doesn’t work and what we should do.”
He continued that they are especially looking for assistance on their export business as they currently export trike kits to Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece and Great Britain.
Pederson, a Norway native, said that they are now going through applications with Norway to become approved through the country’s version of the Department of Transportation so that trike components can be sold there.
“The American dollar getting weaker means it’s better for us to export,” said Pederson.
He commented that Frankenstein’s export business has grown by quite a percentage, “not like a grain exporter, but good.”
He also said the gardening network company is beginning work on Frankenstein’s Web site, www.frankensteintrikes.com.
Frankenstein is no stranger to marketing their own wares. They are featured on the cover of the “Chromed Out” fall 2010 issue with an article that features Pederson’s work recreating a classic 1970s vintage chopper. Customer referrals and testimonials create many of Frankenstein’s advertisements as well as an aggressive campaign featuring trike kits, parts and prices.
Pederson is also the new owner of the former Mercy health clinic on Main Street in Pleasanton. He felt the building was a good investment and is still exploring ideas on how to best use the space.