Today Power Equipment Direct, one of the nation's fastest growing e-commerce companies, is celebrating its tenth year in business.
"The original idea was to sell a pressure washer a week in order to make a car payment," said PowerEquipmentDirect.com Founder Jon Hoch. "After ten years of hard-work, it has blossomed from a basement side-project into a multi-million dollar a year company."
Ten years ago, Hoch took a serious gamble and won a whopping $400 at the local riverboat casino.
Under most circumstances, this is hardly considered news. Hoch could have easily dumped his winnings at the bar or the blackjack table.
Instead, he pocketed the proceeds and did something remarkable. The next morning, Hoch bought a couple of web addresses and founded an e-commerce company.
In 2002, the idea was considered crazy, especially at the end of the "dot com bust." Most e-commerce companies were filing for bankruptcy instead of IPO's.
Originally, Power Equipment Direct was comprised solely of Pressure Washers Direct, but since then has grown into twelve niche web stores, selling everything from lawn mowers, to sump pumps and electric generators.
Today, Power Equipment Direct is ranked as the 1,022nd fastest growing company in the country by Inc. In addition, Internet Retailer named PED as the 197th largest e-retail company in the United States.
Power Equipment Direct operates 11 niche online superstores. The Bolingbrook, IL-based company operates AirCompressorsDirect.com, ChainSawsDirect.com,ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, LeafBlowersDirect.com, LogSplittersDirect.com,MowersDirect.com, PressureWashersDirect.com, SnowBlowersDirect.com,SumpPumpsDirect.com, TillersDirect.com and WaterPumpsDirect.com.