Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Take the Plunge?!
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  • #566747
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    As an avid splitboard.comer I’ve noticed BCR introduce many ideas which, if successful, could allow him to make a living in his sport. Also, from conversations we’ve had I know he’s dieing to quit his cubicle job. A couple of the ideas he’s mentioned:
    Camps and Guiding: IMO he’s got the cred and the people skills–go for it!! Sign me up for that Zellers, Burt heli/split trip by the way.

    and of course
    Splitboard.com: although it’s a good site with tons of info and personality with a full time bcr the interviews, articles, store, etc. would be sweet. How about moving to a mountain town and stocking a rental and sales fleet from splitboard.com headquarters?

    I know it would be risky, having kids and all, but it seems like it could work.

    What does everyone else think? BCR?

    #582451
    bcrider
    4149 Posts

    @ecobrad wrote:

    How about moving to a mountain town and stocking a rental and sales fleet from splitboard.com headquarters?

    Sounds like a plan bro. You have a 100k or so for me to start with right? 😆

    Seriously though, I do have a bunch of ideas…and you are right, I share the dream of almost everyone, to make a living doing what you love.

    I think with the proper backing some of my ideas could be really successful (did I tell you I want to start my own splitboard company too?). It’s just a hard road to haul because of the small splitboard market and existing players with deeper pockets. There really isn’t too much room for more companies in my opinion. What we need is a company that is willing to take a risk and sink some real money into product development and set themselves apart from the competition. That would really help push the sport ahead in my opinion.

    The camps and demo tours are also great ideas but both take some hard cash that I just don’t have. I go up and down as far as staying positive with these dreams. Sometimes it seems obtainable…other times it seems impossible.

    There is also a difference between having good people skills and being a good business man. I’m not very good at the latter.

    Thanks for the encouragement though Brad! It definitely helps. 🙂

    #582452
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    Dude, you’d have to borrow some money, no doubt about it. With a good business plan and a little groveling-I’d lend you $20, but I bet a bank would lend you a little more. Remember, most businesses lose money the first three years.

    A website/store/product development/camp/guide business sounds like a plan to me. You can’t tell me that if put forth 100% you couldn’t make it successful. I think you could. SBing is going to grow, just in the last couple years that I’ve been around the sport I’ve seen the interest grow by an order of magnitute.

    There is also a difference between having good people skills and being a good business man.

    BECOME a good business man, unless you want to continue making money for some corporate fuck back in New York. Just kidding.

    Sit down, make the numbers work, apply for a load, open shop, board on weekdays and get paid for it. Sounds good to me :mrgreen:

    #582453
    mtnrider
    740 Posts

    @bcrider wrote:

    (did I tell you I want to start my own splitboard company too?).

    Sounds to me like you’re going to need a good board press 😉

    #582454
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    Yeah, BCR – why work for the Man when you could be the Man?!? I’m around a bunch of entrepeneurs (and striving to become one) and I can tell you it is well worth it when you pull it off…

    Some inspirational reading:

    http://www.burton.com/Company/companyContent.asp?section=meetJake

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #582455
    bcrider
    4149 Posts

    Alright…the hamster wheels are spinning in my head. 😀

    Thanks for the motivation guys and keep getting after me! I’m not the best self motivator.

    #582456
    montoya
    46 Posts

    I am always looking for a better strap binding to use for splitboarding (eg something light-weight that interfaces with the Voile pucks). Splits are heavy so anything that helps is welcome! Still waiting for a machine-tool wizard out there to rig something up.

    Splitboarding market is still pretty small as I see it in Japan, but slowly growing. Looks like a leading powder board maker (Gentem) is going to offer a new split model for next season, etc.

    #582457
    Treeliner
    6 Posts

    The splitboarding market is totally gonna grow. Already I see more and more people on other forums who snowboard and are now looking to take it to the next step (i.e, backcountry). As the sport matures further, people looking to go into the backcountry will see that splitboarding is by far the best option. The way I see it – you’ve got an oppurtunity to make yourself a major player in this industry by tapping into something that has a lot of potential, early on.

    #582458
    dave
    100 Posts

    the three most important things when starting a business: location location location

    how many other similar services are in this area?

    who do they cater too?

    what do they provide? what do you plan to provide?

    what is your competitive advantage over these other businesses?
    (especially when it’s SPLITBOARD only) don’t mean to be a downer. just trying to raise some points.

    Ecobrad says

    Sit down, make the numbers work

    how many hours will it take with an accountant to do “make the numbers work”? get a good accountant! (very important)

    being a business student myself, i’ve thought of starting my own business as well. residential remodeling is all i’ve done pretty much, so i thought that might be it. with loans coming out my arse in less than a year after finishing school, i’m not quite sure of taking on that amount of risk right away. starting any business takes a lot of heart, soul and passion for what it is that you plan to do. i’m usually over the fact of waking up sore and builiding every day after just one summer, so that probably isn’t the best of ideas. doing it on your own (like i was planning) yeilds a little more of a risk than if you had a team (partners) that carries the same passion for your idea. although, it also yeilds a better return. it helps in many different ways that are for the most part, straigt forward. each partner has a different specialty in the business (manager(s), accountant/bookkeeper, HR, marketing, finance, etc). three or four managers trying to come to an agreement is probably a bad combination. they will all know “what’s best” for the company, but will seldomly reach an agreement. others might disagree with this. 😆 just dabling in some of the business ideas out loud here. partners are also more likely to come up with more funds for the business than just one dude getting a loan from a bank. the team will help in finding others who may be willing to invest in your company than just one person as well. i know, these are obvious things, but a majority of businesses fail for very simple obvious reasons as well.

    then there are the technical people of the business. the socalled “knowledge workers”. this term is commonly used for computer programmers, software designers, and systems analysists; people who work with thier hands and theoretical knowledge. as the backcountry, snowpack and other external factors are always changing in the environment you plan to do business, the guides could be refered to as knowledge workers. (technically no, but for this discussion, lets just say yes) these folks would be the core of the business. thier tech skills (and training) are thier specialty just as much as the manager or the accountant. in selecting these folks, many other factors come into play other than just thier “technical” knowledge. they must have multiple skills in order to please the customer. i once saw a guide coming out at a trailhead with a group that was carrying a big packpack, i’m assuming with group supplies, as well as in front of him (probably a group members bag). he didn’t look happy, but the customer was. they better have been. 😯

    ok. i’m just going on a rant now. there’s way to much to go over here in starting a business to post on a forum, but i just wanted to post some quick ideas up. you’re probably already well aware. 😳 it won’t be easy, but seeing if you can make the numbers work before you get started is essential. (another obvious statement; i know) although, a business plan (80% of which consists of the marketing plan) must be drafted first. here are some main sections you might include as part of the marketing plan within the business plan:

    1.) Executive Summary
    2.) Strategic Focus and Plan
    – Mission/Vision
    – Goals
    – Core Competency and Sustainable Competitive Advantage
    3.) Situation Analysis
    – SWOT Analysis
    – Industry Analysis
    – Competitors
    – Company Analysis
    – Customer Analysis
    4.) Market-Product Focus
    – Marketing and Product Objectives
    – Target Markets
    – Points of Difference
    – Positioning
    5.) Marketing Program
    – Product Strategy
    – Price Strategy
    – Promotion Strategy
    – Place Strategy
    6.) Financial Data and Projections
    – Past Sales Revenues (use competitors most similar to the business)
    – Five-Year Forecast
    7.) Implementation Plan
    8.) Evaluation and Control

    just some thoughts. sorry, i’m long winded with this sort of stuff. i’ll stop now.

    #582459
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    For some good info, check out Nolo books:

    http://www.nolo.com/

    They have lots of stuff geared for people running their own businesses, and are otherwise doing things on their own.

    #582460
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    if you had a team (partners) that carries the same passion for your idea

    Sounds like Tommy and Chris need to start a product develop co. You could move to Mammoth/Tahoe and call it BC MTN Riders. 😀 Throw in a few camps, a retail/rental store, and maximize splitboard.com for what it’s worth and you’ve got a diversified splitboard business. I eliminated guiding for fear of a rebuttal by Jim :wink:.

    Yo Chris, have you thought about writing a guide book. I have no idea how much $$$ a relatively small market book like this could generate but your knowledge of the goods, writing style and humor could make the book a mainstay on every Sierra bc riders book shelf. We just don’t have anything as cool as The Chuting Gallery.

    Moynier’s book is good but so much of the book is dedicated to long tours and such. It doesn’t even describe the chutes/bowls in the Saddlebag and Conness basins if I remember right. Are the chutes/bowls of lundy and ginny lakes described? I can’t remember.

    50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney is what it says it is but there’s so many more/better trips to described. From what I can tell, most bc boarders aren’t into summiting as much as they are into sweet chutes and deep pow. For instance, look at Tallac. Not that it needs more written about it but a descripion of summitting and riding down would leave much to be desired.

    I think a three/four part book series would be ideal. Similar to Marcus Libkind’s (whose books are more for cross country skiers).

    Shit man, you’ve already written the book. Just go back through your 10 years of trip reports. It would be sweet. What a great excuse to go to “research” as well. “Sorry honey, gotta go make a living.”

    As an added bonus-you could include some of your and Matt’s awesome photos!!

    #582461
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    Rebuttal? WTF? Sorry for bringing up things nobody wants to think about. 🙂 Seriously… IMO, from being there, there are enough potential problems with going into business for yourself; you don’t need to add to that by not getting as much info as possible about the potential issues ahead of time. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade; hell, I’ve thought about doing something similar myself. Just saying be realistic about it, know what you’re getting into, so you can make an informed decision.

    I think more guidebooks would be cool. Speaking of Tallac and the Tahoe area though, you should check out the Spot X guide.

    #582462
    bcrider
    4149 Posts

    Thanks for the info dave and jimw.

    Those are great.

    When I said I “wantedâ€Â

    #582463
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    Who said anything about a “demo tour”. 😆 You really think running a dozen or so camps a year, operating a small store/shop, and writing a guidebook is all over the road? To me, it seems that all of those things would be necessary for the $$$ to add up. No doubt it would be a ton of work and risky.

    More or less, the things I mentioned are all stuff that Yuba Expeditions does in Downieville for mting. I think it’s a husband wife team but I may be wrong. They provide bike rentals, sales and service, shuttles, guided trips, made a trail map and run a half ass website. I heard they run the burrito shop next door as well. I think they’ve been around for a decade or so now. Oh yeah, they do a bunch of trail maintenance.

    Sorry for bringing up things nobody wants to think about

    Jim-I fully appreciate your comments on guiding, you obviously know what your talking about–I’ve never been even been on a guided trip. It’s not that nobdy wanted to talk about it, most of us just don’t have your insight. My joke was more a comment on the leeeeeengggggtttttthhhhh of your response, which btw was very imformative.

    #582464
    jimw
    1421 Posts

    You know me, I’m looooonnnggg winded… I will try to keep my posts to under 2 hours reading time in the future. 🙂

    Chris, new idea – burrito shop w/splitboard rentals!

    #582465
    bcrider
    4149 Posts

    Just thought I’d provide a follow up to this thread… 🙂

    I’ve been silently working on a few surprises over the last few months and I’m getting closer to making it all happen. I’m finishing up a few ideas and designs that in my opinion will innovate the product for the user and help push the sport forward.

    I can’t comment on the specifics just yet but I do have a few questions regarding this opportunity.

    1. Is the splitboard market over saturated or is there room for another manufacturer?
    2. Will the market embrace a company that strives to innovate and is solely focused on the sport of splitboarding?
    3. Should I use my ideas on my own or should I partner with an existing company?

    #582466
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    1. I think it is. I think the majority of people transitioning from resort riding to the backcountry is limited(thankfully, lets hope anyways) and they are more likely going to buy a board from a company they know such as the big name companies, like Burton, Voile, and now Never Summer and Winterstick. These companies are able to produce a good product at a reasonable price.
    2. I don’t think people are super stoked on “splitboarding” they are stoked on snowboarding in the backcountry, climbing mountains, uninterrupted pow turns, personal feats done by like minded individuals and a splitboard is the way we do those things. I enjoy reading about things skiers are doing, as well as boarders, which is why enjoy coulior mag just as much as snowboard journal and enjoy riding with skiers just as much as splitboarders. If I was going to define myself I would say I am a mountain man and not so much a splitboarder. If a ski company is putting out a similar product as a splitboard company but its better and cheaper I go with the ski company. I have no loyalty to anyone. Thats a bitterness I have gained over 11+ years of snowboarding and skateboarding and I don’t shop at Walmart.
    3. I think it comes down to how good are your ideas. If your putting out a product that is way better and more inovative than any other company and is reasonably priced so that people will not be able to not try it how can you not be succesfull.

    I like this topic, I am a Pessimist, Im kinda pissed off, and I think you do a great job with this website, Good luck.

    #582467
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    Here’s a couple thoughts for ya,

    1. Not oversaturated. If there were too many splits on the market that would push price down. I ain’t in sales, but it doesn’t seem like any manu’s offer any sort of significant discounts, which I interpret to mean they don’t need to offer discounts to encourage business. (The flip of this is that I don’t think the demand is huge…yet.)

    2. Nope. I don’t think markets work quite like that. Price matters, reputation matters, what your bro rides matters, cute topsheets matter. I think innovation is great but it takes experience to appreciate and differentiate between marketing BS.

    3. No idea. I’d see what offers you get from other companies and what offers you get for individual startup help. What do you give up for what you get?

    Whatever ya do, make sure you still have time for product testing. That’s the whole point isn’t it?

    #582468
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    In my humble opinion:

    1) Splitboarding is in it’s infancy and has lots o’ room to grow. There is a whole industry built around Randonee and Telemark skiing in the backcountry with companies making specific boots, bindings, etc. That will happen in splitboarding, too. Just as snowboards are common in resorts today, splitboards will become common in the backcountry. As all the resort snowboarders become cantankerous old dudes like myself, it is just natural that some of them will head to the hills. There are snowboarders now who have never even skiied before. What do you think they’ll ride in the backcountry? Besides, snowboards are a better tool for powder, which is the best reason to take one in the backcountry.

    2) YES. Does Voile sell any snowboards that don’t split?

    3) Do what it takes to make it happen. If you can’t pull it off on your own, don’t be afraid to partner with someone.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #582469
    mtnrider
    740 Posts

    I don’t see how the market can be oversaturated with boards offered from only 5 manufacturers compared to over 200 regular boarding co’s.
    The key is to be innovative like you are pushing. I still think there can be quite a few different board co’s offering different boards. there is still a lot of room for board improvement in my opinion. Not everyone likes the same ride and it’s nice to have more to choose from.

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