The customer's email:
Hi Niklas and 2HEX Team,
I am building my own skateboard brand. You are the one I found best to partner with in this venture.
I would like to ask for some important advice that I need to successfully start the business. I am building a business plan that I will use to present to the bank to ask for a start-up fund. I need some advice from you to make this project a success.
What important points do I need to mention in making the business plan given that 2HEX will handle the production?
Can you give a sample production cost of different parts that we should include in the biz plan?
Shall I get the 2HEX22A1 printer, and blank components, to run the production in-house?
Based on your experience, do you have any tips for me as a startup, would it be better for me to have my own printer, should I stock blank decks, should I start with boards or with trucks, bearings, etc.?
Would you give me some advice and support to start my brand and expand the way you do?
I read your "The Skateboard Company Founders' Book" which is really helpful. Can I have a copy of the latest version if you already updated it?
******* (name hidden)
Thanks for your update!
For the business plan its most important to focus on the margins of different products, and within how many cycles you can make how much money.
For example you can buy professionally packed, printed and shipped bearings at your door for 5 USD and sell them at 10 USD.
Let’s say you buy 1,000 sets for 5,000 USD. After selling all 1,000 sets, you have 10,000 USD.
With another run of bearings, you will turn the 10,000 USD into 20,000 USD.
And with a third run, you will turn the 20,000 USD into 40,000 USD, by buying and selling 4,000 sets of bearings.
You can sell these bearings by spending 4 hours per day on the phone calling skateshops. The other 4 hours can be spent on operating the rest of your business, such as design, purchasing, marketing, accounting...
If you follow these two advices, you have a strong foundation for a business plan that clearly makes money.
About mentioning 2HEX in your business plan.
These are some of the benefits of working with 2HEX:
- You get your products directly from China: This means, you have all customisation options (instead of locally printing on pre-manufactured bearings). And by having all customisation options, you can bring something new to the market. For example a bearing with a special material color with a metal box that matches the bearing color.
- You can clearly predict production costs by using the 2HEX website product configurator.
- You have Europeans arrange your production in China, so you know that the people running your production really understand and ensure that you get the quality you need to grow your business.
- You have almost unlimited potential to grow your productions and your product portfolio, because 2HEX sells a wide range of different skateboard components and is now also expanding into new products such as stand-up paddle boards and snowboards. Also, 2HEX specializes in full container load production sizes, so our speciality is what you want to grow into!
- At 2HEX we are in contact with over 1000 skateboard companies. We use our knowledge gathered from all our conversations, to guide our customers in the right direction of becoming a profitable business.
In the beginning I suggest you purely focus on sales.
You don’t need to manufacture yourself just yet - you can do so later. In the beginning you should simply sell.
Holding blanks and printing yourself is something you should think about when you have sales of 20,000 euro per month. Until then, you simply have a designer design your products, and you have us manufacturing and shipping your products, so that you can spend most of your day on the phone calling shops.
It’s super clear: if you are willing to spend 4 hours per day on sales calls and sales visits until you have at least 50 shops selling your products, then you will have the foundation you need to build a business on.
If you spend most of your time to think of ways to lower your costs, improve your design, have better marketing,... before your products are sold in 50 shops, you will die before your brand was born. It’s really that simple.
At 2HEX I have the chance to talk to thousands of skateboard companies - and its always the same thing. I see brands with boring designs and almost no marketing take over countries just by doing none-stop sales calls, while other brands have the best designs, the best team, the best videos, but die after a few years.
I haven’t updated the 'founders guide' since the last version you see on the website. If you want to read the newest content, have a look at the blog: https://www.2hex.com/sbblog
PS you don’t need a start-up fund. If you have 10,000 euro its enough to get started. And if you follow the process mentioned above you can turn it into 160,000 euro within 4 production cycles:
10K => 20K
20K => 40K
40K => 80K
80K => 160K
Getting a fund creates a high risk for your business: Getting free money reduces your urge to sell, which is of the most important urges you should have when building a business.