2HEX gave Boardstation an interview.
Find the original interview with photos at Boardstation.de
How does one start a skateboard company and how is it different to any other business?
In short: You buy and sell skateboards to earn money.
However in skateboarding, marketing plays a much bigger role than in most other businesses. The gap between skate company owners, employees, sponsored riders and customers is seamless.
Unlike traditional companies where sponsored riders represent a company, skateboard companies often represent groups of skaters. By using a brand’s products, skateboarders feel that they are part of the company and its group of skaters.
How much does it cost to run a first skateboard production?
You can get a first batch of 50 skateboard decks made for about 850 USD. It’s really not that expensive to get up and running. Actually instead of asking for the newest phone, young entrepreneurs should ask for a first production for Christmas - it’s the same price.
How can new skateboard companies compete with big established brands?
Young skateboard companies are better represented in their local city or state than big international brands. By directly selling to their local skateboarders, they can offer lower prices and still have a bigger profit margin than if they sold to shops or even distributors.
I see young skateboard companies pop up and then after several months close again. What is the leading cause for skateboard companies to fail?
Most founders focus too much on marketing and too little on sales. If a founder wants to invest all of his time into a project, then his living-expenses must be covered. This is only achievable if he calls customers and collects orders every day.
What are key take-aways of your clients after running their own skateboard business for multiple years?
For the founders that we have guided since their first production, it is that they have gathered a lot of business experience. As a skateboard company founder you have to learn everything: Design, purchasing, marketing, finance and sales.
Having a proven track record in entrepreneurship does not only make you a good company leader, it makes you attractive to business schools and popular companies as well.
What would you like our readers to know?
To your German readers: We run part of our deck production in Berlin. If you want to get your decks printed locally, add the discount code “OhBLNYeah” to your order.
If you want to know more about running a skateboard business, read our Skateboard Company Founders Blog or ask Johannes to have us for a second article. ;-)