When it comes to starting a business, there are lots of challenges. There’s acquiring the necessary know-how for things like equipment, invoicing and especially financing. Sure, you could pitch your business to investors, try securing a bank loan or try crowdfunding your idea, but what if your product or service is still in the development phase? What if the only way you can certain of how valuable—and viable—your business will be is to just start doing it yourself? If this is the case, then that’s where you start. That means reinvesting every free dollar, asking for help and learning the ropes of running a business as you go.
That’s how Hawaiian Gun Rack president and Big Kahuna Dennis Kahn did it. His business started as a fun hobby until one of his friends suggested he branch out. Starting with $5,000 of his own capital in order to start producing more racks out of the back of his apartment, Dennis now runs a shop in Carson, California, that creates hand crafted, environmentally sustainable surfboard racks that are as artistic as they are efficient. Through trial and error, and some supportive partners along the way, he perfected his design process over a couple of years and began to scale gradually one customer at a time. Now he sells his racks internationally.
There is perhaps no more intimidating a prospect than starting up with only an idea and your wits. After all, when it’s just you against the world, you are putting your well being directly on the line. That being said, don’t give up. Find time to perfect your idea. Don’t be afraid to talk to people, because they want to see you succeed too. With the right growth strategy, leveraging a range of tools and resources from free invoice templates to cloud storage, smart financial management, and a little luck along the way, you too could be one of the small business owners with a great self-made success story.