Tips on Creating a business out of esk8?

So I’ve built my set up as so

190kv TB motor
TB mount
Vesc 4.12
12s 5.2ah Lipo

Anyways, as a junior project I’d love to get some advice on how to make a business to bring fellow boarders to the esk8 community! What would you pay for a 10-12 mile set up with a 25mph speed? I’m trying to get a general pricing for potential boards. Thanks guys & gals, and take the “push out of life”

Is your product unique or innovative?
If not, is it better than anything on the market?
If not, is it significantly cheaper yet still of comparable quality?

If you answered NO to all of these questions, do not start a business. There are already so many players in the game that unless you are selling something truly revolutionary, it is going to be difficult to distinguish your product. Not trying to kill your dream, but these are the things you need to think about before starting a business.

Experiment. Make some boards for your friends. Sell one to the neighbor’s kid. But don’t expect to become the next Boosted :slight_smile:

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The goal at least in mind is to provide a board that is better then the crud of Chinese esk8s out there, and to deliver that at 1/2 or at least 2/3 of the cost of boosted boards. Yet I’m aware of the draw backs yet I think there is a market at the mid priced Eboards. I also think it would be a great starting point for people to get into the diy community, incorporating the vesc and quality products like 190kv motors and such. Appreciate your advice!

I wish you the best of luck in your business venture!

I actually started my own skateboarding company back in 2009 and ran it for several years. It was successful because my product truly was better (and cheaper) than anything else you could buy at the time. Unfortunately patents are expensive and difficult to enforce on an international level. You know what they say… Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Case in point: most slide gloves on the market today are derived from my design, if not a near identical copy

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Find a niche a specialty. Do one thing and do it better than everyone else.

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If you can’t compete on some of the things mentioned above, you could also compete by servicing a local area. i.e. you provide a decent board, decent price, but the thing that sets you apart will being able to provide service locally. None of the big guys can do this and especially not the Chinese boards, so this could be your competitive advantage. You will have to feel it out as only certain types of consumers value this type of service and it’s hard to say whether those same consumers buy esk8.

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At this point the best way to make a living is to repair VESC’s :slight_smile:

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Don’t waste your time going for cheaper. There’s tons of competition out there for cheap boards and unless you’re planning on buying parts by the crate load, you will not be able to compete on price and turn a profit. There’s already a number of decent sub $700 dollar boards out there and the Boosted single is just over a grand. There’s not a lot of room to play there.

If I were to start an esk8 company, I’d focus more on design as my main feature. Good range and adequate top speed at a good price is fairly common. Really fantastic looking boards, not so much.

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Open a service to repair all the crap boards people are buying from China etc.

Could offer upgrades to VESC and battery pack repair.

Should have tons of business.

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There is actually a big chunk of the industry that’s yet to be fully developed: the mid range. If you go for a board under 500, it’s going to be bad and Chinese. If you go for over 1000 you can afford a boosted or any good board, from raptor to ollin’s to evolve. But is there any good single motor option on the market between 600 and 800, except the yuneec ego, that is basically a snail, and the Chinese clones that are only good if you put a vesc on them? Your main goal should be to offer a 700ish dollars board with quality components. An example? For 500 dollars you can build yourself a single 6374, 8s2p li-ion with flywheels clones, vesc, calibers and a cheap board. If you can buy from the factories you save a lot of money. Just look at the last Europe group buy for a motor mount: 25 euros shipped, as good as enertion’s 50 euros without shipping. That also works for motors (70 euros for a good sensored 190kv 6374), remotes (27 for the tb mini that retails for 60) and everything else. You cut the price in half if you have good sources. That way you should be able to provide the best (or a bit less, maybe on the battery side) for way less than any other quality board, 700 dollars, making 200 of profit for every board.

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I think you totally hit the nail in the coffin on where I’m planning to atleast market my boards. Plus there is the added benefit of the home court advantage like Johnny was saying, as I live next to a JC and there might be a small market there. I appreciate all of your guys comments really does help me see where I can project my image, thank you.

When you’re building your own board it’s really difficult to understand how it can translate into a viable business – starting up cashflow is king, no cash, no business. You’ll say to yourself, self, I built this board I can probably sell it for 50% more than what I paid for parts. What you’re not accounting for is your time, shipping, taxes, warranty, services, compliance, marketing, inventory storage, sales, web presence, the list goes on. If, by yourself, you think you can sell your product at a 2-3x margin on materials I think you have a shot - if not, you need to be able to negotiate down prices with your suppliers or find a way to make things for cheaper and insure you have the sales pipeline to sustain whatever volume purchase you made. That profit margin talked about will shrink as you grow to about 20% if your lucky, lower if you’re not.

The easiest way to start is to sell services – you have low capital investments to do that. Moving into the product space is a whole different game. Most people don’t understand the capital it takes to bring a CPG to market.

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You can have a look at what @longhairedboy does, I think it’s pretty smart. You don’t have to go in the fully custom high end of the market, but it’s certainly one which is not being serviced as much as it could be.
The way I see it, who are most of the people willing to spend big bucks for a board? From those who I’ve talked to it’s 40+ year old guys, many of which used to skate but now have more money than energy and time. They’re happy to pay for a reliable, comfortable board. There’s a couple guys in New Zealand wanting me to build them a board and the main thing they keep stressing is that want it to be comfortable on their knees. Maybe ask do some research in your area of where demand lies

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You still sell the gloves?

You bring up the good point on capital. Great part about it is that I do have some capital to mess with since I was able to pitch to a county “shark tank” and was able to snag 2k and investors who would invest when they see a CPG all said and done with. Definitely not enough capital to suffice for everything but should help move me in the right direction right? I’ve taken what SirDiff said and began to speak with the Chinese manufacturers for bulk pricing. I think the next step is to calculate some project cost for workspace, and actual presentation to buyers. Beacuse I feel that is lacking along with numerous other things but I hope that will be resolved as times goes on.

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Building super high spec and fast boards are viable. But I’m going to leave the dream to @longhairedboy :smiley:

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I would be very careful about building fast/powerful/high speed boards. One of the primary reasons I decided not to get into this market is the liability involved.

I would only manufacture/market parts that could not be the direct cause of a death or serious injury, and I would even be wary of parts that could be an indirect cause (such as controller or a motor mount).

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How far would you say that a written agreement goes between both parties that the builder/manufacturer is not liable for injury and death caused by the skateboard? Evolve have something similar on their site. when buying nobody think’s its going to be them who crashes, but when you do crash you’re quick to point to finger at the manufacturer… so i see what you mean.

I am not a lawyer, but I would think regardless of the agreement when the parents put you in front of a jury and show that your flawed product resulted in the death of their child it’s not going to go well.

Sorry to be such a buzzkill, but the thing that surprised me most in my 2-year journey into electric longboarding is just how dangerous they really are.

Best bet it is to tell them to wear helmet, and provide reliable products. #nowiimotes

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