Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

State Of The Industry

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Created by juniorburger A week ago, 5 Apr 2019
KP.
NSW, 95 posts
10 Apr 2019 2:22PM
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WaveScience said..

KP. said..Retail is tough, but you have to put in the time to make it work. Its not a matter of opening up your doors and hoping people walk in. So many good companies out there still work with retailers and want to see retailers succeed. I also want to see the one's and deep's of this world succeed as well cause again they support events, support team riders, sponsor clubs and support customers... But when fly by nighters like "tom dick and harry's SUP Boards" out of shed or garage or container is just in it for the sell... Well that is not cool.




I don't think Tom Dick and Harry's SUP Boards out of a tin shed is necessarily threatening the industry. Those guys will get burnt and be stuck with half a container of crap they can't sell and will disappear into the night.

The issue here is retailers heavily discounting and offering free shipping nationwide - maybe it's just capitalism in the age of Amazon but when a retailer in one city is having to compete for local business with a retailer 2000km away, the rules of the game have changed.

Mind you, there is also the possibility that a retailer who is complaining about unfair business practices actually has a history of cutting the throats of local competitors so it could well be karma playing out. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and all that.


That is all true.
But is it not the retailers right if they want to ship for free then they can choose to do so?
The other issue also is Price fixing is illegal in Australia so that is why it is RRP or SRP its not Fixed price.
Every industry is hurting in a retail sector at the moment. Even BIG W has chosen to close some of its stores.. Thats a massive call at the top end of town.

juniorburger
28 posts
10 Apr 2019 1:43PM
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paul.j said..

micksmith said..
I don't understand Paul, there is competition in every business that's what capitalism is about.
I guess retail prices are set according to profit margin required. If Johnny is happy with $xx profit but you want $xxx to support your lifestyle that will be the difference.
I live in a town where for years our petrol prices were the same at all six stations, people complained that prices were high compared to other towns nearby, we were told they didn't control the prices, strangely last year one of those servos was sold to an Indian and the price dropped .10 cents Ltr. Now the other servos are dropping prices to match. funny that.



Maybe there is nothing wrong with it and this is just the way of the world , but i know the margins and when hard working shop owners are making nothing and i mean nothing after trying to match stupid prices and what ever margin is left is going towards paying rent and any other outgoings it just never really sits that well. The topic is about the state of the industry and i guess this is where the state of the industry is at right now. When a sale runs at 20% off for 4 weeks or more then why bother even having the retail price set why not just have the price set at the discounted rate? Either some company's are making way to much money or some one is losing out somewhere?

People want shops but for shops to survive they need to make a certain margin and right now that margin is getting smashed, If most shops are already only just getting by then how do you think your local will go when they have to take another 20% off just to keep a local customer from shopping some where else?

Maybe i am just a bit more old school thinking and this screwing everyone else just to make a buck is the best way forward.

Competition is also great and really helps push the sport along and have no issue with good fair competition it just never sits that well when i know maybe it is hurting so many others but if most people are happy with this kind of thing in our tiny little industry then really i am just one little voice and we will just keep rolling along.



I completely agree here with Jacko..

The only way retailers would even have a chance at surviving with discounts and really low margins would be if the market was bigger, similar to the surf industry, however it's not and I don't think it will ever get that way if you don't have the retailers there to support the local market, clubs and community..

With customers buying from bigger players out of their area, that do offer large discounts and free shipping at the end of the day the consumer is winning for the "moment" however if they choose to buy on price rather then their local outlet (if they have one) then essentially that shop might not be there in the future.. If there's less competition in the market then the prices will go up..

I think it's wrong that shops have to essentially match prices from someone who might be on the other side of the country, each area has it's own market and the challenges that come with it. Different areas have different costs which is never highlighted in the retail prices, however if shops are having to match prices to keep customers buying local, certain areas with higher costs of living will be hit harder..

There are also 2 sides to every story and although I don't think it's fair the big guys are doing big discounts and making it hard for smaller players, I don't think they are just doing it for the hell of it either! Essentially with bigger players you have larger overheads, including staff and space, you also probably have a hell of a lot more money tied up in stock.. I think these guys are essentially forced into doing these sorts of things due to the current state of the market and the influx of competition.. If they could be making 20% extra per board I'm pretty damn sure they'd want to be..

There are a fair few players currently that have invested quite a bit to try and control the market, but these guys are working on volume, with very low margins! If the demand just isn't there what are you going to do.. Well you're probably going to sell direct to recoup whatever you can and undermine retailers..

Maybe it's not just the SUP industry, maybe it's the the whole retail industry itself..


Very interesting time ahead...

Hoppo3228
VIC, 295 posts
10 Apr 2019 4:06PM
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Some of the biggest issues I see are:

Whoever has the deepest pockets will win (retailers I'm talking about)...in the long run... they can ride out the storm whilst the everyday joe trying his best to stay afloat eventually goes broke. Bigger shops can aggressively control this (speed this process) which is what we are seeing now.

Consumers now expect the best service imaginable, then get on their phone and google the cheapest price and say 'can u match it?'. Offering great service is no longer good enough...

Imo one way around it in the sup space really is for retailers to either import/create their own brands directly (one) or shape their own boards (deep)... if they don't have enough cash to do this, partner up with a store or 2 in other regions and create buying groups...

Unfortunately this is the new reality in retail, in almost everything we buy.

paul.j
QLD, 2784 posts
10 Apr 2019 5:42PM
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Also the Shops that are doing the discounting it is hard to blame them as I guess they are only doing what they feel is going to work for them and on there side they have every right to try and sell Australia wide as the goal of any business is to grow and make money. Maybe the ones who are really to blame here are the company's who allow the shops to do this!
For the brand in the short term it's probably all good but long term I would say it won't work out so well.

Naish in Australia is about the only company I have heard of that took their boards out of a shop and refused to sell them more because of the blatant online discounts which IMO was a huge call as I am sure they were doing better numbers than a lot of the shops that might have complained but they I am sure they looked ahead and seen past the short term gains!!

If I sell to a retailer we work hard to limit online discounting unless it's on clearance boards or older stock which we never really have much of and we never pressure them to over buy and in most cases would rather they order less.

We do a club discount for members of any club as we also feel the club's are a big part of the future and we really want to reward people for getting involved.

At ONE we have zero overheads really and will keep it this way we have stopped all pre order discounts for the shops and have worked very hard to get the pricing to what we feel is very fair for the kind product we do, we can still sell to any shop in Australia who wants to sell ONE and they can still make a very fair margin but if the shop starts doing huge discounts then I am not sure how they would survive long term doing this.

Interesting few years coming up and lots of positives to be focusing on and hopefully we are all still talking about how big the sport is in a few years and not still discussing this kind of crap.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Saturday , 13 Apr 2019 8:44PM
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Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 1:45PM
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No comments?

(And #8 was meant to read "Provide no protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)")

For example, which brands provide educational information about their products? (and I don't mean the occasional videos of guys riding their board.) Blue Planet comes to mind, but I can't think of any others, other than Sunova's videos by Bert Berger, and STC's home made videos (and they are great, but that's a guy who has been made an "ambassador" after he voluntarily made lots of videos). They want people to spend $2-3k based on (maybe) seeing it in a store and reading some specs on-line. How hard is it to make videos??

And how many people from the retail or manufacturer companies visit this forum, contribute to it, and answer questions (and gauge how the average punter uses their products)?

And how often have you expressed interest in a board and the retailer says "sorry, it may be on a container to arrive here in four months". Of course, another retailer may have it in stock, but good luck finding it.

Anyway, I love the sport, and luckily can afford to have a garage full of poor choices...

magillamelb
VIC, 612 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 1:55PM
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cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.


There are some exceptions to the rule above, but they're few and far between. The benchmarks of the industry are in NSW/Qld.

Some people get it, some don't and a couple of businesses in recent years have failed in part due to a lack of authenticity of the proprietors in Victoria.

Some customers see how shallow some people are...

paul.j
QLD, 2784 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 3:06PM
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cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.


All really good stuff and liked all the questions, i would like to try and answer some of these if i may just because i want to learn more and this is why i have always come to these forums.


2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are? 30-60 with the biggest market 40 to 50, mostly Males on the race and performance surf but it's more 50-50 on the alround general paddling side

3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc. For us it's a little more performance based so 60% of our customers know what they are looking for and then we just try and make sure they get the right sizes to suit.

4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)? Tough one as really not that many overall use this forum, i would say and this is a guess 30 to 40% which i guess is still quite alot. How much they learn from the forums is questionable as well as i am sure they think they learn alot its just sometimes i feel alot of the info might be a little off so not sure if its always that useful

6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest? No, the people in side the small bubble will but most everyday paddlers could care less.

7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers? We need some yes, do we need 100 in each town? no


On the following this is what i feel:

2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy: Yes agree and always something we look at and want to do far better with, for smaller brands and i will use us here at ONE for this it is hard to do these videos and trust me i have tried alot to make good product info videos but i have never been happy with any i have made. We are working hard to do better on this so hopefully soon we can catch up in this area.


5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts: Websites are $$$$ and unless you know what you are doing it can be like throwing money away for most small business, over the years we have wasted way to much money on stupid mistakes doing websites and no ones fault but our own and in 13 years we have resorted to just doing it ourselves and learning as we go and only in the last year would i say we have started to make a small head way. For us we still have so much to learn but at least we are not wasting more money on something we only just understand.

6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience): Yes i hate this!!!!

7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate: For the big companies who have proper web guys i fully agree, but smaller brands is a bit harder as in most cases we are paddlers who are just making this **** up as we go. Don't get me wrong we try hard and i spend many hours a day thinking how we can do this better and i am sure many other do as well but we didn't get good at paddling by sitting in front of the computer if you know what i mean!!

9. Spend zero time on forums like this: Spend way to mush time on here!! Can understand why many retailers or brands never post on here as it's very easy to get shot down for saying something wrong, this happens to me all the time but i have pretty thick skin and i guess just love the punishment!! LOL

10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good: Yeah agree with this and we really try to use more normal people where we can, hell i am 42 and pretty normal. I can see why the brands use the kids as they show what the product can do but over the years the separation between the pros and average has widened so now no one really cares if Boothy wins on a sprint as they all know he would probably win on anything and they know the chance of them riding a sprint in 20 knots DW is a dream.


If we had huge budgets then i am sure even for us some of this stuff would be way better but i guess the fact is we like many other just don't have the budget to do alot of this stuff, we run a super tight over head business and for us ONE is run 100% by Angie and myself(mostly Angie as she is way smarter than me) and we do everything from website to social media to ordering to product development(Ben helps a little here) to all emails to trying to find new retailers importers to talking to all parts of the world at all hours of the day/night plus working full time in our retail store and then pretty much full time training on top of this. Really nothing more than anyone who owns a small business does but it is hard sometimes to get everything right and as much as i hate the stuff money talks to really get alot of the smaller fine points right.

Always very happy to learn so if you run successful business and feel you have some great tips or any good advice please feel free to share away as the one thing i have learned is to listen and learn(slow learner by the way).

colas
3078 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 1:07PM
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cantSUPenough said..
No comments?
[...]
I can't think of any others


Well, I didn't want to comment, as it could feel awkward as I am a Gong ambassador, and it could ruffle some feathers, but Gong has been providing all your points for years (but in French, so under the radar of most non-French speaking people I guess).

As Gong now sells direct (it had some UK resellers at one time), it relies not on shops but on a network of ambassadors to provide advice and videos from non-"freak young (spoiled) athletes" (such as me). For instance this Saturday I had a spanish guy drive 2 hours to come test one of my boards, and we were 400 Gong ambassadors (nearly all in France) last time the count was published.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 5:45PM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..

cantSUPenough said..
No comments?
[...]
I can't think of any others



Well, I didn't want to comment, as it could feel awkward as I am a Gong ambassador, and it could ruffle some feathers, but Gong has been providing all your points for years (but in French, so under the radar of most non-French speaking people I guess).

As Gong now sells direct (it had some UK resellers at one time), it relies not on shops but on a network of ambassadors to provide advice and videos from non-"freak young (spoiled) athletes" (such as me). For instance this Saturday I had a spanish guy drive 2 hours to come test one of my boards, and we were 400 Gong ambassadors (nearly all in France) last time the count was published.


I kind of suspected that Gong may do things differently, but since I have no experience with your products/site/etc., I could not comment. je ne parle pas

Monday , 15 Apr 2019 5:54PM
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Colas, 400 "Gong Ambassador's" in France alone sounds like every man & his dog is a so-called "ambassador" especially when you consider Europe has the "Big" brands like Starboard, Fanatic, BIC, etc based over there not to mention every other "Big" name brand is there trying to get their piece of the pie...

JEG
VIC, 1081 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 5:59PM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..

cantSUPenough said..
No comments?
[...]
I can't think of any others



Well, I didn't want to comment, as it could feel awkward as I am a Gong ambassador, and it could ruffle some feathers, but Gong has been providing all your points for years (but in French, so under the radar of most non-French speaking people I guess).

As Gong now sells direct (it had some UK resellers at one time), it relies not on shops but on a network of ambassadors to provide advice and videos from non-"freak young (spoiled) athletes" (such as me). For instance this Saturday I had a spanish guy drive 2 hours to come test one of my boards, and we were 400 Gong ambassadors (nearly all in France) last time the count was published.


where are you in ladder of 400 gong ambassadors colas and if your no.1 how much % discount do you get?

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 6:48PM
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Select to expand quote
paul.j said..

cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.



All really good stuff and liked all the questions, i would like to try and answer some of these if i may just because i want to learn more and this is why i have always come to these forums.


2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are? 30-60 with the biggest market 40 to 50, mostly Males on the race and performance surf but it's more 50-50 on the alround general paddling side

3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc. For us it's a little more performance based so 60% of our customers know what they are looking for and then we just try and make sure they get the right sizes to suit.

4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)? Tough one as really not that many overall use this forum, i would say and this is a guess 30 to 40% which i guess is still quite alot. How much they learn from the forums is questionable as well as i am sure they think they learn alot its just sometimes i feel alot of the info might be a little off so not sure if its always that useful

6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest? No, the people in side the small bubble will but most everyday paddlers could care less.

7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers? We need some yes, do we need 100 in each town? no


On the following this is what i feel:

2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy: Yes agree and always something we look at and want to do far better with, for smaller brands and i will use us here at ONE for this it is hard to do these videos and trust me i have tried alot to make good product info videos but i have never been happy with any i have made. We are working hard to do better on this so hopefully soon we can catch up in this area.


5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts: Websites are $$$$ and unless you know what you are doing it can be like throwing money away for most small business, over the years we have wasted way to much money on stupid mistakes doing websites and no ones fault but our own and in 13 years we have resorted to just doing it ourselves and learning as we go and only in the last year would i say we have started to make a small head way. For us we still have so much to learn but at least we are not wasting more money on something we only just understand.

6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience): Yes i hate this!!!!

7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate: For the big companies who have proper web guys i fully agree, but smaller brands is a bit harder as in most cases we are paddlers who are just making this **** up as we go. Don't get me wrong we try hard and i spend many hours a day thinking how we can do this better and i am sure many other do as well but we didn't get good at paddling by sitting in front of the computer if you know what i mean!!

9. Spend zero time on forums like this: Spend way to mush time on here!! Can understand why many retailers or brands never post on here as it's very easy to get shot down for saying something wrong, this happens to me all the time but i have pretty thick skin and i guess just love the punishment!! LOL

10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good: Yeah agree with this and we really try to use more normal people where we can, hell i am 42 and pretty normal. I can see why the brands use the kids as they show what the product can do but over the years the separation between the pros and average has widened so now no one really cares if Boothy wins on a sprint as they all know he would probably win on anything and they know the chance of them riding a sprint in 20 knots DW is a dream.


If we had huge budgets then i am sure even for us some of this stuff would be way better but i guess the fact is we like many other just don't have the budget to do alot of this stuff, we run a super tight over head business and for us ONE is run 100% by Angie and myself(mostly Angie as she is way smarter than me) and we do everything from website to social media to ordering to product development(Ben helps a little here) to all emails to trying to find new retailers importers to talking to all parts of the world at all hours of the day/night plus working full time in our retail store and then pretty much full time training on top of this. Really nothing more than anyone who owns a small business does but it is hard sometimes to get everything right and as much as i hate the stuff money talks to really get alot of the smaller fine points right.

Always very happy to learn so if you run successful business and feel you have some great tips or any good advice please feel free to share away as the one thing i have learned is to listen and learn(slow learner by the way).


I was hoping you might respond as you do fit the profile of someone who has been trying hard, supporting this forum, and making a product that looks pretty cool. And looking at your site, you have done a great job. It is hard to believe there are just two (three?) of you running the business. And I imagine that all the stock you have to carry must put massive pressure on cash flow!

Here are a few thoughts - please take them or leave them, and others might like to add their opinions. (I will focus more on the surf sups as that is my thing.)

Too many choices?

I was surprised to see that you offer so many models in so many colors. That must also place your business under a lot of pressure - more stock for you to carry.

But it may also be too many choices for your customers. Just a thought; you may like to Google "the paradox of choice" (or just visit here:www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html) - some times fewer choices is much better. People fear making the wrong choice and can take a long time to figure out why one option is better than another.

Get a real feel for your products:

I expect that in your case I could walk in to your store and take a board for a test ride. And I suspect I could talk to you for a long time and you could help me make up my mind about which board is best. But I need more on your site to convince me - more on this below.

Price/risk:

Based on your study of demographics, how sensitive do you think your customers are to price? Maybe you could nudge it up and offer some unique benefits. I would personally love to see the following on your site:

1. We can ship the board to you and you can be surfing by the weekend
2. If you don't like it, keep the packaging and send it back

OK, both options add to your financial risk, but they remove my risk. I would be far more likely to buy. And research shows that most people don't send products back.

If I read that you had a "10 splash guarantee" where if I go out and keep falling off because the board is too short/narrow I could send it back and get the wider version - I would buy. But I would not buy the size smaller than I thought I needed - I could not be bothered sending it back so I would try to get it right the first time.

But boy, a cool guarantee would get you a lot of free press too. "Did you hear that ONE have the '10 splash guarantee' - that totally takes the risk away for me!"

USP:

What is your "unique selling proposition"? What do you have that the others don't have? Why should I buy from you? Sunova have a unique look (and they have a reputation for tough boards). What's yours? I think every business (and product) needs something that you focus on so that it becomes memorable and makes me want to buy.

Is there something unique about how the boards were made? Is there something unique about you? Are they tough boards? Is there a high Australian content?

Do the surf boards do great bottom turns? "The best bottom turn of any board". Are they stable "Keep standing in the worst conditions", "You won't be swimming when you turn for the wave".

Do the race boards punch through waves better than others? Are they lighter? Are they stronger? Are they more stable? Are they recyclable? Are they made of ground-up wombats? What is unique? And if there is nothing unique, make something up!

If they are not unique, why do you make them? What problem were you trying to solve?

Product name:

Sorry, I am having a hard time getting excited about "surf sup". It is corny, but a name like "Carve" or "Slash", or just about anything would be better.

Surf SUP:

When I clicked on the "About" page I saw a fantastic surf shot - the guy was killing it. But when I went to your "surf sup" page everyone was taking it easy. It comes back to your USP; do you want to sell to the once-in-a-while surfer (in which case you want to convince me that I can be successful out in the waves) or sell to the wanna-be hero (like me ;) in which case you can sell me on the idea that I can push the boundaries and come home buzzing.

I am going to guess that most people wanting to buy a surf sup spend hours clicking, reading, and hoping for divine intervention: "which board should I buy!!!???!!!). If you had pages that described in great detail about the pros and cons then I think most would read it (many times). You should do a video with the shaper where he/she describes every curve and line of the board. Get some videos of people using the boards and narrate over the top about the qualities of the board that allowed the surfer to do what we just saw. Explain who the board is for. Explain how it would perform on reef breaks, beach breaks, fat waves, barreling waves, etc. Explain how I should change fin setups for different conditions. Explain everything.

And you could have stories where normal people took the board out, challenged themselves a little, and triumphed. They got the wave, they earned the respect of the short-boarders (pure fantasy), they live happily is perpetual sunshine.

If I invest a lot of time in your product on-line, and I feel I know you, and I can see myself on your board - then I will buy.

Right now you have some people paddling flat water, one guy on a small wave, and not much text. (I fully appreciate how much time all this takes, but this could be the difference between lots of sales and meh.)

Videos:

Videos don't have to be professional. They are better if they aren't too schmik. Just honest explanations that answer every question I might have.

And while you're at it, address all my fears. What do you think the buyer fears? Warranty? Toughness? Weight? Shape? Bigger guys kicking sand in my face? Finding out there is a newer model right after I buy your product? The board will be too tippy? Address them all - answer them. Don't let them fester in the back of the buyer's mind.

Anyway, I had better go now!

This is all just one guy's opinion. Please don't take any of it as criticism. I run a different type of business (but I own 15 sups). I hope it helps.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 6:51PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Jimmy Lewis Boards said..
Colas, 400 "Gong Ambassador's" in France alone sounds like every man & his dog is a so-called "ambassador" especially when you consider Europe has the "Big" brands like Starboard, Fanatic, BIC, etc based over there not to mention every other "Big" name brand is there trying to get their piece of the pie...



Why shouldn't every owner be an ambassador? I own 9 Sunovas and Bert didn't even buy me a beer...

Slatz
NSW, 156 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 9:24PM
Thumbs Up

First of all, great thread JuniorBurger, and sorry for my long reply.

This is how I see the state of the industry at the moment and what we are doing/have done about it.

For those that don't know I run Surefire Boards........and by run, I mean I design our entire range boards, I shape the boards, (I was glassing too until a few years ago) - I order the stock, I speak to retailers, I build the website, do the marketing, do social media, ads, I am also sales, accounts, support, the guy who answers when you call, the guy that returns your email, the guy that gives you advise on what board/model/size would suit you, the Quality Control in our overseas factories etc.. the list goes on. I guess as a small business it is hard to do it all, but the budget just doesn't cater to outsource a lot of it and I have worked pretty much 7 days a week for years & years..to the point of burnout

Surefire Boards has been around since 2009 so we are by no means new on the scene. We have been making production boards overseas since 2010 and have been a big part in building 3 x SUP clubs for Sydney & the Illawarra over the past 9 years. My focus has always been on high performance surf models, this is my passion and I believe that R&D is extremely important in both design & construction - and by construction I mean the materials used to give the best strength to weight to flex characteristics.

So now to the state of the industry - The way I see it there are 4 segments

1 - Entry level - We had 2-3 boards that catered to the entry level but we made sure the quality was up to Surefire standard ie. Vacuum bagged timber top and bottom & PVC inserts etc. but this segment is a race to the bottom, it seems not many people want to pay for quality, & to be honest I don't blame them when every time you open facebook or instagram you see boards on sale for less than I can land them for. This is probably around 90% of the market so is a huge part so I can see why there are so many competing brands, but to compete with these prices we would have to use cheaper materials and cheaper factories which is not something we will ever do.

2 - Intermediate surf - This is the most exciting as people are progressing and getting stoked on the sport. As people progress they realise that their current board might not cut it for all conditions, and they search out something different. They might want a 10ft nose rider or a smaller fun board for summer, and I love getting the best boards under the feet of anyone trying to get better. This is where the right advice really comes into play & I am more than happy to spend time finding out what the customer is looking for and what size/model will suit.

3 - Advanced surfing - This is where bigger brands can win over the little guys as they have money to offer free boards, contest entry and sometimes even free travel. Unfortunately I cannot compete with this. All my team riders pay cost price for their boards, and ride them because they feel they are the best boards for them. I have been approached on several occasions to shape boards for competing brands team riders and am happy to do so, I actually enjoy working with other shapers and brands & do collabs whenever I can, but free boards......sorry you are barking up the wrong tree.

4 - Racing / downwind - This is something we concentrated on back in 2011 - 2013, doing lots of R&D and doing collabs with other designers & hydro engineers, but it seemed to be a money pit for us so we pulled right back. It seems that a few brands have managed to do great by concentrating on this segment but we realised it wasn't for us.

We have definitely seen a decline in sales for production boards, to the point where we are actually in the process of a major restructure including relocating from our factory premises and cutting back on production boards. We have our big sellers like the Degenerate & J-Hawk, but the smaller surf models take more time to move. I guess I am lucky that I currently have some deals with overseas brands to design their range of boards and get a royalty per board made. I have so many different surf models and designs that have been tested and go insane, so it is great they have a home now, as I simply can't put them all into production under the Surefire Logo.

Choices: Just like CantSUPenough states too many choices can be detrimental, but so too is not enough choice. Over the years we have had a huge amount of different colours and some wild paint jobs, but it was always the case that someone wanted the colour you had ran out of, so we made the decision to do all our surf range in one colour per construction. We now get feedback saying that people want more colour so you can't win.

Website: I know what I need to do to improve the website (we have changed websites 4 times in as many years and now don't even have our customs SUPs or surfboards online as they got lost after the last migration) & I know what I need to do video wise, in social media, in descriptions, getting more photos and videos of sessions, in following up retailers, and in every facet of the business, but it comes down to time. I simply don't have any spare and don't have the money to invest.We are extremely lucky we have a solid following locally that keeps the orders coming through for surfboards & SUP's.

The next few years will be a cleaning of the industry IMO, and this will be everyone from small backyard brands to the big guys, and even the factories in Asia who manufacture. A heap will close, a heap will go under and only a few will survive or want to continue. I just hope that we don't lose a lot of knowledge in the process, as I know of some great shapers who have had enough and got out of the industry. We have seen some major brands in the US go under in the last year or so, and in fact another major brand has just gone belly up due to their parent company going bankrupt. This is one of the big brands globally, but I am hoping someone comes to bail them out.

I wish every brand in Australia nothing but the best, we are all just trying to make a living doing something that we love, and hopefully our products put a huge smile on our customers faces.

Cheers, Slatz

colas
3078 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 7:48PM
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Select to expand quote
cantSUPenough said..
Why shouldn't every owner be an ambassador?



- Ambassadors must take time advising people, or even make them try their gear
- Ambassadors should know the products, in order to provide relevant advice
- Ambassadors should act nice. You do not want the local a**hole be your ambassador, nor people just shamelessly advertising the gear, or worse badmouthing the competition.

So no, not every owner wants or can be an ambassador. But I understand what you mean: since a disgruntled customer can spread his bile on all the social media, a brand wants every customer to be satisfied.

And as Slatz described, people just barging in claiming "I am the local champion, give me my free quiver" are not going to succeed... but a surprising number try anyways.

cantSUPenough, you didn't get a free beer, but somewhere you help sunova thrive and prosper, so they can continue producing gear you enjoy, so you have some reward. Actually that is why I tend to promote the gear I like, ambassador or not: C-Drive, Quobba fins, ... because I want them to stay in business to selfishly be able to still buy their products in the future...

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 10:08PM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..

cantSUPenough said..
Why shouldn't every owner be an ambassador?


cantSUPenough, you didn't get a free beer, but somewhere you help sunova thrive and prosper, so they can continue producing gear you enjoy, so you have some reward.


For sure, I am an unofficial ambassador because I like the product and have had success with it. Now I feel guilty because that may have taken some business away from Slatz and Paul...

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 10:19PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Slatz said..
For those that don't know I run Surefire Boards........and by run, I mean I design our entire range boards, I shape the boards, (I was glassing too until a few years ago) - I order the stock, I speak to retailers, I build the website, do the marketing, do social media, ads, I am also sales, accounts, support, the guy who answers when you call, the guy that returns your email, the guy that gives you advise on what board/model/size would suit you, the Quality Control in our overseas factories etc.. the list goes on. I guess as a small business it is hard to do it all, but the budget just doesn't cater to outsource a lot of it and I have worked pretty much 7 days a week for years & years..to the point of burnout



Wow - if nothing else, this thread has helped to reveal the amazing work and dedication that goes into some of the companies.

Slatz
NSW, 156 posts
Monday , 15 Apr 2019 10:21PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
cantSUPenough said..

colas said..


cantSUPenough said..
Why shouldn't every owner be an ambassador?



cantSUPenough, you didn't get a free beer, but somewhere you help sunova thrive and prosper, so they can continue producing gear you enjoy, so you have some reward.



For sure, I am an unofficial ambassador because I like the product and have had success with it. Now I feel guilty because that may have taken some business away from Slatz and Paul...


I think the best ambassadors are the ones who do it off their own bat and do not get anything for it, so CantSUPenough I think if you love Sunova, or any board for that matter then you should let people know, that is the best word of mouth any business can get. I wish more customers did this because it does really help

paul.j
QLD, 2784 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 8:43AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
cantSUPenough said..

paul.j said..


cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.




All really good stuff and liked all the questions, i would like to try and answer some of these if i may just because i want to learn more and this is why i have always come to these forums.


2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are? 30-60 with the biggest market 40 to 50, mostly Males on the race and performance surf but it's more 50-50 on the alround general paddling side

3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc. For us it's a little more performance based so 60% of our customers know what they are looking for and then we just try and make sure they get the right sizes to suit.

4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)? Tough one as really not that many overall use this forum, i would say and this is a guess 30 to 40% which i guess is still quite alot. How much they learn from the forums is questionable as well as i am sure they think they learn alot its just sometimes i feel alot of the info might be a little off so not sure if its always that useful

6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest? No, the people in side the small bubble will but most everyday paddlers could care less.

7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers? We need some yes, do we need 100 in each town? no


On the following this is what i feel:

2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy: Yes agree and always something we look at and want to do far better with, for smaller brands and i will use us here at ONE for this it is hard to do these videos and trust me i have tried alot to make good product info videos but i have never been happy with any i have made. We are working hard to do better on this so hopefully soon we can catch up in this area.


5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts: Websites are $$$$ and unless you know what you are doing it can be like throwing money away for most small business, over the years we have wasted way to much money on stupid mistakes doing websites and no ones fault but our own and in 13 years we have resorted to just doing it ourselves and learning as we go and only in the last year would i say we have started to make a small head way. For us we still have so much to learn but at least we are not wasting more money on something we only just understand.

6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience): Yes i hate this!!!!

7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate: For the big companies who have proper web guys i fully agree, but smaller brands is a bit harder as in most cases we are paddlers who are just making this **** up as we go. Don't get me wrong we try hard and i spend many hours a day thinking how we can do this better and i am sure many other do as well but we didn't get good at paddling by sitting in front of the computer if you know what i mean!!

9. Spend zero time on forums like this: Spend way to mush time on here!! Can understand why many retailers or brands never post on here as it's very easy to get shot down for saying something wrong, this happens to me all the time but i have pretty thick skin and i guess just love the punishment!! LOL

10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good: Yeah agree with this and we really try to use more normal people where we can, hell i am 42 and pretty normal. I can see why the brands use the kids as they show what the product can do but over the years the separation between the pros and average has widened so now no one really cares if Boothy wins on a sprint as they all know he would probably win on anything and they know the chance of them riding a sprint in 20 knots DW is a dream.


If we had huge budgets then i am sure even for us some of this stuff would be way better but i guess the fact is we like many other just don't have the budget to do alot of this stuff, we run a super tight over head business and for us ONE is run 100% by Angie and myself(mostly Angie as she is way smarter than me) and we do everything from website to social media to ordering to product development(Ben helps a little here) to all emails to trying to find new retailers importers to talking to all parts of the world at all hours of the day/night plus working full time in our retail store and then pretty much full time training on top of this. Really nothing more than anyone who owns a small business does but it is hard sometimes to get everything right and as much as i hate the stuff money talks to really get alot of the smaller fine points right.

Always very happy to learn so if you run successful business and feel you have some great tips or any good advice please feel free to share away as the one thing i have learned is to listen and learn(slow learner by the way).



I was hoping you might respond as you do fit the profile of someone who has been trying hard, supporting this forum, and making a product that looks pretty cool. And looking at your site, you have done a great job. It is hard to believe there are just two (three?) of you running the business. And I imagine that all the stock you have to carry must put massive pressure on cash flow!

Here are a few thoughts - please take them or leave them, and others might like to add their opinions. (I will focus more on the surf sups as that is my thing.)

Too many choices?

I was surprised to see that you offer so many models in so many colors. That must also place your business under a lot of pressure - more stock for you to carry.

But it may also be too many choices for your customers. Just a thought; you may like to Google "the paradox of choice" (or just visit here:www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html) - some times fewer choices is much better. People fear making the wrong choice and can take a long time to figure out why one option is better than another.

Get a real feel for your products:

I expect that in your case I could walk in to your store and take a board for a test ride. And I suspect I could talk to you for a long time and you could help me make up my mind about which board is best. But I need more on your site to convince me - more on this below.

Price/risk:

Based on your study of demographics, how sensitive do you think your customers are to price? Maybe you could nudge it up and offer some unique benefits. I would personally love to see the following on your site:

1. We can ship the board to you and you can be surfing by the weekend
2. If you don't like it, keep the packaging and send it back

OK, both options add to your financial risk, but they remove my risk. I would be far more likely to buy. And research shows that most people don't send products back.

If I read that you had a "10 splash guarantee" where if I go out and keep falling off because the board is too short/narrow I could send it back and get the wider version - I would buy. But I would not buy the size smaller than I thought I needed - I could not be bothered sending it back so I would try to get it right the first time.

But boy, a cool guarantee would get you a lot of free press too. "Did you hear that ONE have the '10 splash guarantee' - that totally takes the risk away for me!"

USP:

What is your "unique selling proposition"? What do you have that the others don't have? Why should I buy from you? Sunova have a unique look (and they have a reputation for tough boards). What's yours? I think every business (and product) needs something that you focus on so that it becomes memorable and makes me want to buy.

Is there something unique about how the boards were made? Is there something unique about you? Are they tough boards? Is there a high Australian content?

Do the surf boards do great bottom turns? "The best bottom turn of any board". Are they stable "Keep standing in the worst conditions", "You won't be swimming when you turn for the wave".

Do the race boards punch through waves better than others? Are they lighter? Are they stronger? Are they more stable? Are they recyclable? Are they made of ground-up wombats? What is unique? And if there is nothing unique, make something up!

If they are not unique, why do you make them? What problem were you trying to solve?

Product name:

Sorry, I am having a hard time getting excited about "surf sup". It is corny, but a name like "Carve" or "Slash", or just about anything would be better.

Surf SUP:

When I clicked on the "About" page I saw a fantastic surf shot - the guy was killing it. But when I went to your "surf sup" page everyone was taking it easy. It comes back to your USP; do you want to sell to the once-in-a-while surfer (in which case you want to convince me that I can be successful out in the waves) or sell to the wanna-be hero (like me ;) in which case you can sell me on the idea that I can push the boundaries and come home buzzing.

I am going to guess that most people wanting to buy a surf sup spend hours clicking, reading, and hoping for divine intervention: "which board should I buy!!!???!!!). If you had pages that described in great detail about the pros and cons then I think most would read it (many times). You should do a video with the shaper where he/she describes every curve and line of the board. Get some videos of people using the boards and narrate over the top about the qualities of the board that allowed the surfer to do what we just saw. Explain who the board is for. Explain how it would perform on reef breaks, beach breaks, fat waves, barreling waves, etc. Explain how I should change fin setups for different conditions. Explain everything.

And you could have stories where normal people took the board out, challenged themselves a little, and triumphed. They got the wave, they earned the respect of the short-boarders (pure fantasy), they live happily is perpetual sunshine.

If I invest a lot of time in your product on-line, and I feel I know you, and I can see myself on your board - then I will buy.

Right now you have some people paddling flat water, one guy on a small wave, and not much text. (I fully appreciate how much time all this takes, but this could be the difference between lots of sales and meh.)

Videos:

Videos don't have to be professional. They are better if they aren't too schmik. Just honest explanations that answer every question I might have.

And while you're at it, address all my fears. What do you think the buyer fears? Warranty? Toughness? Weight? Shape? Bigger guys kicking sand in my face? Finding out there is a newer model right after I buy your product? The board will be too tippy? Address them all - answer them. Don't let them fester in the back of the buyer's mind.

Anyway, I had better go now!

This is all just one guy's opinion. Please don't take any of it as criticism. I run a different type of business (but I own 15 sups). I hope it helps.


Definitely want take any good advice the wrong way so don't worry about that and to be honest i like someone that might criticise but also gives good ideas for solution's as well.

100% agree with all said and fully agree with the surf SUP assessment from our website as i look at it and say many of the same things, and the worst thing is we spend so much money making the surf sup's and time spent developing them to what i feel are some of the best constructed on the market but then on the last hurdle of trying to get how good they are on paper which really sounds like the easiest part we fall over.

I like the 10 Splash concept and have been working on something like this and truly feel if a company believes in their product that it should have a backing like this, Very hard to make a retailer do this but for any one who buys direct i think this will work no worries.

The worst thing is i hate making excuses why stuff is not done and really thats all they are is just excuse's, all the of the stuff you have suggested is good and none of it is really that hard to do all it takes is me to get Ang to work a bit harder!!

Owning a business is all about learning and making mistakes(not to many each year hopefully) we have made quite a few over the years (losing $50,000 worth of boards on a highway was a good one) but it all happens for a reason i guess and it has all made us stronger over the years. While many i hear are going backwards we are doing the opposite and have grown quite a bit over the last few years and a lot of this i feel is by just doing our own thing and sticking to what we want to achieve long term. Would we love a money tree to be able to out source some of this kind of stuff? yes of course we would but until that day happens we are pretty happy learning more as we go and building at a pace that we feel is comfortable.

Once again thats for the feed back and your thoughts!!

HGFish
NSW, 148 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 9:41AM
Thumbs Up

Some great reading and theories being discussed, but not that long ago SUP was one of the fastest growing sports around. That offers many opportunities and that those that jumped on early had a good run, but when things start to slow, for any number of reasons (no real new size / shapes in the last little while, the rise in foiling etc.), and people are still trying to enter the market it does become over serviced and some will lose out. Think windsurfing, sailing cats etc. and other sports that became popular and then fade. They may have a core of devotees but past that opportunities for growth are limited. From personal experience the exciting phase of learning the sport and trying all the new shapes had me buying more boards than I should have (17 boards and all the brands in 5 years) but now that I've found one I really like, I haven't bought a board for over 2 years. That may be the case for others too. Supply and demand dictates every industry and when demand drops off......

Add to this things the Gartner have been saying since 2011 - by 2020 (next year) 85% of sales will not involve human interaction. Online or transactional sales becomes huge, no matter how we feel about it. Online also hurts local players because consumers can buy from anywhere and have their purchase delivered to their door, in many instances cheaper than the local players can offer. To follow CSE's take on USP's - the lowest cost producer becomes really hard to beat. Businesses that have a loyal following may still make a living but if you read paul.j & Slatz's posts, it's tough.

magillamelb
VIC, 612 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:19AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
cantSUPenough said..

paul.j said..


cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.




All really good stuff and liked all the questions, i would like to try and answer some of these if i may just because i want to learn more and this is why i have always come to these forums.


2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are? 30-60 with the biggest market 40 to 50, mostly Males on the race and performance surf but it's more 50-50 on the alround general paddling side

3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc. For us it's a little more performance based so 60% of our customers know what they are looking for and then we just try and make sure they get the right sizes to suit.

4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)? Tough one as really not that many overall use this forum, i would say and this is a guess 30 to 40% which i guess is still quite alot. How much they learn from the forums is questionable as well as i am sure they think they learn alot its just sometimes i feel alot of the info might be a little off so not sure if its always that useful

6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest? No, the people in side the small bubble will but most everyday paddlers could care less.

7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers? We need some yes, do we need 100 in each town? no


On the following this is what i feel:

2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy: Yes agree and always something we look at and want to do far better with, for smaller brands and i will use us here at ONE for this it is hard to do these videos and trust me i have tried alot to make good product info videos but i have never been happy with any i have made. We are working hard to do better on this so hopefully soon we can catch up in this area.


5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts: Websites are $$$$ and unless you know what you are doing it can be like throwing money away for most small business, over the years we have wasted way to much money on stupid mistakes doing websites and no ones fault but our own and in 13 years we have resorted to just doing it ourselves and learning as we go and only in the last year would i say we have started to make a small head way. For us we still have so much to learn but at least we are not wasting more money on something we only just understand.

6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience): Yes i hate this!!!!

7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate: For the big companies who have proper web guys i fully agree, but smaller brands is a bit harder as in most cases we are paddlers who are just making this **** up as we go. Don't get me wrong we try hard and i spend many hours a day thinking how we can do this better and i am sure many other do as well but we didn't get good at paddling by sitting in front of the computer if you know what i mean!!

9. Spend zero time on forums like this: Spend way to mush time on here!! Can understand why many retailers or brands never post on here as it's very easy to get shot down for saying something wrong, this happens to me all the time but i have pretty thick skin and i guess just love the punishment!! LOL

10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good: Yeah agree with this and we really try to use more normal people where we can, hell i am 42 and pretty normal. I can see why the brands use the kids as they show what the product can do but over the years the separation between the pros and average has widened so now no one really cares if Boothy wins on a sprint as they all know he would probably win on anything and they know the chance of them riding a sprint in 20 knots DW is a dream.


If we had huge budgets then i am sure even for us some of this stuff would be way better but i guess the fact is we like many other just don't have the budget to do alot of this stuff, we run a super tight over head business and for us ONE is run 100% by Angie and myself(mostly Angie as she is way smarter than me) and we do everything from website to social media to ordering to product development(Ben helps a little here) to all emails to trying to find new retailers importers to talking to all parts of the world at all hours of the day/night plus working full time in our retail store and then pretty much full time training on top of this. Really nothing more than anyone who owns a small business does but it is hard sometimes to get everything right and as much as i hate the stuff money talks to really get alot of the smaller fine points right.

Always very happy to learn so if you run successful business and feel you have some great tips or any good advice please feel free to share away as the one thing i have learned is to listen and learn(slow learner by the way).



I was hoping you might respond as you do fit the profile of someone who has been trying hard, supporting this forum, and making a product that looks pretty cool. And looking at your site, you have done a great job. It is hard to believe there are just two (three?) of you running the business. And I imagine that all the stock you have to carry must put massive pressure on cash flow!

Here are a few thoughts - please take them or leave them, and others might like to add their opinions. (I will focus more on the surf sups as that is my thing.)

Too many choices?

I was surprised to see that you offer so many models in so many colors. That must also place your business under a lot of pressure - more stock for you to carry.

But it may also be too many choices for your customers. Just a thought; you may like to Google "the paradox of choice" (or just visit here:www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html) - some times fewer choices is much better. People fear making the wrong choice and can take a long time to figure out why one option is better than another.

Get a real feel for your products:

I expect that in your case I could walk in to your store and take a board for a test ride. And I suspect I could talk to you for a long time and you could help me make up my mind about which board is best. But I need more on your site to convince me - more on this below.

Price/risk:

Based on your study of demographics, how sensitive do you think your customers are to price? Maybe you could nudge it up and offer some unique benefits. I would personally love to see the following on your site:

1. We can ship the board to you and you can be surfing by the weekend
2. If you don't like it, keep the packaging and send it back

OK, both options add to your financial risk, but they remove my risk. I would be far more likely to buy. And research shows that most people don't send products back.

If I read that you had a "10 splash guarantee" where if I go out and keep falling off because the board is too short/narrow I could send it back and get the wider version - I would buy. But I would not buy the size smaller than I thought I needed - I could not be bothered sending it back so I would try to get it right the first time.

But boy, a cool guarantee would get you a lot of free press too. "Did you hear that ONE have the '10 splash guarantee' - that totally takes the risk away for me!"

USP:

What is your "unique selling proposition"? What do you have that the others don't have? Why should I buy from you? Sunova have a unique look (and they have a reputation for tough boards). What's yours? I think every business (and product) needs something that you focus on so that it becomes memorable and makes me want to buy.

Is there something unique about how the boards were made? Is there something unique about you? Are they tough boards? Is there a high Australian content?

Do the surf boards do great bottom turns? "The best bottom turn of any board". Are they stable "Keep standing in the worst conditions", "You won't be swimming when you turn for the wave".

Do the race boards punch through waves better than others? Are they lighter? Are they stronger? Are they more stable? Are they recyclable? Are they made of ground-up wombats? What is unique? And if there is nothing unique, make something up!

If they are not unique, why do you make them? What problem were you trying to solve?

Product name:

Sorry, I am having a hard time getting excited about "surf sup". It is corny, but a name like "Carve" or "Slash", or just about anything would be better.

Surf SUP:

When I clicked on the "About" page I saw a fantastic surf shot - the guy was killing it. But when I went to your "surf sup" page everyone was taking it easy. It comes back to your USP; do you want to sell to the once-in-a-while surfer (in which case you want to convince me that I can be successful out in the waves) or sell to the wanna-be hero (like me ;) in which case you can sell me on the idea that I can push the boundaries and come home buzzing.

I am going to guess that most people wanting to buy a surf sup spend hours clicking, reading, and hoping for divine intervention: "which board should I buy!!!???!!!). If you had pages that described in great detail about the pros and cons then I think most would read it (many times). You should do a video with the shaper where he/she describes every curve and line of the board. Get some videos of people using the boards and narrate over the top about the qualities of the board that allowed the surfer to do what we just saw. Explain who the board is for. Explain how it would perform on reef breaks, beach breaks, fat waves, barreling waves, etc. Explain how I should change fin setups for different conditions. Explain everything.

And you could have stories where normal people took the board out, challenged themselves a little, and triumphed. They got the wave, they earned the respect of the short-boarders (pure fantasy), they live happily is perpetual sunshine.

If I invest a lot of time in your product on-line, and I feel I know you, and I can see myself on your board - then I will buy.

Right now you have some people paddling flat water, one guy on a small wave, and not much text. (I fully appreciate how much time all this takes, but this could be the difference between lots of sales and meh.)

Videos:

Videos don't have to be professional. They are better if they aren't too schmik. Just honest explanations that answer every question I might have.

And while you're at it, address all my fears. What do you think the buyer fears? Warranty? Toughness? Weight? Shape? Bigger guys kicking sand in my face? Finding out there is a newer model right after I buy your product? The board will be too tippy? Address them all - answer them. Don't let them fester in the back of the buyer's mind.

Anyway, I had better go now!

This is all just one guy's opinion. Please don't take any of it as criticism. I run a different type of business (but I own 15 sups). I hope it helps.


For me, a unique selling proposition has been a few things:

Eliminate the bull**
I don't have to talk to pretentious/arrogant 'expert' retailers who come unstuck when they assume the customer they're talking to knows far less than what they actually do, or, they repeat the marketing spin of the board manufacturers, which in most cases is 90% bull**.

Good advice is priceless. Sales people telling you what you want to hear to generate a sale (and $1500-$4000+ of regret for the customer for selling the wrong board to them) is not.

I went through a specific retailer to have my second board made, only for that to be hijacked by a retailer I was intending to avoid after I was ripped off with my first custom board. Fortunately that hijacker has succumbed to Darwin's theory and has resorted to his previous skill - automotive industry sales.

Authenticity
If you want to earn the respect of a customer, be authentic. I don't know anyone who hasn't respected someone being authentic. Personally, I've recommended others to those that are and have literally driven hundreds of kilometres to deal with someone that is.

Get what I want
I have been able to talk to designers about what I want for me. There has been back and forth conversation in each instance - sometimes the designer has been insistent and some when I've been insistent. With that compromise has come some fantastic results. Now I have two boards that are a perfect 'fit' for the applications they're designed to be (for me) and a third board coming soon that I have a very high degree of confidence will be right for what I want it to do.

What has been important in this process is designer and I listened to each other and the results have been amazing.

I'd much rather spend a little more (and wait a lot) to mitigate my risk by buying a board designed & built for me without the bull** involved.

winddude
WA, 92 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 11:03AM
Thumbs Up

Retailers clearing stocks at the end of the season is nothing new. New seasons gear is 4 months away. Old stock is dead stock.
Savy buyers know it's the best time of year to buy gear. Long live capitalism ??

surf4fun
WA, 1312 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 3:54PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
winddude said..
Retailers clearing stocks at the end of the season is nothing new. New seasons gear is 4 months away. Old stock is dead stock.
Savy buyers know it's the best time of year to buy gear. Long live capitalism ??


Clearing old stock is one thing, selling current stock at discounted rates is another. Old stock isn't always dead stock as it provides retailers an opportunity to advertise discounted product which brings people into a store.

Seems like it is a race to the bottom at the moment and that never ends well.

lam
VIC, 40 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 6:57PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
surf4fun said..

winddude said..
Retailers clearing stocks at the end of the season is nothing new. New seasons gear is 4 months away. Old stock is dead stock.
Savy buyers know it's the best time of year to buy gear. Long live capitalism ??



Clearing old stock is one thing, selling current stock at discounted rates is another. Old stock isn't always dead stock as it provides retailers an opportunity to advertise discounted product which brings people into a store.

Seems like it is a race to the bottom at the moment and that never ends well.


Law of the jungle, smartest, fastest strongest will always survive. Great reading CSE, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

paul.j
QLD, 2784 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 7:27PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
winddude said..
Retailers clearing stocks at the end of the season is nothing new. New seasons gear is 4 months away. Old stock is dead stock.
Savy buyers know it's the best time of year to buy gear. Long live capitalism ??



Just clearing old stock haha, I just read a guy from Melbourne ordered a New QB uv88 that is not even available yet and he still got 20% off in the sale.
plus a 4 week sale on everything? sounds more like a desperate need to put some money back in the account,It used to be 10% seemed like a standard deal for most shops and was fair for good customers but now maybe 20 in the new 10!! At this rate I would be watching out for the vegans as the prices are getting slaughtered and they will be marching to save this slaughtered stock

Every industry discounts but not everyone does it in a way that it just screws everyone else in side the small bubble.

I have said it before but I am stoked that I do not sell anything that is on the slaughter list and if I did I would be questioning the brands that seem to support it.

Also maybe shows how stupid the 1 year model turn around is as most boards do not go out of date after 1 year unless it's completely s*** and if this is the case I guess there must be a lot of crappy boards made!!

Back to my bubble.

baldrick
QLD, 134 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 10:34PM
Thumbs Up

Intermission....

Bighugg
NT, 165 posts
Tuesday , 16 Apr 2019 10:54PM
Thumbs Up

This is new board sales that drive R n D , production .
There must be a lot of folks out there like me that bought 1st board New then 2nd and 3rd second hand as we downsized , seeing what style we were taking. 4th one New , maybe another 2nd hand, then custom. And visualizing the next custom.
We may not have contributed greatly to the primary/new sales, but we have fostered others into Sup selling our beginner boards and quite often our intermediate boards to the same folks. AND now they are eyeing us on our Custom.
With Bard Sup Custom Ambassadors like supthecreek and Nozza and others ..... making the custom leap seem so doable, perhaps we will see a greater increase in Custom sales... as part of people's Sup evolution.
I support my local Surf shop as much possible for surf hardware, . I need that tactile interaction .
Thankyou, paul.j for being thick skined whilst so open on where you're at. With the interesting banter Great inspiration to try you local Sup Shaper

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Tuesday , 17 Apr 2019 12:04AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
paul.j said..

cantSUPenough said..


paul.j said..



cantSUPenough said..
Interesting discussion.

I wonder what type of research the SUP companies perform. Do they know:

1. Why does the average person purchase a given brand, model, size?
2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are?
3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc.
4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)?
5. What % are involved in clubs?
6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest?
7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers?
8. How many sales involved a retailer (the customer saw it in a shop but either bought from that shop, another shop, or purchased directly from the manufacturer)?

Personally, I find this industry to be pretty amateurish (sorry for the offense). From my perspective, in general, most brands:

1. Make very little attempt to generate loyalty
2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy
3. Do even less to ensure I get the most from the product
4. Do nothing to take the risk out of my purchase
5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts
6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience)
7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate
8. Provide protection or real support for their retailers (or so it would seem)
9. Spend zero time on forums like this
10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good

I don't run a retail business, or a sporting-goods product-manufacturing business, so maybe I am missing how hard it is. (I do run a multi-million dollar business though.) And maybe I am not the average customer. I do know I have largely settled on a brand because they go to more effort than most, and the retailer goes to more effort than most.

I could say much more, but already I have written more than most want to read.





All really good stuff and liked all the questions, i would like to try and answer some of these if i may just because i want to learn more and this is why i have always come to these forums.


2. What the average age, weight, gender of their customers are? 30-60 with the biggest market 40 to 50, mostly Males on the race and performance surf but it's more 50-50 on the alround general paddling side

3. How their customers intend to use the product: compete, weekend hack, etc. For us it's a little more performance based so 60% of our customers know what they are looking for and then we just try and make sure they get the right sizes to suit.

4. What % of customers are active in forums like this (or made their choice based on what they learned here)? Tough one as really not that many overall use this forum, i would say and this is a guess 30 to 40% which i guess is still quite alot. How much they learn from the forums is questionable as well as i am sure they think they learn alot its just sometimes i feel alot of the info might be a little off so not sure if its always that useful

6. Does the average customer care who won the last race/surf contest? No, the people in side the small bubble will but most everyday paddlers could care less.

7. Why do the manufacturers need retailers? We need some yes, do we need 100 in each town? no


On the following this is what i feel:

2. Do very little to educate the customer about which product to buy: Yes agree and always something we look at and want to do far better with, for smaller brands and i will use us here at ONE for this it is hard to do these videos and trust me i have tried alot to make good product info videos but i have never been happy with any i have made. We are working hard to do better on this so hopefully soon we can catch up in this area.


5. Use retailers with basic websites with inaccurate stock information and very little more than pictures and basic facts: Websites are $$$$ and unless you know what you are doing it can be like throwing money away for most small business, over the years we have wasted way to much money on stupid mistakes doing websites and no ones fault but our own and in 13 years we have resorted to just doing it ourselves and learning as we go and only in the last year would i say we have started to make a small head way. For us we still have so much to learn but at least we are not wasting more money on something we only just understand.

6. Use retailers who employ retail staff who don't know a lot about their products and can't be bothered calling a customer back, following up after a "phone or in-store consultation", or generally giving a crap (I have had some good experience and tons of poor experience): Yes i hate this!!!!

7. Provide websites with limited information, which is often outdated, and difficult to navigate: For the big companies who have proper web guys i fully agree, but smaller brands is a bit harder as in most cases we are paddlers who are just making this **** up as we go. Don't get me wrong we try hard and i spend many hours a day thinking how we can do this better and i am sure many other do as well but we didn't get good at paddling by sitting in front of the computer if you know what i mean!!

9. Spend zero time on forums like this: Spend way to mush time on here!! Can understand why many retailers or brands never post on here as it's very easy to get shot down for saying something wrong, this happens to me all the time but i have pretty thick skin and i guess just love the punishment!! LOL

10. Demonstrate their products using freak young (spoiled) athletes that could make an ironing board look good: Yeah agree with this and we really try to use more normal people where we can, hell i am 42 and pretty normal. I can see why the brands use the kids as they show what the product can do but over the years the separation between the pros and average has widened so now no one really cares if Boothy wins on a sprint as they all know he would probably win on anything and they know the chance of them riding a sprint in 20 knots DW is a dream.


If we had huge budgets then i am sure even for us some of this stuff would be way better but i guess the fact is we like many other just don't have the budget to do alot of this stuff, we run a super tight over head business and for us ONE is run 100% by Angie and myself(mostly Angie as she is way smarter than me) and we do everything from website to social media to ordering to product development(Ben helps a little here) to all emails to trying to find new retailers importers to talking to all parts of the world at all hours of the day/night plus working full time in our retail store and then pretty much full time training on top of this. Really nothing more than anyone who owns a small business does but it is hard sometimes to get everything right and as much as i hate the stuff money talks to really get alot of the smaller fine points right.

Always very happy to learn so if you run successful business and feel you have some great tips or any good advice please feel free to share away as the one thing i have learned is to listen and learn(slow learner by the way).




I was hoping you might respond as you do fit the profile of someone who has been trying hard, supporting this forum, and making a product that looks pretty cool. And looking at your site, you have done a great job. It is hard to believe there are just two (three?) of you running the business. And I imagine that all the stock you have to carry must put massive pressure on cash flow!

Here are a few thoughts - please take them or leave them, and others might like to add their opinions. (I will focus more on the surf sups as that is my thing.)

Too many choices?

I was surprised to see that you offer so many models in so many colors. That must also place your business under a lot of pressure - more stock for you to carry.

But it may also be too many choices for your customers. Just a thought; you may like to Google "the paradox of choice" (or just visit here:www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html) - some times fewer choices is much better. People fear making the wrong choice and can take a long time to figure out why one option is better than another.

Get a real feel for your products:

I expect that in your case I could walk in to your store and take a board for a test ride. And I suspect I could talk to you for a long time and you could help me make up my mind about which board is best. But I need more on your site to convince me - more on this below.

Price/risk:

Based on your study of demographics, how sensitive do you think your customers are to price? Maybe you could nudge it up and offer some unique benefits. I would personally love to see the following on your site:

1. We can ship the board to you and you can be surfing by the weekend
2. If you don't like it, keep the packaging and send it back

OK, both options add to your financial risk, but they remove my risk. I would be far more likely to buy. And research shows that most people don't send products back.

If I read that you had a "10 splash guarantee" where if I go out and keep falling off because the board is too short/narrow I could send it back and get the wider version - I would buy. But I would not buy the size smaller than I thought I needed - I could not be bothered sending it back so I would try to get it right the first time.

But boy, a cool guarantee would get you a lot of free press too. "Did you hear that ONE have the '10 splash guarantee' - that totally takes the risk away for me!"

USP:

What is your "unique selling proposition"? What do you have that the others don't have? Why should I buy from you? Sunova have a unique look (and they have a reputation for tough boards). What's yours? I think every business (and product) needs something that you focus on so that it becomes memorable and makes me want to buy.

Is there something unique about how the boards were made? Is there something unique about you? Are they tough boards? Is there a high Australian content?

Do the surf boards do great bottom turns? "The best bottom turn of any board". Are they stable "Keep standing in the worst conditions", "You won't be swimming when you turn for the wave".

Do the race boards punch through waves better than others? Are they lighter? Are they stronger? Are they more stable? Are they recyclable? Are they made of ground-up wombats? What is unique? And if there is nothing unique, make something up!

If they are not unique, why do you make them? What problem were you trying to solve?

Product name:

Sorry, I am having a hard time getting excited about "surf sup". It is corny, but a name like "Carve" or "Slash", or just about anything would be better.

Surf SUP:

When I clicked on the "About" page I saw a fantastic surf shot - the guy was killing it. But when I went to your "surf sup" page everyone was taking it easy. It comes back to your USP; do you want to sell to the once-in-a-while surfer (in which case you want to convince me that I can be successful out in the waves) or sell to the wanna-be hero (like me ;) in which case you can sell me on the idea that I can push the boundaries and come home buzzing.

I am going to guess that most people wanting to buy a surf sup spend hours clicking, reading, and hoping for divine intervention: "which board should I buy!!!???!!!). If you had pages that described in great detail about the pros and cons then I think most would read it (many times). You should do a video with the shaper where he/she describes every curve and line of the board. Get some videos of people using the boards and narrate over the top about the qualities of the board that allowed the surfer to do what we just saw. Explain who the board is for. Explain how it would perform on reef breaks, beach breaks, fat waves, barreling waves, etc. Explain how I should change fin setups for different conditions. Explain everything.

And you could have stories where normal people took the board out, challenged themselves a little, and triumphed. They got the wave, they earned the respect of the short-boarders (pure fantasy), they live happily is perpetual sunshine.

If I invest a lot of time in your product on-line, and I feel I know you, and I can see myself on your board - then I will buy.

Right now you have some people paddling flat water, one guy on a small wave, and not much text. (I fully appreciate how much time all this takes, but this could be the difference between lots of sales and meh.)

Videos:

Videos don't have to be professional. They are better if they aren't too schmik. Just honest explanations that answer every question I might have.

And while you're at it, address all my fears. What do you think the buyer fears? Warranty? Toughness? Weight? Shape? Bigger guys kicking sand in my face? Finding out there is a newer model right after I buy your product? The board will be too tippy? Address them all - answer them. Don't let them fester in the back of the buyer's mind.

Anyway, I had better go now!

This is all just one guy's opinion. Please don't take any of it as criticism. I run a different type of business (but I own 15 sups). I hope it helps.



Definitely want take any good advice the wrong way so don't worry about that and to be honest i like someone that might criticise but also gives good ideas for solution's as well.

100% agree with all said and fully agree with the surf SUP assessment from our website as i look at it and say many of the same things, and the worst thing is we spend so much money making the surf sup's and time spent developing them to what i feel are some of the best constructed on the market but then on the last hurdle of trying to get how good they are on paper which really sounds like the easiest part we fall over.

I like the 10 Splash concept and have been working on something like this and truly feel if a company believes in their product that it should have a backing like this, Very hard to make a retailer do this but for any one who buys direct i think this will work no worries.

The worst thing is i hate making excuses why stuff is not done and really thats all they are is just excuse's, all the of the stuff you have suggested is good and none of it is really that hard to do all it takes is me to get Ang to work a bit harder!!

Owning a business is all about learning and making mistakes(not to many each year hopefully) we have made quite a few over the years (losing $50,000 worth of boards on a highway was a good one) but it all happens for a reason i guess and it has all made us stronger over the years. While many i hear are going backwards we are doing the opposite and have grown quite a bit over the last few years and a lot of this i feel is by just doing our own thing and sticking to what we want to achieve long term. Would we love a money tree to be able to out source some of this kind of stuff? yes of course we would but until that day happens we are pretty happy learning more as we go and building at a pace that we feel is comfortable.

Once again thats for the feed back and your thoughts!!


For what it is worth, I really admire your attitude! When a business is small it is hard to be good at everything, and spend the right amount of time where it is needed. As you say, you focus on making great boards but you may not be as comfortable on the marketing tasks. Sadly, those marketing tasks convert effort into dollars.

With greater cash flow you can surround yourself with people who have skills where you do not - everyone has gaps in their skills (and what they enjoy doing). I remember when I added my first employee - a huge jump in expense. The second is slightly easier - but if you were able to find people who were better than you in important areas (finance, marketing, etc.) then you can win. Alternatively you could use consultants/agencies, but that can lead to tears if you don't find the right one(s). But you need the cash flow before you can do anything...

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1750 posts
Tuesday , 17 Apr 2019 12:04AM
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baldrick said..
Intermission....


That guy freaks me out. I swear his lips don't move half the time... He is like one of those puppets on Thunderbirds...



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"State Of The Industry" started by juniorburger