"Stay within your means and don't over-extend your credit. And get good staff."
Growing up along the coast in Nova Scotia, Jason Beach has been on a windsurf board or surf board since he was a boy. As a teenager, Jason turned his hobby into a semi-pro windsurfing career, which took him to the world's best surf spots. By the time he was 22, Jason found a way to turn his passion into a business.
Fortunately, Jason's parents had owned a series of small businesses throughout his childhood, and Jason was able to learn a lot from them. When a friend decided to sell his surf business, along with all of its inventory, Jason already felt well-prepared for the role of small-business owner.
Kannon Beach Surf started out as a mail-order company that Jason ran out of his parent's garage. Although he was mainly involved with windsurfing, Jason noticed the growing surfer market in Nova Scotia and saw an opportunity to expand his business. By filling a gap in the market, Jason turned his one-man operation into a thriving shop. Kannon Beach now employs six people to sell surf and windsurfing equipment, teach lessons and do repairs.
Jason is satisfied with his success and the size of his business, although he admits there are drawbacks. He ends up spending most of the day in his office doing paperwork, instead of behind the counter, where he feels more comfortable.
Although there are certain tasks he can't avoid, Jason still manages to spend time with the customers and surfs every day. "I like to see kids getting into the sport and I like to see a customer come back super stoked about something we sold them." Although he could probably credit his success solely to his love of surfing, Jason lives by this advice "Stay within your means and don't over-extend your credit. And get good staff."