What’s the most important part of starting and running a manufacturing business? The finances? The team? The materials?
Well, this Manufacturing Happy Hour guest has some expert insights, experience and advice, so stay tuned.
It’s time to hit the slopes for this week’s episode as we invite Mike McCabe, CEO and co-founder of Folsom Custom Skis, to share his story and provide top tips for manufacturers.
Tune in for tales of Mike’s early days in the industry, the creation of his business, the day-to-day of running a boutique ski manufacturer, what he does for his customers, and how Folsom has survived and thrived in a challenging industry. Plus, Mike gets into some great advice about running a small business, from finances to focus, before we wrap up with a conversation about our favorite ski resorts around the globe.
3 Quick Things from this Episode
- Having a good handle on and understanding your finances before you start a manufacturing business will make your life much, much easier.
- Designing a good, custom ski is largely about asking the right questions to the customer. The manufacturing of the ski – from materials to shape – is determined by how the ski will be used, whether that’s riding powder, groomers, or skiing casually with your family.
- Staying focused on custom ski manufacturing without taking on extensive debt or outside investors has allowed Folsom Custom Skis to survive in a niche where most ski manufacturers go under.
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- “We saw a hole in the market and we’ve stayed really true to what we do to this very day.”
- “Being lean and nimble is the most important piece, not having huge financial attributes.”
- “To succeed here, you need somebody that’s really passionate about the sport, passionate about the product, passionate about customer service and passionate about manufacturing.”
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What We Discuss with Mike McCabe
- Mike’s introduction to the industry
- Where his interest in skiing began
- His first steps in launching the business
- The most important part of starting a manufacturing business
- A rundown of Folsom’s materials and processes
- How Mike accounts for his success
- Top business tips for manufacturers
- Mike’s initial goals for Folsom Custom Skis
- The importance of your team in a manufacturing business
- Advice for college students interested in manufacturing
- Folsom Custom Skis, a US-based custom ski manufacturer where every pair of skis is handcrafted 100% in their private Denver, CO facility; every pair is engineered and built for one end user
- Winter Park, one of the closest major ski resorts to Denver, CO
- Mount Bohemia, an underrated hidden gem of a ski resort at the ends of the earth, located at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Mohawk, MI (i.e. the U.P.)
- Aspen Brewing Company / Aspen Tap, an easygoing taproom & brewpub offering house craft beers, tasting flights, pizza, and other pub grub in Aspen, CO