Opening a business takes time, motivation and ambition, but the most aggravating element of opening a business is the financial burden.
Business finance and accounting senior Aaron Hammon said it’s the “available funds” that stops him from opening a business immediately after college.
“If I had the money now I’d try to open my own business,” Hammon said.
But some entrepreneurs graduating from Cal Poly say they started out with little to no money and were still able to establish a business.
Other entrepreneurs say working while in school and starting small could be remedial steps to solve some financial problems that partake in building a business.
“We started out small,” co-owner of Morro Bay Surf Company Nate Ditmore said. “We really didn’t pay ourselves for the first three years.”
Most entrepreneurs agree that money plays a factor, but is merely an obstacle to their success
Nate Ditmore and Anthony Randazzo founded MBSC in 2001.
Both Ditmore and Randazzo worked full-time while in school to contribute to the business. In addition, both MBSC owners had previous surf shop experience from working at Wavelengths, a surf shop in Morro Bay.
“I worked the whole time at Poly and maintained 12 units at least to keep financial aid,” Ditmore said.
Ditmore graduated from Cal Poly in 2000 with a degree in graphic communications when he teamed up with Randazzo and dedicated his senior project to the MBSC catalogue.
Randazzo graduated in business industrial technology. He then worked at Cal Poly as a business lecturer before opening the business.
“We worked 12 to 14 hours a day,” Ditmore said. “We kept our day jobs and worked late nights for the business.”
MBSC started out as a small company and slowly expanded. Ditmore said the growth of the company meant a different spectrum of responsibilities
“Every time I leave the store I think about how I still represent MBSC,” Ditmore said.
Ditmore said building a strong network of advisers, a good relationship with a bank and “sticking with it,” helped keep the company together.
Ditmore added that the company’s relationship with a “good” bank helped relieve some financial problems and allowed some business transactions and commitments to run smoother.
MBSC sells urban surf-wear including T-shirts, sweatshirts, sandals and surfing materials.
The shop also provides surf lessons.
MBSC has two locations: one in Morro Bay and the other in Los Osos.