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Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators Discussions Are you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!

Jake Burton


Franchise Building, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, & Innovators Discussions

Are you interested in starting your own lawn care franchise or are you interested in buying into one? Let's talk about different franchise opportunities and how to build your own franchise. Also we discuss different entrepreneurs who inspire us!
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  #1  
Old 12-04-2007, 04:57 PM
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Here is a little insight into the founder of Burton Snowboards.

Jake Burton. Check out his website here. http://www.burton.com

How did you become a leader in the snowboard business?
During the late 60s, I modified Snurfers until 1977 when I started Burton and built my first production prototype. I was a complete loser in shop class in school, yet there I was, working out of a barn in Vermont, figuring out how to manufacture a snowboard. There was no road map. I combined some skateboarding and a little bit of surfing experience with the Snurfer, then added some common sense**which is probably why it took so long to make a product that was rideable. The rest is history I guess.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid I worked at the New York Racetrack (Aqueduct) right near my house. For a long time my aspiration was to become a race-horse trainer. I later found out that it probably wasn't the best industry to get into if you love animals as much I do.

What is your favorite thing about coming to work?
When you walk into your house you're pretty much living and breathing your family. When I walk into Burton I have the opportunity to live and breathe snowboarding. I've been doing this for over half my life, and it presents a vibe that makes me very comfortable, happy and productive. And I also like saying hi to all the dogs on the walk to my office.

Why do you think your peers consider you one of the most influential people in the snowboard industry?
I think my success came down to being there at the beginning, working ridiculously hard, and using creative solutions to problems or challenges. If you do all of that, surround yourself with good people and treat them well, it'll be alright.

What sport (other than snowboarding) do you enjoy playing or watching the most and why?
As far as 'playing' outside of snowboarding it's pretty much all about surfing for me. I'm taking more time in the snowboarding off-season to go on surf trips, and it seems that on every trip I get more addicted to the sport. I'll never be as good of a surfer as I am a snowboarder, but I have a lot of fun trying.

If you could change one thing about the snowboard industry, what would that be?
As far as the sport goes, it would be pretty cool if avalanches didn't exist. They've ruined many a good day and taken a lot of people out in the process. On the industry side, I would make it a rule that you can't have a trade show unless it's at a powder resort destination.

What international place have you traveled to where you think you could live?
New Zealand or Australia would probably be right up there, but I could see myself living in Japan or Europe (which I've already done) as well. While I certainly travel a lot, I regret the fact that I haven't taken more time to actually live in some foreign locations. It has such a positive impact in terms of broadening your perspectives, but at the same time making you appreciate what you have at home.

What is the scariest moment you have ever had in snowboarding?
About 20 years ago, our bank who was lending us all the money that we needed to run our business told us they didn't want to lend us money anymore. They were convinced snowboarding was a fad that had run its course. That was a scary time.

When people look back on your life, how do you want to be remembered?
I'd like to be remembered as a good husband, father, friend, relative and someone who always did the right thing for the sport of snowboarding and the Burton brand.

What is the greatest thing about being you?

* Being able to travel around the world getting 100+ days of snowboarding in a season.
* Having access to prototype product before the market has even seen it.
* Working with a super fun team here at Burton.

What is more important to you than snowboarding?
My family and friends.

What suggestions would you give to someone who aspires to be like you?
Choose an industry with a lifestyle that you can become passionate about and don't ever consider giving up.

If you had to pick one person who has inspired you, who would that be and why?
Whether he was alive or dead, Craig Kelly has always shown me the way.

What is next for you? What does your future hold?
Hopefully a lot more powder days and a few barrels along the way.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:21 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Here is more information from wikipedia on Jake Burton Carpenter.

An avid skier, Jake hoped to join the university's successful ski team, but his competitive skiing career was ended when his collarbone was broken in a car accident (and then twice more in the same week, including one skateboarding accident). After several years away from college he resumed his studies at New York University, graduating with a degree in economics. After college, Carpenter's interests returned to the slopes. Working from a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he adapted a Snurfer, a basic toy snowboard (which featured a rope to allow the rider some basic control over the board). He began selling his more advanced snowboards, made from bentwood laminate and featuring a rigid binding that holds the board firmly to the wearer's boot, in 1979, more than a dozen years after Tom Sims' first snowboards were made.

A little background on the Snurfer In 1964 Sherman Poppen invented the "snurfer" when he bolted two skies for his daughter. The snurfer became huge and there was even snurfing contests. All of Poppens daughters friends wanted a snurfer and he started manufacturing his idea. Jake Burton even snurfed at one time.

Here is a picture of what the Snurfer looked like.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:03 PM
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Jake teamed up with HP for this ad campaign which I really do like. Let me give you the link here to the site on HP. It has a lot of great videos where Jake talks about his business and how he got started.

What advice does he have for people who want to start their own business? Patients and perseverance. Two very important traits to have.

In the video Jake talks about how he made these boards at first by himself and he wasn't very accomplished with working on wood. Then he loaded his truck up to try and get them sold in stores. One day he went out with 25 boards and came back with 27 because one store owner handed him back his previous stock and said these things weren't going to sell.

So many business owners deal with these exact same issues when they get started and those who push forwards are those who rise up and overcome such difficult times!

Here is the HP link. Please check out the videos. I think you will find them inspiring.

http://h30393.www3.hp.com/printing/burton.html?
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:09 PM
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On the walls of his company's office, when you walk in, you can review all the different boards the company created since it's inception.

It's things like this that keep the business grounded and true to it's roots.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:10 PM
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"You need to know where you've been to know where you are going."
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:17 PM
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Check out the way they print out the board graphics. With a large scale HP printer.

Pretty neat isn't it?
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:31 PM
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Part of doing what you love and loving what you do is that you'd do it even if you didn't get paid. This, sometimes is what it takes to get a business off the ground. If you love what you do, you just might be able to weather the storm until you get your business up and running. Then once that happens, getting paid is an added bonus.

Here is a picture from Jake's interview.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:38 PM
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Jake Burton is able to promote his business while giving back to his community with his program to help kids. What a great idea! It is helpful to the community. It helps position Burton snow boards as a business who cares about the community. It also helps promote Burton Boards!

Does this give you ideas on how you can help your community and promote your business as well?

Snowboarding Being Used as Therapy for Kids - People who snowboard will tell you it is fun to get out on the mountain and slide. But for some Utah kids, snowboarding is therapy, and perhaps even life changing.

I decided to go riding with kids in the CHILL program.

Pulling on a pair of snowboard boots and grabbing a board may not sound like therapy, but to troubled kids snowboarding is a healthy way to let out some of that energy, frustration and anger. They have a lot of fun and learn they can succeed without drugs or violence.

To learn to snowboard, you gotta have the right gear. It's all provided free from the CHILL program sponsor, Burton Boards. Founder Jake Burton started the program 12 years ago to help at risk kids.


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Old 12-05-2007, 07:11 PM
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Jake has also been increasing brand awareness by creating flagship stores. He opened one in Chicago in Sept. 07.

Burton sticks a flag in the Second City with the opening of 8,000-square feet of retail space in downtown Chicago today. The store marks the fifth addition to a worldwide armada of flagship stores operating in Burlington, New York City, Innsbruck, and Tokyo.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:05 PM
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Here is a fascinating look into Jake's thoughts on business in this article Jake says "Burton says he owes it to his company to keep growing, that if you're not trying to get bigger then you're almost certainly going to get smaller."

Here is another great quote

"You want to succeed," he says. "In this economy, you do need to grow. I have a hard time with those companies that say, 'Well, why do you have to grow?' That's how you keep good people. People are happier in companies that are growing. It took a long time for me to accept that and to realize that: They're happier and they're motivated, and it's a place where they want to be. So we've just got to accept it, you know what? That's how it is, man. I've accepted that. I don't necessarily have it all dialed in philosophically, but I do understand that."

What is your view on business growth? Is it important to you or not?
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