Snowskate on Upstart
PORTLAND-Andy Wolf was a frustrated skate boarder when he moved to Portland
a few years ago because of its snow-covered surroundings for much of the year. Wolf toyed with the idea of making a skateboard for snow. His answer was the “snowskate”-similar in size and shape to a skateboard but ridden without bindings to allow shove-its and flip tricks that aren’t possible with snowboards. He now heads the upstart Premier Snowskate (PremierSnowsk8.com), the maker of snowskates.
Wolf says his early business experiences were tough as people reacted to him as if “all he knows how to do is ride a snowboard and play Nintendo.” People were wrong. One of Wolf’s first goals was to control costs. I” wanted to keep the price under $100 retail,” says Wolf; “that’s how I sourced my materials.” He also monitored revenues and kept track of financial performance. Closing procedures were important in helping identify the proper costs and revenues for specific periods. He also relied on classified balance sheets so that he would know what was due and when.
Still, it was tough.. “It was still a job,” says Wolf. “I had to handle my business, do my own deals, set up my traveling, and work with reps.” Accounting work sheets helped Wolf identify temporary and permanent accounts, make crucial adjustments, and prepare and analyze financial reports. Yet the final business decisions were his
Today, his decisions look good as forward-thinking resorts are building snowskate parks. “We’re finding that resorts are totally into it,” says Wolf. “Either embrace it or have it run them over.”
Now for Wolf: How is he dealing with success? “I kind of hate to admit it,” says Wolf, “but snowskates are going mainstream.” From skateboarder to entrepreneur who uses accounting data-that must hurt. However, with annual sales projected to top $3 million this year, the hurt is tolerable. Admits Wolf, “I’m pretty damn lucky.”
1-What is a conservative estimate for the units of snowskates that will be sold if
annual sales are $3 million and Andy Wolf meets his targeted retail price?
2- What ratios studied in Chapters 1 through 4 do you recommend that Andy use to
monitor the financial performance of his company?
3- What portions of the classified balance sheet do you believe are most relevant in
assisting Andy in discovering what obligations are due and when?
4- What objectives are met when Andy applies closing procedures each fiscal year?
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