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Meet Rick Carson of South Pacific Surf in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rick Carson.

Rick, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve spent the last 20 years in the corporate world trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Although I experienced success in the corporate setting, there was always something very unfulfilling for me in that environment. I studied business in college and taught undergraduate entrepreneurial studies so I have always felt that going out on my own would be what I would eventually do.

Timing to do something risky was always a roadblock that I could not figure out how to overcome. Isn’t that what they say: “timing is everything”? Having a couple of children in elementary school and a spouse who spends nearly 80% of her time travelling for work, I needed to decide what direction I was going to take. I could either continue the corporate grind and feel like I was missing out on the quality time with my kids or I could take the leap and create something where I felt like I would have more control.

One late night my wife woke me from a dead sleep and said “why don’t you start a mobile surfboard rental company?” I sleepily said it was something think about and then spent the rest of the night tossing and turning thinking about what exactly that could become. I spent the next several weeks researching and drafting a business plan which is the baseline of what South Pacific Surf has become. Although we are still in our infancy, I feel as though we are building a brand and gaining traction which I am super stoked about!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I decided that I was going to do all of the upfront work on my own which meant not spending a lot of time spreading the word, generating interest in South Pacific Surf or trying to build my customer base. I built the website and created the marketing collateral, did all of the photography for the website and flyers, and continue to do so. I had never built my own website so there was a lot of trial and error and it is still the most time consuming part of this endeavor. Because of this, I may have missed out on some of the opportunities to grow more this summer and open for business sooner. I anticipated and planned for this but it still slowed my launch and my ability to reach more customers. Also, as most business owners will tell you, the free time that you think you will have typically gets eaten up getting caught up on things and doing the tasks related to the business. I definitely don’t have “traditional” working hours, that’s for sure!

Please tell us about South Pacific Surf.
We are beach people and love sharing beach time with our family and friends. South Pacific Surf thrives to make your time at the beach as stress free as possible by providing gear that you would normally have to find a store to rent or purchase from and, to top it off, we deliver then pick it up when you are done at no extra charge! North County has become a family vacation destination for people from all over the map, and for some, this may be the one time per year they visit the coast so they may not have all of the gear they need. We take the stress out of planning your time at the beach by providing you with the essentials to make your time here that much more enjoyable. We are different in the fact that you can simply call us, tell us what you need, and we will bring it to you and pick it up when you are done. It’s really that easy! Given we are a service company means I better provide world class customer service so I treat every customer as if they were my first and only customer. We provide a service to people that will hopefully keep them coming back to enjoy our beautiful back yard for years to come.

Success, to me, is when a customer tells me that I made their day at the beach more enjoyable or when they tell me how great it is that I take the hassle out of renting gear for their time at the beach. I am passionate about customer service and treat people the way I think they want to be treated. If I continue to do this, my customers will remember me and tell their network of family, friends, colleagues, etc. about my business which is the key indicator that I am doing the right thing. I put my customer service philosophy in the forefront of my day to day operations and know if I don’t lose sight of this, South Pacific Surf will be the go to place for rental gear. I’m also a firm believer in that if I don’t have exactly what the customer is looking for I should be able to provide them with a referral to another business that may better be able to serve what they need.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I definitely underestimated the time I would spend in front of the computer doing the technical aspects of the business like web site design, editing photographs and constantly working on SEO and organic website growth initiatives. I’ve enjoyed all of the small bumps in the road as I feel like those lead to learning opportunities. Given we are still a blossoming business, I am still learning lessons every day and because of this my business plan and strategies continue to evolve. With all of this I am trying to give the customer an easy stress free experience when they need rental gear so, in the end, it’s worth it!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Bradley M. Jones

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