Owning a small business is a lot like surfing – it’s an exhilarating series of ups and downs. And no one knows that better than Mike Sandusky, who’s been atop a killer wave since launching Surf Ontario 14 years ago and opening the shop with his partner Grant Kennedy six years ago.
Mike’s school and shop, which teaches surfing and stand-up paddle boarding and sells equipment and gear for both, began in his garage and online. Today, it includes a 3,000 square-foot storefront and 10 employees.
At first, Mike used spreadsheets for all of his finances before moving to QuickBooks. “We’re definitely not a typical business,” he says. “Which is really good, but it also means it’s more difficult – and more important – to keep our finances up-to-date and in order.”
“I used to manually enter 1,000 or 1,500 sales receipts throughout the year. After switching to QuickBooks, I use it at point-of-sale and for record keeping, so I can spend more time with customers, focusing on marketing, and just building the business,” he explains. “It also means I get more time with my two boys and more time to surf, of course.”
Mike’s not the only one spending more time on the water. As local surfing continues to grow in popularity, so does Surf Ontario; both are poised for further growth. “There are so many great places to surf. Kincardine’s really good. So is Pleasant Beach on Lake Erie or the Scarborough Bluffs on Lake Ontario,” he notes. “It’s no wonder we’re seeing more and more people take it up.”
These days, Mike’s surfboard and business take him all over the world. “I travel a lot; I’ve surfed everywhere,” he notes. “Which is another reason why I love QuickBooks – it’s easy enough that I always feel in the loop, wherever I go.”