We recently connected with BRETT CAMPBELL and have shared our conversation below.
BRETT, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today We’d love to have you retell us the story behind how you came up with the idea for your business, I think our audience would really enjoy hearing the backstory.
Well it actually started when everything crashed in 2008 and wiped out 90% of the custom boat builders on the west coast. had previously worked for Kachina and Eliminator powerboats for 15 years prior with most of my time at Kachina helping build the company from a small jetboat company to a 40′ sterndrive models at the ending. So with everything being gone and being in such a niche market I didnt know what to do with myself so I had to start selling cars (which was always my biggest nightmare and fear) for about 2 years and doing boat stuff on the side until one day at the beginning of a season I made 4 appointments and got a place setup and off and rolling I was with only about 10k and no inventory or tools other than hand tools to start. I wanted to focus on custom boats because that was my specialty but after realizing that 90% of the boats out there were standard family boats I had to realize that was when the money was. There really were not but one other company offering to the high performance industry so I figured there would be a good market for me and being in the general Phoenix area with thousands of boats and a longer season than anywhere in the US it was a good risk.
BRETT, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I actually started building things at a very young age,If you may remember the plastic model kits that you glue together and paint etc well I had 80 at one point by age 12. interesting enough I was actually building boats out of me and my friends garages at 3-4th grade. I got into my industry from my industry interestingly enough because of my love of boating at an early age and being introduced to the most beautiful lake in the united states in that of Lake Powell. By age 4 I was driving my grandfathers boat, he and my grandmother lived in page AZ and my grandfather worked on the dam. I was a young Ferrari apprentice mechanic in Newport Beach CA and ended up leaving that to go build boats in AZ! We offer at CP Marine boat repair,restoration and customization and motor upgrades etc. One thing I definitely do is take care of my customers even if you have to lose sometimes to make it right for them. I would rather lose a money than deal with an unsatisfied customer,I will always make right and make it up somewhere else. Dont get me wrong I will definitely set someone straight if they are in the wrong but I will still take care of the situation.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
Well in the begging it was definitely google adwords that brought in most of the business but after year 3 allot of referals poured in and that $1500 a month I was spending on adwords now went in my pocket. Now after 12 years it is established and I do no advertizing.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
It was just mainly when I was alone doing everything for the first 6 years,being on the phone on a headset as I was upside down in a boat working on it as customers are picking up/delivering their boats off as deliveries are coming in etc and it would ALWAYS come all at the same time. Also the genius that I am I got a puppy at the same time to take care of so needless to say stretched very thin at times pulled in 50 different directions at 50 miles an hour etc. At points I would be bleeding from a cut working in the shop in 110 degree heat with 13 boats out on the lot and remembering all the parts and everything going on with each one and watching the puppy,ordering parts,wrighting customers up etc etc. One thing a business does is grounds you beyond belief. But the satisfaction of calling the shots and building something that is yours is worth the Beatings haha!
- Website: www.cpmarineaz.com
Jeff Johnston,Bob Teague