New inventions must be creative in order to succeed. But there also must be a need for such a product. Huldit is an outdoor gear company that meets both of these requirements. The founder is an outdoor enthusiast himself, along with a lifelong inventor. Read about the company and its unique niche in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides products for outdoor enthusiasts.
Founder Chris Avolio told Small Business Trends, “My small business Huldit focuses on providing well-designed outdoor gear to tackle common challenges encountered by outdoor enthusiasts. Following the successful launch of our first product, the Huldit U-lock holder, we have gained a loyal customer base who eagerly anticipate new offerings.
“I have developed prototypes and the expansion of Huldit’s product line is currently underway. While Huldit is already changing the game in how outdoor enthusiasts secure their U-locks, there are numerous innovative products in the pipeline.”
Creating durable, user-friendly products.
Avolio says, “I prioritize designing products that are straightforward and user-friendly, sourcing the most durable materials available. Huldit is known for its innovative approach in the outdoor gear industry, evident in features such as the broad compatibility of the Huldit U-lock holder and the practicality of our frame bag. Our commitment is to provide high-quality solutions that address the distinctive requirements of outdoor enthusiasts. The versatility, ease of use and enduring design of my products distinguish my business from competitors.”
Small Business Deals
How the Business Got Started
Out of necessity and invention.
Avolio explains, “Since I was a child, I have always thought in a solution-oriented way. Designing products has been and always will be my passion. This business started as one of my many ideas, driven by a call to introduce my inventions to the world.
“The inception of the Huldit U-lock holder was fueled by a specific vision born out of a personal necessity as a cyclist. Dissatisfied with the available lock holders on the market, I recognized a significant need within my cycling community.”
A successful launch.
Avolio says, “With studies showing about half of small businesses falter within the first five years, and one in three doesn’t make it past the two-year mark, Huldit’s most significant triumph has been the successful launch of my lock holder design. This design secured two patents. And over nearly seven years since its founding, the company has experienced consistent growth across all aspects.”
Investing in the business launch.
Avolio adds, “Investing my entire life savings and profits back into the business meant that my financial security was at stake. There was a genuine risk of significant financial loss, both for the business and for me, if the market didn’t respond as anticipated or if unforeseen challenges arose.
“While I knew that I and many of my fellow cyclists needed my invention, it was challenging during the initial launch. I was unsure of the scalability of this business in the beginning. But the risks taken were calculated and aligned with my long-term vision for Huldit.”
Don’t be afraid of business financing.
Avolio says, “Knowing what I know now, I realize that opting for a business loan from the beginning would have been a more straightforward approach, providing me with the necessary funds for ample stock. If I could go back to those early stages and opt for a loan sooner, I would have had the financial backing to meet customer demand, preventing the loss of thousands of potential sales and resulting in significant revenue. This, in turn, would have enabled me to seize numerous opportunities that I had to decline due to a lack of stock and funding. Taking a loan earlier would have also spared me from experiencing intermittent periods of limited income as I waited for my stock to be replenished.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Shoring up inventory.
Avolio adds, “An additional $100,000 would significantly impact various critical aspects of my business strategy. Primarily, I would allocate the funds to secure an ample inventory that aligns with the current surge in demand. This not only ensures meeting the needs of our existing customer base but also allows us to resume sales through our other three most lucrative channels: Amazon, Etsy and Walmart.com.
“Furthermore, this injection of capital would enable me to fulfill my commitment to a recently finalized distribution deal and maintain a full stock across various existing retail partners, thereby enhancing Huldit’s brand presence.”
Avolio explains, “My team members and I make a point to take a monthly team bike ride, both as a way to test out products and to de-stress from our workload with movement and nature.”
“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs
Image: Huldit, Chris Avolio