Curt DeWitt, Founder of Beach Life Rentals, has launched three startups of his own, but identified the need for Beach Life Rentals while between ventures working as an employee in the hotel industry.
"I was working at the One Ocean Resort luxury hotel where we did literally whatever we could to make sure the guests had the best experience possible," he said. "I noticed that when guests requested a beach bicycle for example, that the renters often said they were out to lunch or at the grocery store and that it would take two hours. I thought it was unacceptable that I couldn't get our guests such a simple service quickly. I told my boss I wanted to start a business to solve the problem and he said he didn't care what I did as long as it benefitted the guests."
Since launching five years ago in 2012, Beach Life Rentals has grown by at least 50% each year. During the summer high season DeWitt employs 20 staff.
"We're a beach rental service renting chairs, umbrellas, bicycles, paddle boards, kayaks, boogie boards, and all the fun toys and relaxing equipment you need on the beach," he explained. "Our goal is to show our clients a good time and provide the level of service a five star resort provides whether the customer is staying at a beach home, hotel or driving in for the day."
DeWitt's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to plan and make sure to choose the right path for you. "Definitely plan. Make sure you know what you're getting into and understand all operational side," he said. "Find something you enjoy. It's not just wanting to have your own business. It's wanting to do the business that you have. Too many people say they want to be their own boss but when it comes down to it, they don't want to wake up and do the business every day, which means they won’t have the drive to grow."