December 2, 2020

Auburn HCOB student launches flyboard business [in Cayman Islands]

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Alexis Goldhagen, senior in marketing, launched her business before she made it to her graduation day.

Goldhagen had heard of flyboards before from the internet but had never seen one in person before until going on a spring break trip to Grand Cayman.

Goldhagen said that as soon as she tried out the flyboard she instantly fell in love and was offered a job there on the spot. While she would have loved to take that offer right there on the spot, Goldhagen planned on taking the law school admissions test this past summer and needed the time to prepare. Moving to the Cayman Islands, while a great opportunity, wouldn’t be the best option at this point in her life, she said.

Though Goldhagen’s plan was to prepare for law school, she was still hooked on the idea of the flyboard. After some research, her parents agreed to become silent investors in Goldhagen’s company, “Lake Martin Flyboards.”

“Having lived in and grown up on Lake Martin, I was so excited to bring something I love to go to a place I love,” she said.

Goldhagen’s next step was to buy equipment for her business. She and her dad drove all the way to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to buy a hose and flyboard from a company called Atlantic Flyboard. Goldhagen then took a two-day instructor certification course in order to further familiarize herself with the process of the flyboard.

When she got back home, Goldhagen hit the ground running. She described her process as “the basic marketing go-tos,” which included a website, Facebook page, flyers, business cards and T-shirts. Lake Martin Magazine even featured her in their June edition.

“As with any business, there are always bumps in the road, but, all-in-all, it was definitely a successful summer. I broke even within the first month and far exceeded every profit expectation I had set,” Goldhagen said.

Throughout the summer, Goldhagen said she flew approximately 250 people from all over the country. The oldest she flew was 72, and the youngest was 9. She had a 100% success rate of getting people out of the water this past summer, as is looking towards expanding her business and more eventful summers.

Goldhagen made a point of mentioning the people that helped her get to this point in her life.

“Being a business major, I definitely applied a lot of what I learned in Principles of Accounting with Mrs. Cornett, Principles of Finance with Mrs. Richards, and Personal Selling with Butler.” Said Goldhagen

Goldhagen also stressed the importance of keeping up with money. At the beginning of the summer she entered all of her expenses, and as the time went on, each time she flew someone she entered in all the income, along with expenses and employee wages. She considered her organization skills to be one of the major keys to her success. Goldhagen lastly emphasized the concept of selling herself, not just simply selling her business- a concept she learned in Butler’s class.

“As the owner and instructor, I feel that a lot of my customers came from them hearing my story and seeing the success other customers had from my coaching, not just because they saw a flier.”

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