Entrepreneurs & Small Business


Entrepreneurs & Small Business

Network with fellow entrepreneurs and small businesses as we discuss the challenges and best practices for starting and growing a successful business in Maui County.

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Members: 61
Latest Activity: Jan 23

Discussion Forum

Maui Coworking Survey 2014

Started by Erik Blair Jan 23. 0 Replies

Please help by telling us what you think about Coworking on Maui.http://j.mp/mauicowork2014MahaloContinue

Tags: coworking

Maui Economic Development Board Innovation Series: Karin Frost

Started by Lesley Bristol Jan 29, 2013. 0 Replies

 The next speaker in MEDB's Innovation Series is Karin Frost: entrepreneur and creator of ERGObaby carriers. Come hear the story of her success in developing and marketing her product! Free, open to…Continue

Daytime Networking Events: What day of the week works best for your schedule?

Started by Ron Lunan. Last reply by Jt Clough Aug 24, 2012. 21 Replies

I'm sitting here in the early morning hours trying to plan our next Coffee Talk event at Cafe Mambo (Paia).  We have fun activities, speakers, food, drink, and other logistics worked out, but not the…Continue

Tags: brunch, speakers, meetings, lunch, mambo

Referral: Voice Over Actor

Started by Ron Lunan. Last reply by Ron Lunan Aug 12, 2012. 2 Replies

Ok fellow members.  I have sort of a weird request.  I'm looking for a local, male, voice over actor for a 2 minute explainer video.  I don't have the foggiest idea of where to look first.  Anyone…Continue

Tags: actor, explainer, video, acting, over

Comment Wall


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Comment by Christopher Kompst on August 15, 2012 at 11:33am

On July 26th I started posting a couple of photos a day from my company Maui Photo Pro, and others who were interested in this experiment.  The results so far, are pretty incredible.

Concierge Connection Started 93 likes.  Now 101 likes.

I don't have enough photos of activities to share a month of photos with them yet, but I share what they post.

Maui Memories Started 122 likes. Now 132 likes.

Again, I try to share fresh photos and I share what they post.

Maui Blooms Started 54 likes.  Now 72 likes

I take pretty good flower shots and even use random flower shots if they don't have an arrangement availiable.

Manoli's Pizza Company Started at 85.  Now 117.  

I don't take much credit for their growth because I only shot the restaurant before it opened, they have a social media consultant and they have interests and fans from other restaurants.

Tervola Design  Started 531.  Now 554 likes. 

With that many fans, Cindy is helping me a lot more than I'm helping her.  Also, her manufacturers offer up photos that come from major magazine advertising.  More than 3/4 of my fans are women.  Think they don't mind seeing a great looking bathroom?  Waiting for her big project house to become available, then I'll start posting what she can do.

Maui Photo Pro Started 74. Now 89

I'm taking a shotgun approach, I know, posting all these varied businesses from my facebook page.  However, I've made some good friends, cast my net a little wider and learned more about social media marketing.

Please visit and like my page and while you're at it...could you help my friends out too?

Comment by Peter Liu on July 22, 2012 at 5:08pm

Thanks Chris! Glad you found the workshop helpful. Aloha!

Comment by Ron Lunan on July 22, 2012 at 1:49pm
Cool Chris! Thanks for sharing. I've heard good things about Peter's class. I bet the folks over in the Social Media community would love to hear about your experience.
Comment by Christopher Kompst on July 22, 2012 at 8:45am

Mahalo to Peter Liu for sharing his knowledge at the Social Media Bootcamp yesterday.  I suppose it's a good thing to know how little you knew about something.  For example, I now know that I should have tweeted my thanks yesterday, while still sitting in the classroom.

Comment by Jerry Isdale on July 4, 2012 at 11:20am

"Accelerating Hawaii's Startup Innovation" is a 2 day conference over on Oahu.  They have a number of mainland speakers (Steve Case is keynote) as well as locals, govt, and a bunch of workshops planned.  Check out the article link above on AlohaStartups (highly recommended reading for incubator fans). I'm considering going over to help represent Maui, but will have just returned from a cross-mainland drive.  There will be a few things I need to take care of at home.

Comment by Erik Blair on May 25, 2012 at 7:03am

Aloha.  Mahala Dania and Courtney for the hiring tip.  I suggest that even before you consider hiring a "passionate" employee, you might take a look at your business to ensure it's actually a place where a passionate employee can flourish.  Some businesses, mostly large corporations or organizations, hire hardworking people who have passion, only to stifle and mute their brilliance.  Do you have room for another passionate person other than yourself who's full of ideas and wants to spread their wings as well?  Can you lead them?  Or perhaps more important, can you allow them to take the stage now and then, to grow and help your business reach new ground?  The very first time a business owner puts a blunt roadblock in front of a passionate person without spending the time to work with them and share the limelight, that passionate employee is not going to be as radiant, nor as passionate.  The end is near.  Business owners need to learn the proper care and feeding of passion.  

From my personal experience you either cultivate and groom passion from a pro-employee mindset, and you compensate them ahead of the competition or you'll be stuck with prisoners just doing time as employees.  Too many business owners think they can "make" passion happen, or that passion doesn't require overt employee appreciation, recognition and compensation.  

Yes, hire for passion, but be ready to embrace those rare employees who actually want to succeed by helping your business succeed with a passion.

Comment by Erik Blair on May 1, 2012 at 9:14am

In response to Ron's questions:

Anyone have any gotcha's or ah-ha's to starting a successful small business on Maui?  

Just do it!  Better to ask forgiveness later than permission now :)  Build it and they will come...  Launch with the support of your peers and engage with the community.  Create a win-win with the community and you shall prosper.

It's a tricky place in general and I've found it doesn't act/react like any other place I've lived.  What's been your biggest hurdle or golden nugget?

Regulation and permitting: to open a business that's regulateable, one can rest assured that Maui County has already figured a way to pick your pockets.  For food preparation, even food trucks you've got huge hurdles to leap over.  Tip: before purchasing a food truck, plan it out on paper and take it down to get verbal approval of your plan in person first.  Then if they think you're on track, then buy the truck and follow the plan.  Concessionaires kitchen's are another bug in the bed.  Find a friend that has a permitted kitchen and "borrow" their license for this.

Starting a business isn't too difficult as long as you're not dealing with food or transporting people.  The insurance required to pick up people at hotels and take them on tours is a crime against mankind (IMHO).  Most businesses, even ethical businesses find it difficult to follow the "rules" without cheating a bit.  If the County really expected you to follow the rules they'd make them easier to follow.  Watch out for hefty fines if you get caught not following food-related rules.  

Suggestion:  Get an LLC (costs about $90 for most businesses).  This protects you from "most" catastrophic woes.  

Wishing you all success and Aloha 

Comment by Dallas Patrick Nohea Verhagen on April 30, 2012 at 2:46pm

Aloha from New York Life!  contact me for discussion and information regarding:

Solving the Small Business Owner's Retirement Dilemma

Key Employee Protection: Preserving the Life of Your Business

Is Your Retirement Plan Protected? 

Building a Team of Professionals for Independent Business Owners

After the Recession: Threats and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Protecting Assets During Challenging Business Times

I look forward to hearing from you all!

Dallas Verhagen 


Comment by Mark Givensel on April 3, 2012 at 5:01pm

This guy has a good point, Maui is unique though in the amount of visitors we get compared to the average small town; not sure how that would effect his model?

Comment by Jerry Isdale on April 3, 2012 at 5:54am

Tech Hui has been a platform for co-working discussions.  A co-working space needs a good number of regular members (like 5-20 depending on rent) and transients.   One big issue with Maui is the distribution of population, cost of driving ($5/gal?!) and lack of willingness to drive.   Driving 40+minutes to get to the office is a deal breaker for most residents.


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