“All young entrepreneurs need to just start SOMETHING. Stop being so worried about hitting it out of the park on your first business. Start something small and then another small thing until you figure out your big idea.If you just wait for the idea to come it never will. You need action!”
Leave Home, Stay In Your Element
Tanner Beeston, a senior marketing student here at Brigham Young University- Hawaii, is the visionary behind the car and hotel combined into one. Tanner’s idea was fueled by his desire to create a cheap/ more adventurous way for people to experience the island. He saw how expensive it was when people came to visit and had to pay for both a hotel and car rental for their vacation. He wanted more people to be able to travel the island on a budget, while also being able to stop wherever they wanted. He converted his Honda Element into the “Hotelement”, a fully functioning car with a bed built in the back that perfectly fits two people. Hotelement is equipped with a bed, blankets, lights, a detailed map of the island and adventure gear. He wanted people to “Leave home, stay in your element” , then the new way of travel was born.
Tanner and his wife Lauren have loved being able to navigate through this new business together, but have also faced a set of various challenges. When Tanner was asked what the greatest difficulty of creating his own business was, he responded, “The biggest challenge was learning the rules of car camping on the island. It was difficult doing research to find all the best and legal camping locations”. Tanner informs all of his quests of the best places to see on the island and where they can legally park their car for the night. Tanner also had difficulty finding the best renters insurance to cover the liability of the vehicle while in other people’s possession.
While this idea was his own, he got inspiration from other people renting creative living spaces. He saw how people we able to make money renting out their tent, backyard, and cars on turo. This led him to brainstorm a creative way that he could make money for his family. Tanner Beeston also wants to create more business after he graduates this June. He would “hope to start several more businesses! Hopefully something online this time. I want to be able to “work” from anywhere in the world from my laptop and make millions.” This experience has given him a taste of what it is like to operate your own business.
“Hotelement” has been a great learning experience for Tanner and his wife. He states, “It’s taught me how to start something from nothing and finish the project through. I’ve learned marketing through social media and the importance of connection/networking.” Tanner worked through the entire transformation of his Honda Element from the first idea to the final execution. He built the bed frame and decorated the car in a matter of weeks to get his idea off the ground. He uses instagram (@hotelement.hawaii) to market his car and generate sales. Tanner also uses an online car rental website “Turo” which allows strangers to connect with him and discover his car.
Hotelement has impacted the lives of others as well. Tanner has seen other people become inspired and start sie projects on their own. Beeston says, “Since I started I’ve seen several other students try out the idea. It’s awesome to see other students getting out of their comfort zone.” Tanner has inspired other people to think outside of the box and make money while still in school. He has impacted the life of his customers as well by giving them a more authentic Hawaiian experience. Tanner states,
People have been able to experience the whole island at a fraction of the cost. And also realize their dream of “waking up on the beach” People are now able to travel the island at a low cost while also being able to wake up to a new adventure every morning.
Tanner strongly feels that all aspiring entrepreneurs need to give their idea a shot and go for their dreams. His advice to students is, “All young entrepreneurs need to just start SOMETHING. Stop being so worried about hitting it out of the park on your first business. Start something small and then another small thing until you figure out your big idea.If you just wait for the idea to come it never will. You need action! “. He encouraged students to stop being afraid or waiting to make it big. The best time to try something is now! Tanner is a great example of having an idea he was passionate about, then turning it into a reality.
Tanner sets Hotelement apart from other car rental competition because of its unique qualities. He says, “My business is different because it focuses on a narrow demographic. It’s more affordable than competitors without sacrificing quality. Instagram plays a huge part.”. Tanner offers the same quality of car rental at an affordable price. Customers pay less and get both a hotel and car in one, which saves them a lot of money. Tanner has a competitive advantage with instagram because he is able to show the awesome adventures his guests go on with the Hotelement.
If Tanner could go back and do something differently, he says “I would have had help of investors who could buy me several cars and I would have a fleet, rather than just use my own money to buy the cars”. Tanner manages the car on his own from bookings, check in, social media and check out. He hopes to expand his fleet of cars in the future to make . Tanner loves being able to run his own business because of the flexibility it offers. Beeston says, “Running my own business allows me to work how and when I wanna work. Helps me achieve goals I couldn’t otherwise achieve! “ With Hotelement he is able to accomplish dreams and experience what it is lie to run your own business.
If you, or anyone you know, are looking to travel the island on a budget
Book Hotelement! You can find more info about the rental on instagram (@hotelement.hawaii) and on Turo at turo.com/rentals/suvs/hi/laie/honda-element/250080.