Owner: Sunn Dorsey
Titan Enterprises is a sole proprietorship owned by Sunn Dorsey of Fort Bragg, California. Dorsey started out working in construction before learning welding and beginning to make custom truck racks several years ago. He began making his own custom truck racks in 2009, and has recently expanded his business to include all types of fabrication, welding, and related work. Dorsey’s busy new shop at Noyo Harbor still makes custom truck racks and gets orders for these racks from all over California, but he has also been working a great deal with the fisheries at Noyo Harbor doing boat repair, fishing equipment repair, and related metalwork, and this line of work has become an important part of his business. He has used his connections at the harbor and in the construction industry to obtain a number of jobs doing handrails for handicap access ramps, for showers, and for other custom jobs as well.
When Sunn Dorsey first came to West Company in 2009, he had an obvious talent for welding and was making high-quality custom truck racks, but he had no business experience whatsoever. He did not know what permits and licenses he would need for his new business, he did not know anything about bookkeeping or financial management, and he did not know where to get started marketing his services. He began working with Heather Gurewitz on the logistical aspects of starting a business right away. After that, Dorsey worked with Nancy Banker and Pamela Patterson to get his books in order and to figure out the real cost breakdown of his goods and services. The last challenge Dorsey faced was finding a better location for his business—finding an affordable place with proper zoning was no easy feat.
Since moving to Noyo Harbor, Dorsey has been able to really grow and expand his business. He still makes his custom truck racks, but also works with the other businesses at the harbor to repair boats and fishing equipment and do to all sorts of custom welding and metalwork. Dorsey’s shop has become a real asset to the Noyo Harbor business community. Dorsey’s sales have more than doubled in the past year, and he is getting ready to hire additional help in his busy shop. Dorsey plans to work more on his website and online presence and is excited about the potential of his business going forward.
Dorsey says that when he came to West Company, his “goal was to learn how to run a business.” He worked diligently with Heather Gurewitz, Nancy Banker, and Pamela Patterson, and learned what he needed about permits, licenses, and especially bookkeeping and financial management. “Nancy helped me figure out the cost of what I was doing, and what the turnaround needed to be for me to make money,” he says. About bookkeeping, Dorsey says with a laugh, “I have learned a lot! When I started I would deposit checks without noting what they were for, and I did not keep good records of what was coming in and out of the shop.” West Company helped Dorsey get started with QuickBooks, and now it’s all shipshape. When asked about how business is these days, Dorsey says excitedly, “It’s great! Sales have more than doubled and we’ve become an essential part of the harbor business.” The future looks bright for this business Titan at the harbor.
West Company is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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