From passion to a career – Atom AirSoft grows one dream at a time
DREAM – Sakari Vyyryläinen knows you can become an entrepreneur just by having the courage to dream. The passionate airsoft enthusiast turned his hobby into a career by becoming a business owner before he even turned 18. The owner of Atom Airsoft Oy is a machine technology and product development student at TAMK alongside managing his airsoft specialty store.
“For me, entrepreneurship is a way of expressing myself. I get to do what I enjoy and take responsibility. I can try out new ideas freely and enjoy the buzz when they succeed. For a young person, it’s a big deal to be able to do the kind of work that is generally unavailable elsewhere. I’ve been able to travel thanks to international customer relationships, trade fairs, and business networks.”
Vyyryläinen’s parents have been behind him all the way, and he has also been supported in his efforts by the sparring, courses, and business camps provided by Y-kampus. In addition, the young entrepreneur has found surprising ideas and insights in relevant literature.
“Who would’ve thought that textbooks could be so useful in sales promotion, for example. The support from Y-kampus has been absolutely essential. The personal sparring helped me get in a good negotiating position for preparing a business plan and applying for financing.
Start out small and go big!
Vyyryläinen encourages everyone to take the plunge to chase their dreams. You can get started with relatively little capital, and more experienced entrepreneurs will provide you with advice. If managing a business on your own feels daunting, you can always look for partners to back your idea.
“It’s a good idea to try running a business on a small scale at first to see if it’s right for you. If you feel like it’s a good fit, you can set your sights on a bigger dream. I started out fixing my friends’ airsoft guns when I was 15. I ordered parts from China and sold them to people I knew for a profit. I saved up my nest egg working at a local toy store.”
Vyyryläinen has come far since those days. Atom Airsoft’s net sales have skyrocketed, while the company has established a loyal customer base and made concerted efforts to increase volumes.
“We are currently in the process of expanding to international markets, and we’re also planning a second site focusing on the sale of used gear and airsoft guns. We will start with a staggered launch in Finland and move on to the Nordic countries, and eventually the whole of Europe.
Outsourcing to focus on what you enjoy
Vyyryläinen’s business idea, which is based on his personal values and the principles of circular economy, is an excellent example of a dream and passion taking new forms along the way, and reaching new heights as a result.
“You obviously need to be a certain kind of crazy to do this. Things you don’t enjoy, such as paperwork, can always be outsourced so you can focus on your core expertise and passion. For me, the actual work is still a wonderful and exciting adventure.