Navigating Your First Year as a Business Owner: A Success Story

Navigating Your First Year as a Business Owner: A Success Story

Are you considering a career change or dreaming of starting your own business? Mike Robison’s journey from corporate sales to owning a successful Dustless Blasting business is a testament to the power of following your passion and taking the leap into entrepreneurship. His story of transition, growth, and success serves as an inspiration for anyone looking to break free from the corporate world and build something of their own. Follow his story to learn how passion, hard work, and a willingness to innovate can pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding career in the blasting industry.


From Corporate Sales to Blasting Entrepreneur

"I worked in corporate sales for the better part of 20 years... and all along I was always kind of thinking - what would it be like to own my own business?"

Mike Robison’s transition from a 20-year career in corporate sales to running his own Dustless Blasting business is nothing short of inspiring. Facing burnout from constant travel and the pressures of a corporate job, Mike longed for a change. The pandemic served as a turning point, providing him the push he needed to explore business ownership seriously.

Discovering a Passion for Blasting

"I was watching a video on YouTube about this guy that restores cars and he was having a car blasted. He had a company come out that had the Dustless Blasting equipment. And I'm like, there it is. That's it."

During a lull in his career, Mike reconnected with his cousin, who was deeply involved in automotive restorations. This experience introduced him to the world of sandblasting—a method he found fascinating. Mike’s hands-on learning began in his cousin's garage, working on a 1969 Chevelle. The pivotal moment came when they needed to sandblast the car’s undercarriage, and Mike realized the potential of Dustless Blasting for various applications.

PWTP_Nova Testimonial


Mike's early days in blasting were hands-on and diverse. Starting with classic cars, he quickly expanded to tackle more challenging projects, such as industrial equipment and indoor graffiti removal. This period was filled with learning curves, as Mike had to understand the nuances of different surfaces, blasting environments, and techniques.

why THE DB500® Mobile S stands out

"I wanted to start this business up and have the lowest overhead possible and part of that was not having a shop or warehouse. I thought, if I could store the machine in my garage at home, that would be a huge savings."

The hosts and Mike discuss various blasting systems, with a spotlight on Mike's equipment of choice - the DB500 Mobile S. Known for its compact size and scalability, the 500 Mobile S became a favorite among professionals for its versatility and price point. Mike shares practical insights into choosing the right equipment, emphasizing the importance of understanding your specific business' needs.


One of Mike’s standout marketing strategies was leveraging YouTube and other social media platforms to document and share his blasting projects. This approach not only showcased his work for potential clients but also serves as an educational tool to fellow blasters. His engaging content helped build business credibility and attract a steady stream of customers.

"I thought, okay, if I set up social media and I put videos out there, eventually that will bring some people back to me."

PWTP_500 Mobile S Testimonial

INSIGHTS after one year

Having completed his first year as a blasting business owner, Mike shares some pointers.

HOW TO PricE Jobs

"I think with any contractor that goes into business, bidding jobs is really hard at first. The Private Facebook Group was a huge help starting out. I could really depend on that."

Mike emphasizes the importance of flexible job pricing strategies, particularly for newcomers, initially recommending hourly rates to mitigate risks associated with uncertain job durations. Drawing on personal experience, Mike explains that while a flat rate can offer increased earning potential, hourly billing ensures fair compensation for both parties and minimizes unexpected costs. He acknowledges initial client reluctance to hourly rates but highlights how to effectively frame an hourly or daily rate as cost-effective to the client. As he gains experience, Mike aims to transition towards comprehensive job bids to maximize profitability while maintaining client trust through transparency.

the smart approach to cleanup

Mike explains his preference to outsource cleanup, as his time is better spent behind the blast nozzle. Therefore, he usually offers clients two options: one quote that includes cleanup, and another that excludes it altogether.

"When I first started, I would hire out the cleanup because real quickly I realized thats a lot of labor that's probably not worth your time... Now, I often offer to give people a better price and have them do the cleanup. That works really well."

WHY MIKE primarily blasts dry

While acknowledging the many benefits of blasting wet like dust suppression, Mike explains that he prefers dry blasting whenever possible due to the reduced mess. He acknowledged the importance of having the option for wet blasting in specific situations, like in urban areas or for easing customer concerns about car damage.

"Cleaning up wet sand is very heavy as opposed to dry sand... But I definitely like having the option because there are certain cases like when you're in the city limits or when it comes to vehicles."

PWTP_Google Ads Testimonial


When Mike Robison started Bison Blasting over a year ago, he aimed to escape the stress of his corporate sales career and find a healthier work-life balance. Burned out from constant travel and intense sales pressure, he sought to create something of his own, prioritizing personal well-being over relentless profit for someone else. Mike's new blasting business has not only provided him with therapeutic satisfaction but also allowed him to document his journey through engaging videos, a refreshing contrast to his previous roles. Now, having achieved significant stress relief and a sense of fulfillment, Robison is poised to scale his business, determined to grow without compromising his newfound peace.

Mike Robison’s journey from a corporate salesperson to a Dustless Blasting entrepreneur underscores the many growth possibilities within this innovative industry. His hands-on approach, coupled with a willingness to embrace new challenges, offers a blueprint for success for anyone considering a similar path. Whether you’re new to Dustless Blasting or looking to expand your existing business' services, Mike's story proves invaluable.

Stay tuned for more episodes of Pointers with the Pros, where we continue to bring you expert advice, industry insights, and inspirational stories from the world of Dustless Blasting.

PWTP_Theurapeutic Testimonial


Our Pointers with the Pros series is the ultimate resource for exclusive insights into the surface prep industry, straight from the experts in the blasting business. It is available both on YouTube and Spotify.