“We are ready to support you for a year. We are even ready to invest some money into your business. But by August 1st, the academy has to be up and running. Fields must be booked, coaches must be hired, insurance must be bought and kids have to be signed up. If not, you are going back to school.”
Having the support of my parents on this journey is a crucial first step. But what I’m most happy about surprisingly is the deadline they set for me. I can now plan exactly what should be accomplished each month, week or even day, and hold myself accountable for that.
It has been a week since “The Beginning” and I have accomplished a few things on my checklist.
- Complete “Make Ethical Decisions” course. I now have to plan a practice and show the BC Coaching coordinator I am a good coach to complete my NCCP certification, something I feel is necessary for me to complete if I am to run a frisbee academy
- Market research. I calculated approximately how many kids play ultimate in Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond based on how many high school and elementary school ultimate teams there are and the average number of kids per team (conservative estimate is 30).
- Watch “The Psychology of Small Business Success-Top 5 Errors of Aspiring Entrepreneurs from Actualized.Org. The following is what I learned
- Be practical with market realities. Sales and marketing has to be the main focus when starting the business
- Continually test, evaluate, implement. Starting a business is nothing more than a science experiment where hypothesises need to be tested constantly
- Take enormous action. Treat it as if the success of the business is a matter of life or death.
- Govern thy self. I am entering the jungle of business and I have to be ready to compete. Business has to be taken seriously.
- Don’t get lost in materialism and success. Continually run the business for the purpose, not the money. If it starts to become about the money, get out.
What I’m disappointed in myself about is that on July 16-17, I was helping out at BCUC, a tournament that serves as the BC qualifiers to Nationals. Hundreds of kids and parents swarmed Newton Athletic Park and on the Sunday, I set a goal of talking to three random parents. I did not accomplish this goal and it was not due to anything other than the fact that I chickened out. I honestly had no reason to be afraid either. I was the assistant tournament director and I was just planning on asking them a couple questions. There was no selling involved. If I am not able to talk to random parents about frisbee in general, I will definitely not be able to convince random parents to pay for an academy.
I realized another reason why I am excited to start this business is because it is going to force me out of my comfort zone. Cold calling at my job is sort of doing that, but talking to parents face to face is a totally different ball park. Starting to talk to random parents at community centres and parks will be the first step..
This week, I am going to chat with Michael Keffer and Rena Kawabata about the academy. I want their ideas and thoughts on the barriers I will face, as well as possible partnership opportunities. Stay tuned for the results.