The road to getting what you want, believe it or not, requires you to first build a road.
Guest speaker at Rainmakers LINKS Casey Wright shared how she grew her business and got everything she wanted in the process. Casey is a former olympic level gymnastics coach turned entrepreneur and is the Founder and CEO of an internationally recognized licensing and curriculum development company called NinjaZone.
Casey was born into a family of gymnastics coaches. True story. Her parents were one of the first to open a private gymnastics club in the U.S. After spending time in the gym as a student, she eventually became a gymnastics coach herself. Later, after starting a family of her own, Casey decided to channel her coaching and leadership skills into business. She opened several gymnastics gyms.
Here are a few takeaways from her transformation from small business owner to big business owner:
Know Where the Money is Coming From
You’re in business because you want to make money, right? It’s worth it to determine if you’re appealing to the right audience. As Casey found out, a customer’s worth to the business isn’t always obvious. Initially, she spent time attracting top athletes to her gyms, the kids that train and travel the country doing gymnastics. Upon further analysis, she discovered that power athletes were not a profitable revenue stream. The concept seemed counterintuitive at first, but power athletes were worth less money. The amount of time they spent in the gym actually translated into a low hourly rate of return for her. She realized this was not how she was going to make money.
Examine Your Market
It’s then she decided that the real money maker was in recreational gymnastics. Furthermore, through networking, she discovered that there was an underserved and unexplored niche in gymnastics for boys. She refined her target audience, rebranded and remarketed to boys – NinjaZone was born.
Love Your Clients Not Your Product
Generally, you’re in business to solve someone’s problem. Casey needed to understand what problem she was trying to solve and for whom.
Through informal conversations with parents of boys, she discovered two things parents wanted. The first was discipline. These parents usually put their boys in something like martial arts. The second thing was physical coordination. These parents usually put their boys in gymnastics, but on a temporary basis. In the gymnastics world, with some exceptions, boys generally drop out of gymnastics at around 7 years of age. She discovered the problem and people she was solving it for, parents!
NinjaZone appealed to what parents wanted for their boys by creating an environment that fostered discipline and athletic conditioning in a fun and engaging way. As the concept caught on, she brought NinjaZone to different cities. But real growth came later.
Again through networking, someone suggested that she begin licensing her idea. She did. Today NinjaZone has 260 clubs in 46 states and 5 countries. You can view Casey’s talk in its entirety here.
Join us for networking and an inspirational talk from a local business leader at the next LINKS on April 24th.