One of the most prominent questions that we have all been asked in a job interview in one way or another is, "What is a challenge you have had to face and how did you overcome it?" This is of course a simple case question to see how managers like me handle problems. Up until owning my own business I had always just answered this question with the latest challenge I had faced in a group project in the classroom or at work, but that all changed once I signed on the line of that business lincense.
As a business owner I face challenges weekly about what to do with Bounce Back Sports. In the big business world we take regular expenses for granted. In the small business community you sometimes have to make tough choices. You may have to forego buying those essential supplies you take for granted in a large corporation to make sure you can pay the company bills that week because after all how important are sticky notes?
To specifically site my biggest challenge I will take you back to the opening stages of Bounce Back Sports. It was the very beginning of the company and I was so excited (still am). This idea of renting a service directly to college students that were willing to pay a lot for it was perfect. I lived in my market and travel wouldn't necessarily be mandatory unless I wanted it in order to make additional profit. My business plan was flawless: advertise on campus a little; meet up with some greek life and organizations on campus and before I knew it the money would be rolling in.
It was about 3 months and $5,000 later that I found out my business plan was about to come crashing down. My business plan had one flaw: I didn't have approval to operate on campus. One bureaucratic policy combined with a few liability concerns and I was looking at a potential of $5,000 of my own capital down the drain and all this equipment that was virtually useless. What to do? What to do? I couldn't just waste this opportunity. Surely there was a way to make it all work out.
Of course if you've made it this far into my website you know that I did find a new business model. In fact I completely changed my target market. After a little bit of research I found the one and only Bubble Soccer referral site on the internet, paid my membership dues, and events were rolling in from all around South Carolina. I am still the only traveling Bubble Soccer rental provider in South Carolina. By March of next year I am already looking to turn a profit and I have yet to book a single event on USC's campus. I've found that by traveling I can actually make more money in the travel time that I have to charge for than I ever could have made at USC.
I site this example because while many students my age have all faced adversities in their personal lives, many of us have not truly experienced any adversity in our professional lives yet. Sometimes we have to drop everything we're doing, create an entirely new plan, and go with that. As CHRIS KALABOUKIS says in his article at thinkfuture "Don't be afraid to pivot." In the world of small businesses you have to be willing to drop every idea you've ever had about your company; completely abandon it, and start in another direction.
While I don't plan on building Bounce Back Sports into the largest leisure sporting rentals empire in the country, I do recognize that I have learned a lot from my company. I can say I am a lot less afraid to pivot or "bounce back" if you will.
Most posts relate where I currently stand in my education as well as my daily work and life experiences.