Posted on December 07, 2016
As part of a week long State of Golf event, I’ve covered the problem in golf and the solution. As part of the solution, golf needs more businesses focussing on the customer and their needs and less on inventory turnover and “to make last year’s product look old” (an actual quote by an actual golf exec). Some companies are too big to fail and others are too big to listen. Major golf OEMs are certainly not too big to fail and absolutely fall in the latter category. The only way to meet this need in the golf industry is a slew of new boutiques willing to put in the hours to hone a craft, not market something they found on alibaba (there are actual “leather” grip companies doing this). So in a unchartered territory I give you, free of charge, BestGrips.com’s Boutique Roadmap.
State of Golf: the Boutique Roadmap
With great eagerness, you set out on the road to creating a golf business. After all, golf is your life long passion. Why not turn that into a job? Great! Now, you must navigate an intricate minefield of bad advice from every talking head in the industry. Any expert, former golf executive, or course pro will tell you:
- Grab tour endorsements and representation
- Get your product ready for big box retail
- Take out ads in the major golf publications
These three pearls of wisdom will you of a legitimate shot at success away and leave you with the countless other failed golf businesses. Unfortunately, unless you sponsor a race car and can write top club engineers a blank check to design the next big thing, making it in the golf industry is a daunting task if you follow conventional wisdom. Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines remarks, “If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline,” and this applies equally to golf. These roadblocks help prevent competition by artificially boosting the cost of doing business in golf. Just imagine what tour endorsements, big box margins and major print and television ads to the latest driver.
Build It and They Will Come
With the minefield in your rearview mirror, you still need a successful strategy to make it in a highly competitive market. My father’s go to remark on business, ” first you have beans. Then, you sell the beans. Finally, you count the beans,” is a great place to start. Take, for instance, Lamb Crafted Putters. The putter market is absolutely stacked with competition and despite this, Lamb Crafted sets themselves apart from the competition with an unparalleled attention to detail. Say whatever you want about their creations, but the attention to detail is unarguable. That attention sets their beans apart from any of the others on the market.
Many experts will tell you that you’ll need more than just a product to succeed. However, the golf market is so starved for genuineness in products, today it may be all you need. Actually producing something with passion, attention, commitment and your own personal backing is an almost surefire way to set yourself apart. Without that, you are almost guaranteed to fall in the footsteps of everyone else contributing to golf’s problem. This certainly isn’t everything you’ll need to start a successful golf company. But, if you’ll avoid the three pitfalls laid out to keep competition away and focus on making a quality product, I’m sure you can figure out the rest.
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