Remind yourself, it’s all about the customer experience! You are either strengthening or weakening your company with every interaction with an existing or prospective customer.
Zack Creed is a golf enthusiast and educator. With a degree in Professional Golf Management and Recreation Management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Zack has turned his passion into a career. After 10 years of working as a golf pro at various clubs around the United States and Canada, Zack decided to venture beyond the putting green and into an exciting entrepreneurial endeavour in the Greater Toronto Area.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
In it’s present form, it was the culmination of my interest in teaching golf and the willingness of my family to help kickstart it. However the real genesis of the idea was way back in college at UNLV. Some of my buddies were sitting around trading ideas when we thought of combining teaching golf, simulator play/range, an adult entertainment bar and golf shop. Typical Vegas take on a business, right? Well, fastforward ten years and take the concept away from Vegas and I ended up with everything except the adult entertainment!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is nothing typical about it! Especially in this phase of setting up a new business. Take yesterday for instance. The day started with reviewing website design and progress with my father, checking an apparel order with Footjoy, emails to various vendors that have been awarded contracts in the new facility. Then I had to get across town (Toronto, that takes a while) to select and purchase some apparel from a well known green grass facility that is shutting down the end of next year. I have to do this as I need apparel in my golf shop when I open mid November and we’ve missed the order deadlines at the more upscale men’s & women’s golf lines. Later in the day, I continued to develop my social media plan and dropped into the facility to check progress on construction.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it. We all have lots of great ideas but to breathe life into them takes planning (checking out the market, competition etc), financial and operational support (this scale of project would be extremely difficult without direct and financial partners (my family) and ultimately the belief in yourself that you can make it successful.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’ve always been a “visual” teacher of golf in the vein of the older professionals like Butch Harmon. Eyeballing such variables as swing planes, posture and golf fundamentals like grip, alignment and so on. But over the past few years, tremendous advancements have been made with capturing empirical data on the golf swing. Companies like Trackman with dual radar technology provides accurate data that is impossible to see visually. While there are some purists (visual teachers) that dislike the tech, I choose to combine elements of each. It’s especially useful if I see something in a student’s swing and I can corroborate my findings with data elements.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Not sure it’s a habit but I do believe strongly in allocating time and energy into maximizing my customer’s experience. Sales is the lifeblood of any company.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Well, hindsight is 20/20 so, if given the opportunity to provide advice on what I know now, I would definitely counsel myself to pay more attention to health enhancement activities like better nutrition and exercise.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Tough question. Truth is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. I’m likely the strongest proponent I know of maximizing the customer experience, maybe to the detriment of other operational factors. Good thing I have partners in this business that provide balance in both outlook and skills.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Remind yourself, it’s all about the customer experience! You are either strengthening or weakening your company with every interaction with an existing or prospective customer. Remember the saying – “a happy customer tells 10 others about their experience; an unhappy customer tells 100”
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The question is a bit premature as our launch date is in 2 months. However our strategy is to deploy our resources carefully around our best abilities; I’m the front guy that will do everything in my power to make the customer experience at our facility the best. Even little things like remembering customer names when they come in a second time makes an impression. My father covers the back-end administration and controls the funds. Without that business can be very exciting but shortlived.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not understanding what you do well and not so well. Developing that understanding is an iterative process that only experiential learning can teach. Have the humility to face your weaknesses then turn them into strengths.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Instead of pushing general merchandise, check your sphere of product strengths then look at how to customize. Be a big fish in a small pond.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I gave $100 to someone that was desperate and needed it more than I did. Sometimes you have to give back.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Trackman software has enabled me to become a much more complete and rounded teacher.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte
What is your favorite quote?
Let the past be the past, what you do today defines you
- Customer service is the most essential part of any business
- Be prepared for the unexpected
- Get to know your own business, understanding every aspect of it will help you tremendously in the long run
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.