Who are you?
JustInTymeSports manufactures and sells the world's most realistic mini basketball hoops. These hoops are played on in bedrooms, dorms, rec rooms, and offices all over the world. We also work with companies for basketball marketing and promotions as we manufacture custom hoops for display, gifts, prizes, and play.
Why Did you start your business?
Our business started with me trying to find a mini hoop that could be both strong and realistic. The cardboard and plastic hoops from the late 80's and early 90's just didn't cut it in the Tymes household, and we weren't alone. I found a piece of plexiglass in the garage and asked my dad to attach a rim. All the neighborhood kids loved to play on our new hoop so my father learned to weld and I began to make nets in the basement. We took our hoops to craft shows and basketball tournaments, and then started an online store once I was off to college.
Towards the end of my college tenure the business was starting to grow beyond just a hobby. My parents were able to squeeze a little more time working out of the house, but when I moved back in 2008 we moved into some extra space of a nearby company's warehouse. We have since moved into our own space where we are proud to be almost exclusively made in the USA.
What makes your business unique?
I think the product itself is what makes JustInTymeSports unique. There is truly no one else doing what we do. The other companies you see out there making mini basketball hoops may have the similar look, but they aren't taking the time to think through design, strength, usability like we are.
If you think about it, trying to make a 7-40 pound mini basketball hoop as strong as the several hundred pound hoop in the driveway or several thousand pound hoop in an NBA arena is just plain nuts. That insanity is what inspires us. I was once that kid that had far fetched dreams of playing in a Final Four or NBA Finals. We want the kids of today to be able to live out those hoop dreams and get a realistic basketball experience even in their own home.
What's the biggest mistake you've made with your business and what did you learn from it??
I think the biggest mistake I made was deciding to work "in the real world" after college in what was more of a corporate environment. I thought I would gain knowledge and experience to use when I decided to run the business full time. That was a well-reasoned yet foolish thought. I certainly learned some important lessons from my time in a more corporate experience, but when you're in an entry-level position out of college, you're not gleaning many substantial lessons.
There's almost rarely a correct time to make the jump, and even more rare yet are we fully ready for it, but if I had a chance to do it over again I would go right into my business after college. I didn't do it at the time in part because I had just battled cancer, but I was mostly afraid to fail right out of college. I've learned, perhaps far too often, that failure is a part of entrepreneurship. However, the sooner you "fail", the quicker you are able to learn and grow. That's been an important lesson for me.
what big goal do you have for your company and how do you plan to achieve it?
Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal is to double 2013 revenue by 2015. The biggest factor in meeting that goal will be in getting ourselves out of the entrepreneurial trap of working in, rather than on the business. We are taking steps to systematize more aspects of our business, allowing for growth.
what advice or tips do you have for people wanting to start their own business or follow their dreams?
There are 2 things I would advise people to think about before starting a business:
1. I think the biggest question for people to answer is, "Are you willing to work?" Too often we read of overnight success stories without hearing about all of the time, effort, and hard work to reach that pinnacle. The fact of the matter is building a business is often a tough, sometimes brutal, grind with many ups and downs. Figure out what the business will mean to you, your family and friends, your customers. You will have to work hard in all of those relationship categories to keep yourself fulfilled and happy.
2. In a similar vein, define your success. Know what you are working towards. Are you doing this for financial freedom? Are you starting a business to fulfill a passion? Is the ability to make a decent living from home, or with the flexibility to be home important? Is this a hobby business? The answer to those questions, and more, will help give you guidance as to what you want out of the business. Know your definition so you can find contentment in the work you do. Craft your future, no one else's.