When Bob Fisher started his business in 2008 all he wanted to do was improve the way basketball shooting is taught.
After 5 years of trying to build a business, he and his wife Connie felt like they weren’t making progress. The lack of revenue was a concern.
So in 2013 they found the Kansas SBDC at WU in Wetmore, Kansas and Mary Ann Reiderer.
Bob could make every shot he took on the basketball court, but was missing shots in his business. He had gained a great degree of exposure early on. The record holder of more than a dozen Guinness World Records, he had traveled nationally and internationally entertaining crowds at various events. They’d been involved with the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University and had developed a relationship with a basketball manufacturer, but hadn’t closed a deal for sponsorship or retail space.
They were, in basketball terms, shooting air balls.
Together Mary Ann and the Fishers began working on a plan that would afford the business the ability to share Bob’s knowledge and affect change in the game he loved, as well as provide a comfortable second career with Bob’s upcoming retirement. They took a two-tiered approach that would both attract steady income and exposure as well as impart Bob’s specific knowledge to students of the game. They have set their sights first on corporate sponsorship and second on one-on-one coaching, camps, and consulting. The Fishers have established a pricing strategy, are currently coaching individual players, and are cultivating relationships to increase their team consulting options.
It was challenging to take a unique personal skill and turn it into a business model with precise focus. By working with their Kansas SBDC consultant team – including Caleb Asher, a social media and marketing consultant contracting with the Kansas SBDC at WU – they have discovered a short list of solutions that will guide their direction forward.
“They helped us pinpoint our focus,” said Bob. “We were confused as to which path to take and our Kansas SBDC consultant helped prioritize our options.” Through working with the Kansas SBDC, Fisher Sharp Shooters, LLC, has gained additional exposure and are continuing to make progress in growing their business.
“Having a defined strategy in place has given Bob and Connie the means of evaluating opportunities and prioritizing their next steps,” shared Reiderer. We still continue to work together as a team to transform Bob’s passion and skill into a thriving business.
When we asked Bob what advice he’d give himself if he could go back in time, he shared that he would tell himself to “plan for more expense” and “there’s more to starting a business than you think.” For someone thinking about starting a business today, Bob would advise someone to “be prepared for it to take longer than what you might expect.” And for those entrepreneurs currently in business,” Put quality first; be the best.” What’s Bob’s key to his business success thus far? “Persistence.”
About Fisher Sharp Shooters
About our consulant MaryAnn Reiderer
Mary Ann Riederer, consultant with Kansas SBDC at WU in Wetmore is a graduate of Kansas State University and has earned degrees in Management and in Marketing. Prior to joining the KSBDC, Mary Ann worked in large and small business settings, was an independent contractor, and owned her own business.
Recognizing that each entrepreneur comes to their business with a unique skill set, Mary Ann enjoys working with each person toward a complete business balance that includes creative marketing plans, routine accounting and evaluation practices, and constructive management techniques. Mary Ann can be reached by email at email@example.com or 785-207-0267.