How did you get the idea for your business?
To be honest, I always played basketball, and I thought that my future was in pro ball, preferably the NBA. My high school was very reputable for its basketball players, and the players were very well respected. My first client came to me my junior year and offered me $50 an hour to train his kid. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about the magnitude of what it could be. I just thought, “50 bucks, cool.”
In college, in Maryland, DC, I met a mentor named Patrick Robinson, a streetball legend. He was finishing A1 and told me that he wanted to start a gym. I decided to go on this journey with him and we started training kids for free, he did a lot of things for free. Eventually, we got a small half-court building that became the start of a training facility.
What’s unique about owning and running a business in Murfreesboro?
Being in my position, a young business owner, I feel like my credentials as a basketball trainer can show here. You guys might have master’s degrees for your credentials, but for me, going to a reputable school, playing my way through college, and having some great mentors, those are my credentials.
A town like this allows me to use those credentials effectively. There are tons of basketball trainers in town, but that’s what makes me unique.
How do you advertise your business?
In the 3 years, I haven’t spent more than $5,000. Mostly, it’s done through one-on-one encounters. I feel that if I reach you with my best impression, that will be worth $5,000. That’s pretty much word of mouth, but you have to really respect word of mouth. People will understand that I respect you, that I respect their child, and that I want to take their game to the next level.
Social media was, to me, the easiest part. Putting the quality content out there was natural. I’ve got 1,300 followers and follow 200, but I know those 1,300 care. I’ll take that over 100,000 followers any day.
Social media is a part of it, but the key is word of mouth.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Before, it was paying bills, wondering how I would expand, and wanting more and more. Not being content kept me up.
I want to grow, but I want to grow in a good way. After a while, you can start to lose appreciation for what you’re making. One more thing, I’ve gotta give this to my fiance, is being very financially conscious. By using the money for what it’s meant for: bills, and other necessities, it will be there when you need it to be.
What’s one way you’ve had to pivot your business?
Never being down and being ready for the mix is how you keep yourself going in this business.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Put your money where it needs to go. Pay your bills, have a plan, and delegate early.
What’s one thing you’re doing from a digital marketing perspective that helps you get customers?
Staying relevant on social media. You don’t have to follow every trend, but I’ll make a post about positivity or a Tik Tok dance that I think is funny or I’ll post something related to my childhood. It helps give an image of my business, it says that my training is fun.
Another thing is recognition for the kids. If one of my trainees does something exceptional, I want those kids to feel seen and appreciated for the hard work they put in.
What’s a business lesson you’re willing to share?
Have a really good ‘why’. Make sure you’re doing what you’re doing for the right reasons, and people will be able to sense that from you. Disingenuity is one of the fastest ways to lose a client.
What podcasts or books do you recommend to other business owners?
There was one book that really helped me, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey and that was recommended to me by Brad White of New Vision. Also, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, by Steve Harvey.
What do you use for your to-do list?
I’m a led guy, I really just focus on being a hand of God. I’ll wake up, get a call on the phone, and realize that that’s what I’m supposed to do today. I don’t need the phones to be ringing off the hook all the time. I understand that one or two clients are all that I’ll need for the day. God is my to-do list.
Do you have any apps you use for social media?
We use Canva for some of our posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Learn more about Marc Christian here.