Not many people know how Steve Nison saved a struggling golf business when he founded (and later sold) Banyan Microcycle, a small but innovative sporting goods retail outlet. As a young college student in Los Angeles, Mr. Nison discovered that many of his friends were playing poor golf, and he knew from his own college years that he wanted to help them improve their game. It was then that he decided to create his own line of sporting goods, and launched Banyan Microcycle. Here is how the founder is saving traditional golf retail:
Golf is a business that can be tough for any new business to take on. Traditional golfers have been known to spend a lot of money buying new bags, tees, clubs, clothing, and everything else required to play the game. This could put the small business owner at a serious disadvantage, but Nison’s unique vision has enabled him to take on this traditional business head-on, turning Banyan Microcycle into an innovative golf specialty business that is not only fun but also a money-maker.
One of the reasons this leader is so successful is because he understands the customer. Unlike many traditional golf retailers, his focus is not shopping for the highest-priced product. Instead, his sales focus is on selling quality merchandise at a great price. What does this mean for a retailer? This means more profit!
Traditional golfers are the target market for many of the accessories available from Banyan. The founder understands that there are both “traditional” and “alternative” equipment choices available. In fact, he often mixes and matches, providing both traditional golfers and “golf aficionados” with a wide selection of items they may not normally see on the fairway. For example, one of the company’s most popular products is the Cappuccino cooler. This handy cooler lets players store their beverages cold, so they can drink while they play.
This traditional golf accessory is also made in a durable, attractive plaid fabric. The front of the cooler is a solid fold-top lid that features a snap-down bottom panel. A wire mesh divider runs across the top of the lid, protecting the contents from flying debris while allowing airflow to circulate inside. This feature has allowed traditional golf players to take their drinks anywhere. The interior features dividers that are also designed to help maintain the cold temperature of drinks held within. This divider is also adjustable, allowing players to adjust how low or high the divider allows the lid to open.
Another item in his inventory that is designed to be practical is his Carry-on bag, which has received rave reviews. The bag boasts a built-in golf tee bag, which keeps all of a player’s golf equipment together but also includes a lightweight duffel bag for carrying golf shoes and other items. The carry-on bag has an adjustable backpack strap, allowing its owner to adjust it to the proper size and fit. This new bag is extremely functional as he travels, whether on a plane or traveling by land and air.
In his new book, How This President Is Saving Traditional Golf, Robert Jones gives his followers a lot of reasons to be excited about being a traditional golfer. One of the many interesting sections of the book pertains to how this traditionalist believes golfers are being forced to adapt outdated equipment to a new generation of golfers who are much faster and stronger than ever before. For this reason, he says old school equipment no longer works as well as it did during the time of their origin. The solutions he provides to this problem are not revolutionary, but rather simple and effective.
One solution he suggests is purchasing golf clubs that were designed for speed, like those manufactured by Callaway. Another is to use a club that allows you to swing easily, like a Titleist Pro V1. And then, if you can’t afford a pro shop, he recommends learning how to play on the internet. The last step in the author’s solution to how this leader is saving traditional golf is for his fans to get out and play more, so this trend will begin to die off and will be replaced by newer generations of traditional golfers.