Customer Spotlight - Shot Makers Golf Center
Customer Spotlight

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Hi, my name is Lloyd Swadling, I have dreamed and talked about opening Shot Makers Golf Center for about 5 years. After years of pondering, my wife, Megan, and I decided to put the dream into motion. Shot Makers Golf Center was subsequently created and started in September 2013. Being a long-time golfer, and living in an area in which golf is seasonal, we felt that there would be a market for bringing golf to our area on a year round basis. We started with 3 indoor golf simulators and slowly grew our retail area to offer clubs, apparel and repair services. This area of the business came easier as I had been involved with golf and golf shops in some fashion for over 16 years prior. I also worked for 6 years for the State of Michigan. The State job was draining on me and opening the business was rejuvenating and fun! We have subsequently been open 4 years this September. Store Pic

SSS: 1. Describe your proudest moment as a business owner?

Shot Makers Golf Center: The proudest moment for me as a business owner came when a good friend and golf pro called me on July 4th 2015. He called to thank me for opening the shop. He explained that he had won several local Pro-Am Tournaments and was on his way to qualify for the local Chapter Shoot-Out. He had ended up winning 5 tournaments and finished 3rd in the Shoot-Out. That phone call has been the highlight of me opening our doors.

SSS: 2. What are the new/existing challenges you are facing as a retailer/business owner?

Shot Makers Golf Center: The toughest challenge we face is the internet. People are more and more willing to shop online and have the items shipped directly to their door. This is tough as it also forces us to be more competitive with pricing which in turn reduces margins and profitability. We are currently working toward creating an e-commerce website ourselves.

SSS: 3. What is the long term vision for your store?

Shot Makers Golf Center: Long-term I hoped the business becomes successful. My goal with the business is to make a comfortable living while having the freedom to spend time and attend events with my 2 children!

SSS: 4. What type of marketing works best for you?

Shot Makers Golf Center: Marketing in our area is tough. We have found social media to be our best form of marketing. We have tried all different outlets with little success. Facebook, emailing and text messaging seems to work the best for us.

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SSS: 5. When it comes to customer service, how do you keep your customers happy?

Shot Makers Golf Center: Our primary focus is on customer service. We are always inviting and always acknowledge a customer when they walk in the door. I have also recently added a rewards program to thank our customers for their loyalty. This has gone over very well and has made customers happy and more likely to return!

SSS: 6. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since launching your business?

Shot Makers Golf Center: Nothing comes easy when launching and running a business. When you think you have something figured out, something changes and makes you start over again. With that in mind, I try to keep grinding forward and never try to go backward.

SSS: 7. What solution/problem are you solving with our products and why? What was the result?

Shot Makers Golf Center: We moved locations which significantly reduced our square footage. We moved from 4800 square feet to approximately 2600 square feet. This required me to be more creative and to move more products onto the wall versus being on floor displays. In the end with slatwall and slatwall gondolas we were easily able to keep our entire inventory without being cluttered.

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SSS: 8. What is your favorite thing you order from SSS and how has it helped your business?

Shot Makers Golf Center: It is difficult to pick my single most favorite item from SSS. If I chose one it would have to be the slatwall. We used both vertical and horizontal slatwall for displaying items. It was easy to install and looks great while supporting a ton of product!

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SSS: 9. How did you learn about us?

Shot Makers Golf Center: I completed an online search through Yahoo!

SSS: 10. How was your experience with SSS? (sales reps, website, showroom)

Shot Makers Golf Center: My experience with SSS was absolutely fantastic! I worked with Jan. She was very responsive and just as committed as me in getting the products in the store that would be best for us. She was great in monitoring anything being backordered and kept great track of shipments and things arriving on time. Overall I was extremely happy with my interaction with SSS and especially Jan!

Shot Makers Golf Center is located at
1900 US 31 North, Suite 1
Petoskey, Michigan 49770

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