An interview with Todd Mueller, owner of Homerun Sports and Fitness.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
Homerun Sports and FitnessAddress: 140 Oakwood Road, Lake Zurich
Owner: Todd Mueller
Year business started: 2008
Web address: www.homerunsportsandfitness.com
A: We are an indoor training facility concentrating on baseball, softball, football, and speed and agility training. Our speed and agility training can be for general training as well as sports specific.
Q: You moved to a different location. Tell us about that.
A: We have recently moved in July to our new location at 140 Oakwood Road after 5 years of operation at 143 E. Main Street in Lake Zurich.
Q: What about the grand opening?
A: We are holding our grand opening on Sunday, Oct. 27th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will have free food and batting cages as well as games and our obstacle course. There will be discounts on memberships and drawings for tokens, free lessons, and memberships.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: I had taken my children to several different training facilities in neighboring suburbs. When the opportunity opened up to purchase one in Lake Zurich I decided it would be a great thing to do for the community.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: The hardest thing about starting the business has been setting up the reception area. Keeping the scheduling of clients for usage as well as lessons and camps has been challenging. I have tried several times to computerize the business, but with the volume of business that we do, we decided that the best way to keep track is with paper and pencil.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: By far the most enjoyable part of running a sports academy is the interacting with the people. Many of our customers have been with us since the first year and we have been able to watch their families grow. We are very family orientated. It's great to see the children progress and become better at the sports that they love. It's very pleasing to hear about children making their travel team, their high school team, and their college team. We have even had some clients advance to the professional level.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: In a way I pictured myself doing something along these lines. Growing up my goal was to own a sporting goods store and opening a sports facility is as close as I've gotten.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: One tip I would give to a business owner is to make sure you have thought it all through as much as possible and to hire the best core employees as possible. You can't do it all yourself. I have been lucky to have strong people working for me in the most important areas. Most of my trainers have been with me since the first year and not having a large turnover of your most important people is very important.
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