Six years ago, Point 3 Basketball, a hoops-focused apparel brand, was born. Michael Luscher, CEO of the company, said the business plan has often changed — for instance, the business switched from selling in big-box retailers to selling directly to the consumer — and it's been a constant learning experience. Point 3 took a step beyond designing and producing apparel that absorbs moisture — now, its products essentially double as towels on the court. Luscher went behind the business plan with Business News Daily to explain why he thought the idea was a slam dunk, and where he sees his company heading.
Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?
Michael Luscher: We design, manufacture and sell apparel focused exclusively on innovation for basketball players.
BND: How long have you been in business?
Luscher: Just over six years, and [our product has been] available for sale for five years, since 2011.
BND: Did you start with a formal business plan? If not, how did you lay the groundwork for your business?
Luscher: Yes, we had a business plan.
BND: How did you finance your endeavors, both initially and as your business grew?
Luscher: Point 3 was launched with a seed round of friends and family capital in 2009, then closed our Series A round in 2013 and our Series A-1 round in 2015.
BND: How much did you invest personally?
Luscher: Including time, energy, lack of sleep and missing moments with my family? Too much to count…
BND: Is your business today what you originally envisioned, or has it changed significantly over time?
Luscher: It's changed a lot. Businesses need to evolve with the landscape, and I think we've done a pretty good job of that — most specifically, in our decision to forgo wholesale (e.g., to retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods, Modell's, etc.) for what has been an exclusive direct-to-consumer approach for the last four years. It was a pivot from our original business plan that took a significant amount of effort and commitment from all of our partners but was, without a doubt, the right long-term decision.
BND: What are some lessons you've learned? Is there anything you would've done differently?
Luscher: Lessons? Again, too many to count! Maybe most notably is, don't enter into a new business venture with a half-baked idea. Think through all of the executional steps to make your idea come to life, but don't let it be completely baked, either. Many successful entrepreneurs before me have advised not to wait for your idea to be perfect — launch when you think you're on the right track, be prepared to adjust as needed and work — a lot! I wouldn't do anything differently, though, as I wouldn't be where I am today. And I like where I am now and where we are as a company!
BND: What were the most important factors in your success?
Luscher: Hard work, good people helping me at every turn and hard work. Did I mention hard work?
BND: What are the next steps you want to take as a business owner? How do you see yourself achieving those goals?
Luscher: We're in a pretty aggressive growth mode right now, so [our] short-term [goal] is making sure we have sufficient supply to meet demand for our products. That will allow us to keep our customers and partners happy, and keep members of our team engaged and continuously vested in the long-term success of Point 3. We have a pretty big announcement set to drop in about a month regarding the extension of our patented technology, which we're all excited about and is keeping me busy these days. We're able to achieve these goals through careful planning, lots of internal communication and — here it comes again — hard work!
BND: What is your best advice to someone with a great business idea who is ready to give it a shot?
Luscher: I referenced a few of them above, but we use an acronym at Point 3 quite a bit. It's "ISE," which stands for Idea, Strategy, Execution. Anyone can have a good idea, but the key to making that idea a reality is having a strategy to get it off the ground. But that's where 90 percent of all businesses fail — at the strategy stage. The key to success is all in the granular execution steps required to turn an idea into a business!