This entrepreneur isn’t afraid to make a splash
Diana Goodwin understands firsthand the difference private swim lessons and a good instructor can make for a child. As a young girl, Diana dreaded group swim lessons. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy swimming, but rather because these lesson weren’t the right environment for her. It wasn’t until Diana’s parents hired a private swim instructor to come to their home pool that their daughter began feeling comfortable in the water. With her newfound confidence Diana continued swimming and years later became a swim instructor herself. While working towards her MBA, Diana married her knowledge of business and aquatics by creating AquaMobile Swim School. Her business offers private swimming lessons to customers in the convenience of their own home pools. Since the idea dawned on Diana she has managed to do a lot more than keep her head above the water. This confident entrepreneur has faced dragons, grown her company at an exponential rate and has helped other children gain confidence in the water. Diana has digitalized the entire process and has ensured low overhead costs. Investors were fighting to work with Diana but she has since turned them down. It seems this entrepreneur is unstoppable on and off land.
“I worked then on making my business something I could scale.”*
Diana has a natural knack for entrepreneurship and she has a personal connection to the service her business offers. These two attributes often distinguish which entrepreneurs will succeed and which will drown. Personal conviction can be one of the most powerful motivators for a business owner as Diana has proved. Since AquaMobile began in 2012 it’s revenues have consistently double each year. Still Diana wasn’t satisfied, she wanted to see her vision come true to be “North America’s largest at-home learn to swim school.” Diana went on the popular television show Dragon’s Den looking for $200,000 for 10% equity stake in her company. After quickly gaining the attention of many interested Dragon’s, Diana made a deal with Jim Treliving. After the show aired Diana was announced the winner of the Globe and Mail Small Business Challenge Contest where she was up against 3,300 other inspiring entrepreneurs. Diana received $100,000 in prize money from her accomplishment and therefore turned down her Dragons Den deal. Now Diana does not need to give up any equity in her company since she opened herself to every opportunity available. Her perseverance and initiative is something all entrepreneurs need to encompass if they want to navigate these shark filled waters.
Entrepreneurs create jobs
Diana may not have gone into business in order to create full time work for swim instructors but this has happened as a by-product of her efforts. The digital platform used by AquaMobile has connected over one thousand swim instructors with steady work in a short period of time. With 10 million private swimming pools in the United States alone you could guess Diana’s business is tremendously increasing demand in this sector. Rather than having 8 children taught by one instructor now there can be 8 children with 8 separate instructors being taught in their own pools. Swim instructors generally can not support themselves by only teaching but Diana’s platform allows for teaching to have the potential to be a full-time job. Not only is Diana helping children feel comfortable in the water she is helping instructors live out their passion on a daily basis. It is a win, win on both ends of the spectrum.
Diving into the future
What’s next for this business? A sturdy base has been created for AquaMobile Swim School but now Diana is hoping to take her business even further. Since winning this award Diana has hired staff to assist with marketing and recruiting. We think she may be hiring many more employees fairly quickly given her success!
Diana was able to find a need in the marketplace that was not currently being served. The infrastructure was already in place but no one saw the potential of this idea before Diana. She was able to take the plunge into entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back since.
Things to consider
If you are an entrepreneur here are some things to consider:
- Business ideas inspired by a personal experience can be unstoppable
- By increasing demand in a new product category you have the ability to create jobs that were not previously available
- Take every opportunity you are given and never stop looking for the best deal (even if your business has already received financing)
Here is how you can learn more about AquaMobile Swim School: