Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kyle Sela, Founder of AVA Cooling Technology, located in Sun Valley, ID, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
AVA Cooling Technology is a human performance enhancement company that leverages changes in body temperature. We capitalize on the natural heat exchange system in our palms and feet to deliver incredible performance benefits. These benefits are achieved by delaying the onset of fatigue, which allows for greater training volume. Our cooling devices act directly on glabrous skin and can be used between sets, during time outs, or any other time when increasing body temperature is negatively affecting performance or recovery. Our customers include NBA teams, weekend warriors, peri-menopausal women, and youth athletes.
Tell us about yourself
I am a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach who is always looking to optimize the health, performance, and longevity of my clients, patients, and myself. It became clear to me that controlling body temperature during exercise and when going to sleep was vastly overlooked. The next frontier of performance enhancement is thermoregulation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment to date is creating a cash flow positive business that manufactures a product that is mostly "made in the USA" and which has gained traction in the highest levels of sports such as the NBA and NFL.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a new company selling a product that is based on a concept that most people have yet to be educated on, we still see quite a bit of variability in sales from month to month. Each day I wake up and wonder if we'll ever sell another device. As a business owner, you invest so much of yourself into developing, growing, and sustaining your company. It's hard when there are times that you feel your efforts are not paying off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find something that involves a product or service that is really interesting to you. You will be spending a ton of time on your business. Try to find something that is more than just dollar signs to you. I love that my product is used by athletes and people who are interested in self-improvement. This really fits my ethos and allows me to get involved with sports and organizations that I've been a fan of my whole life.
- Try not to get distracted by every opportunity. If you have a good idea, there will likely be many opportunities in terms of customers or markets that you can target. When you start chasing every opportunity, you never get dialed in on your primary or target market. Create a plan for each customer segment and work out your plan. It's okay to eventually change focus but be sure you're not spreading yourself too thin by chasing every opportunity all at once.
- Think about sustainability. I mean sustainability in many realms. Is the workload sustainable for you? Is your product or service sustainable for your community or the environment? Is your packaging wasteful? Could you employ someone local? More business owners need to think about having a positive impact on their communities. Exponential growth is not sustainable.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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