Indiana Companies to Watch celebrates high-performing, second-stage companies in the state. Known for their performance in the marketplace, innovative products, unique processes or philanthropic actions, these companies represent a wide range of industries from all corners of Indiana.
We interviewed past winners to share their advice, how CTW has impacted business, and what the future holds for their company.
Today’s interview is with SportCrafters, Inc.
SportCrafters, Inc. doing business as Spin Zone Cycling was one of 26 Indiana businesses named as a Company to Watch in 2011. Since then, the company has been busy hiring new employees and developing new products, like the High Inertia Drum. We recently caught up with Spin Zone Cycling to find out how their business has changed since winning the award.
1. How did SportCrafters get its start?
Like many product manufacturing companies, SportCrafters got their start from literally a drawing a new idea on a napkin. A few years in the garage and basement, progressing to a storage cubicle, then rented manufacturing space, now to a building owned by the company. While the idea on the napkin was, in their words, ‘really lousy,’ the ideas that followed have worked well.
2. How has winning this award impacted your business?
The ability to network with other creative and successful Companies to Watch® winners has been invaluable. Owner Peter Colan still attends workshops at the Edward Lowe Foundation, and gets a lot of insights from peers around the country. SportCrafters has grown an average of 38 percent per year for the last nine years, and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight.
3. Have you developed any new products or services since winning the award?
The company has captured new markets with products serving people with disabilities, and helped redefine the way the industry views athletic training on bicycles. Currently, they have three new patents in process, and the wholesale business has expanded to multiple continents. Additionally, the retail business is firmly entrenched in serving top athletes with the most innovative and modern equipment and fitting strategies.
4. What does the future hold for your company?
SportCrafters will continue to develop new and innovative products that will advance the training experience for both able-bodied and disabled athletes worldwide while seeking cooperation with companies who share their vision and values. In other words, SportCrafters has no competitors, only potential alliances. The company continues to hire honest, hard-working people who have a strong work ethic and those who want to learn what it means to be proud of your work and proud of your company.
5. What advice would you give to a start-up who is trying to take their business to the second-stage?
Surround yourself with successful people. Edward Lowe Foundation, SCORE, etc. are all great resources. Hire people you can trust. They’re not hard to find, you already know them. You just haven’t realized you can ask them to work for you.
Winners for the 2014 Companies to Watch will be announced in July and honored at a gala in August.
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