Ian Peterson, an avid golfer in his spare time, found a way to make his hobby into a business he could share with the public. He convinced his wife to go all-in on the idea by purchasing a high-end golf launch monitor, allowing him to start Dialed in Golf Solutions, in Tampa.
Dialed in Golf Solutions started by providing Trackman technology to driving ranges and golf tournaments, but soon evolved to an event company with its pop-up facilities that include mini golf, golf simulators and waterfront driving ranges. Despite the name, Dialed in Golf Solutions’ activations are perfect for any event type or venue.
Having never imagined being an entrepreneur to begin with, he soon realized he needed assistance in marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and Google advertising. This need led him to the Florida SBDC at the University of South Florida, where he began working with various consultants to grow his business.
One of the takeaways Peterson has gotten from the consulting services is a better understanding of SEO and social media marketing.
“Stacey was a big help because prior to starting my company I didn’t have a social media account,” Peterson said. “I had a LinkedIn account that wasn’t being used. I didn’t have Instagram. I didn’t have Facebook, and when I did have it, I didn’t know how to use it correctly for a business, and Stacey helped us tremendously in that area.”
Stacey Dadd is a business consultant with the Florida SBDC at USF, specializing in social media, branding website user experience.
After finding significant impact in this area, Peterson says, “I forced myself to learn more about the topic and dedicate time to improve even the language on our website. With using Google Ads, we are experiencing not having to cold call customers. Everything comes in either from referrals, but in many cases through Google. Many of our newer clients, our corporate clients, have come in that way.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the event industry took a hit, but because of the work that Peterson did with the Florida SBDC at USF prior to March 2020, the business was able to recover quickly.
As Peterson continues to grow Dialed In Golf Solutions, he plans to keep growing his knowledge as a business owner. He encourages other business owners to do the same, with the help of organizations like the Florida SBDC at USF.
“I would say to other small business owners about Florida SBDC at USF, take advantage of it,” he said. “It’s free. It’s extremely helpful. We would not be where we are today if I didn’t take the steps five years ago and continue to follow up with them throughout the growth of Dialed in Golf Solutions.”