In continuation of our birthday celebration week, here’s another compelling entrepreneurship story from one of our customers. This time, it’s Diamond Swim Academy.
Diamond Swim Academy
Diamond Swim Academy started life as the light-bulb moment of two individuals. Sophie Grosvenor and Sarah Ruckwood had both been working in the swimming industry prior to setting up their own business; Sophie, as a swim teacher at another of our valued customers (Virgin Active) and Sarah at our official swim partner Swim England (previously the ASA).
‘It was always something that we had discussed with our husbands but it was a big move to take the leap! We had experience of other swim providers and always thought we could do a better job ourselves so we decided to put our money where our mouth was!’
We asked the pair, what makes a good entrepreneur in their eyes?
‘You need to be an expert in your own field, well rounded in general business, prepared to make big decisions and be able to learn from your mistakes (because you will make lots initially!)
Being able to switch off from the business is probably the hardest part. Although it means so much being your own business and in a way you are always ‘on call’ it is still important to keep perspective on things and make time for your family, friends and of course yourself!’
Diamond’s ethos of quality and staying true to themselves are values we too here at CAP2 pride ourselves on:
‘From day one we wanted to base our business around providing a quality service and that has never changed. It is a competitive market and we chose quality as the thing we wanted to distinguish ourselves by.
As with everything, it’s about balance and we compliment each other well. Neither of us has changed because we run our own business and that is very important, you need to be true to yourself rather than try to be someone you’re not. We modelled our business to be different from any other business. We wanted to stand out and do things a little differently.’
A bit like any business, the need for development and growth in the business is met with the need to improve the systems you use. Sophie and Sarah both felt technology was a must for the future of their business.
‘Technology is key for all businesses, it needs to be able to develop, grow and adapt alongside your business. Effective technology underpins your business and life would get very difficult, very quickly without it.
We would like to continue to provide a high quality service to as many swimmers as we can. Being able to swim is an essential skill that everyone should have and if we can do our bit to help that then we know this has been a successful venture.
We received the Silver Award for the ASA Swim School of the year last year which was a huge achievement in only our second year, but we are most proud of watching children learn to swim and enjoy their lessons.’
A huge thank you to Sophie and Sarah for taking the time to talk to us. We hope you find their entrepreneurial story as interesting and inspirational as we do!