Ans: AquaKids Swim School has indoor, year-round swim schools in Flower Mound, Keller, and McKinney, Texas. We have been teaching swim lessons in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for more than 20 years. We offer group and private swim lessons, birthday parties, Swim Team, and a large retail swim shop.
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: My name is Andrew Kline and I am the COO for AquaKids. I have been with AquaKids for 14 years and have worked in every position in the company ranging from Lifeguard to Facility Manager. I am have a BBA in Entrepreneurial Management from Texas Christian University and a MBA in Management from Texas Tech University. I also hold a CPO certification from the NSPF and a LGI certification from the American Red Cross.
Q 3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: I have been involved with AquaKids for 14 years as of 2021 and have seen the company grow into what it is now. I have also enjoyed growing both personally and professionally with the company. I have really been able to put my Entrepreneurship and Business education to use with a small business like AquaKids.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
Ans: Believe in yourself, trust your gut, develop a network of professionals that you can have honest and open conversations with
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: 1) Top-notch work ethic 2) Be able to build relationships with anyone 3) Expert level knowledge of your product or service
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: At a very young age, my parents encouraged me to build my entrepreneurial skills through a number of different avenues. I collected, sold, and traded sports cards as well as bred and sold guinea pigs and hamsters. These exercises helped me build skills at a very young age.
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: Most of our marketing today is done online through SEO, PPC, and social media ads. We like to drive traffic to our website where our customer service team can chat live with interested parties.
Q 9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: Our owner received a loan from her parents and her mother-in-law to start the business in 1999. We also have a good partnership with our bank, Providence Bank.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Grind every day! Work harder and longer than anyone else. Much of the work you do will never be seen and you have to be okay with that. It’s not about proving you’re the best to everyone else. Be confident in what you bring to the table.
Q 11. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years? 10 years?
Ans: In 5-10 years, I see myself continuing to grow with AquaKids and working in an ownership role as our Owner considers retirement. I see the company continuing to grow which will allow us to provide even more opportunities for young people to have Careers with us in aquatics as well as saving more lives through teaching swim lessons!
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most? Why?
Ans: I admire all small businesses that do not have the corporate support to be successful, but instead they do it alone or with a small team. These individuals work very hard and I enjoy supporting their businesses.
Q 13. How important has having good employees been to your success?
Ans: Surrounding yourself with a good team is of the utmost importance. It is very hard to be successful alone.
Q 14. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: We have chosen areas that are in the heart of the residential portion of the towns we are in. We like to be near the houses rather than in the center of shopping centers. We also own our businesses so that provides extra flexibility.
Q 15. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: Typically, I act immediately on an idea when I have it. I don’t like being stagnant, I enjoy trying new things because that’s when growth happens.
Q 16. What motivates you?
Ans: I am constantly reminded of the 50+ employees that AquaKids has and how they count on us to provide for their families. This motivates me to keep growing and changing for the better.
Q 17. What are your ideals and/or values?
Ans: I have a great work ethic and am very confident in my abilities. I believe in honesty, integrity, and treating others fairly – be firm but fair.
Q 18. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: My mind is constantly working and turning with new ideas. I will frequently wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas or new wrinkles to existing processes.
Q 19. How do you define success?
Ans: I define success based on seeing the life-changing effect that our swim lessons have on young children. Seeing our kids confidence grow is such a good feeling. In addition, providing more jobs for our employees is something that I am very motivated by.
Q 20. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Listen, empathize, and propose a solution that works for both parties. Many businesses do not value each customer for who they are, but rather talk about customer service as a whole. We value each customer and want them to feel listened to and cared about. We treat our customers as family and this builds loyalty.
Q 21. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: The fact that every day is drastically different from the previous!
Q 22. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: When I was promoted to Area Manager and then had 3 Facility Managers reporting to me. I was proud of this promotion and enjoy building my management team.
Q 23. In your own words, what is the major difference between entrepreneurs and employees who work for someone else?
Ans: The main difference is that most entrepreneurs do not have someone else to fall back on whereas employees working for a company or a manager do not have ultimate accountability to themselves.
Q 24. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: We have a fun, friendly, and family culture at AquaKids! This has grown over time but we want our families and employees to feel supported and valued.
Q 25. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q 26. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently? Or would you stay the same?
Ans: I have appreciated the journey thus far and wouldn’t change much!
Q 27. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ans: As an entrepreneur, even if you are “off,” you are constantly working. Even when you are home, you are still working – whether you are taking calls, texting, working emails, etc you are always working. This was an adjustment for my wife but I try my best to do these tasks when she is also busy.
Q 28. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Ans: My greatest fear is not being able to grow the business past the 3 locations we have now.
Q 29. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Yes! Work hard + sales/marketing/relational skills = success
Q 30. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: I would enjoy talking to George Washington or Albert Einstein. Both were brilliant and influential.
Q 31. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Ans: My mom is my greatest inspiration!
Q 32. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: My favorite book is Never Split the Difference by Voss
Q 33. What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made as an entrepreneur? How did you fix them?
Ans: I have gotten much better at hiring over the years. Some management hiring mistakes were made in the past. These decisions can be very hurtful and time-consuming to the business.
Q 34. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: I enjoy running, working out, spending time with my wife and son, and going on cruises!
Q 35. What makes you happy?
Ans: Seeing others grow and succeed makes me happy!
Q 36. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: I enjoy what I do and believe I have sacrificed some salary to do this. It’s not about the salary so much to me as the impact I can make.
Q 37. If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
Ans: What is your retirement plan? I like this question because I think may entrepreneurs dream HUGE and don’t consider the long-term plan if their plan doesn’t work. It’s important to build assets and invest early so that you don’t have to work forevermore.
Company : AquaKids Swim School Flower Mound
Contact : Andrew Kline
Address : 3409 Cross Timbers Road
City : Flower Mound
State : TX
Zip : 75028
Phone : 972-724-1528
Email : FlowerMound@AquaKids.com
Company : AquaKids Swim School Keller
Address : 4212 Heritage Trace Parkway
City : Keller
State : Texas
Zip Code : 76244
Tel No : 817-745-1000
Email : Keller@AquaKids.com
Company : AquaKids Swim School McKinney
Address : 3231 Bahnman Dr
City : McKinney
State : Texas
Zip Code : 75070
Tel No : 972-843-9095
Email : McKinney@AquaKids.com