How An Immigrant Tennis Instructor Built A Business Empire
In the mid 1970s, a young tennis player named Julian Krinsky moved to the United States from his home in South Africa. After a brief run at being a professional player, Krinsky had gotten his CPA and got a job as an accountant in Philadelphia
To make extra money, Krinsky started giving private tennis lessons on a part-time basis. Word spread, and soon, Krinsky had more than enough students to allow him to coach full-time.
Sensing a business opportunity, Krinsky started to expand. He rented out courts and dorm rooms, and started launching summer camps full-time. The tennis camps were a goldmine. Hundreds of students enrolled, and Krinsky was able to make a small fortune in fees, even after paying all of his expenses.
At this point, Julian Krinsky could have sat back and counted his money. But he knew that if he worked a little harder, he could make even more. He realized that there was big demand for his unique brand of fun, interactive summer camps. So he decided to start programs in other sports. Soon, he had camps for baseball, basketball, soccer, and football. He even launched a series of summer programs around arts, sciences, and businesses.
Today, more than 4,000 kids each year attend Krinsky's summer programs. What had started as a side project had evolved into a thriving, profitable business.
But Krinsky didn't stop there.
Once he had made some money, he realized that he needed to diversify. With his background in property management, real estate investing was a very natural fit.
Krinsky started by buying a single foreclosed property. He fixed it up, rented it out, and started collecting checks.
A few months later, he did the same thing again. And again. And again.
Today, Krinsky owns more than 100 properties in the Philadelphia area.
Several years ago, I had the privilege of seeing Julian Krinsky speak at a conference. I had been impressed, and had scribbled down some of my thoughts in my notebook.
A few weeks back, I was cleaning out my shelves when I found the old notebook. Suddenly, it all came back to me. Julian Krinsky had mentioned three basic principles that had helped him succeed.
2) Build Scalable Systems
Krinsky quickly realized that he needed to hire and retain people if he wanted to grow his business. But it wasn't just about bringing people on board. He also needed to create a business infrastructure that would maximize productivity.