Sometimes entrepreneurs discover their marketing niche unexpectedly. David Poole is a good example.
Poole, 50, is the creator of Golfdotz, which are transferable ink marks or “tattoos” that bond with the skin of a golf ball in seconds with the application of firm pressure. Golfers can choose from more than 100 different designs – from shamrocks to scorpions to American flags.
Golfdotz didn’t originate with golf, however. Poole, who lives near Chicago, came up with the idea about six years ago when he was trying to make a similar product for soccer cleats.
“I was actually quite a long way down that road when I had a flash of inspiration,” he told the Northwest Herald in this article. “I put it on a golf ball and took it out to the garden and beat it around. Then I took it to a golfer – because I’m not exactly the best person to test it because I lose too many golf balls.”
The golfer was impressed. So instead of taking his product to a soccer convention in Los Angeles, Poole ended up pitching it to golfers at a PGA show in Orlando, Florida.
Golfdotz started as a side project for Poole, who worked as a manager in IndyCar with driver Hideki Mutoh (Danica Patrick’s partner) from 2008-10. In 2011, he turned to Golfdotz full time.
Poole, a native of England, wants to find wider distribution in the U.S. In addition, his company, Transfer Studio, is making a big push into the European market. In June, it will distribute 96,000 packs of Golfdotz through United Kingdom-based magazine Golf Monthly.
Although Poole and his wife, Sonia, managed to get a bank loan to buy some of the equipment used to make Golfdotz, they’ve largely funded the venture themselves.
“I’ve always taken risks,” he said. “I look at this as an opportunity.”