How to Leverage the Power of Relationships: Lessons from Bookacoach

July 24, 2013

5:00 pm

Bookacoach, a DC startup for hiring private sports coaches, recently announced a partnership with the National Alliance for Youth Sports. We took the opportunity to catch up with them on their progress.

In some ways, bookacoach seems lucky: they landed their partnership based on a simple cold call. No introduction, no mutual friends: just a telephone and a pitch. “When you call someone and meet with them, they either get it and they like you as a person, or they don’t,” says cofounder Myles Grote.

But perhaps that’s the point: there has to be something to “get.” For bookacoach, it’s the vision of being a place parents can trust to find safe, background-checked coaches.

Founded in 2011, bookacoach has also started forging more relationships with other entrepreneurs. As Grote explains, they originally made the mistake of spending too much time building the business and not enough time out in the community. And, unsurprisingly, they didn’t feel much support from that community, who seemed more enchanted by a few startup darlings like Uber.

But now, after devoting a little more time to fellow entrepreneurs, Grote has realized how valuable – and caring – a network can be.

“It’s really crazy how you take one of those meetings and it ends up landing 15 intros,” says Grote.

That’s the same principle that Contactually cofounder Zvi Band talks about: by increasing your network, you increase your “luck surface area.” “The bigger our ‘luck surface area,’ the ‘luckier’ we seem to get,” he says.

And last but not least, the DC startup is building relationships with customers. Since we last covered bookacoach, they’ve grown to over 1,000 coach, athlete, and parent users in 39 states. Part of their routine now is to call customers personally and ask for feedback. It was one of these customer calls that inspired bookacoach’s new messaging feature, which customers love.

Turns out even a sports startup needs a little practice on the power of teamwork.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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