How a holiday to Morocco inspired a golf brand with global sales

How a holiday to Morocco inspired a golf brand with global sales
David Long
David LongBabouche! Golf

Posted: Fri 7th Jan 2022

Business ideas can often be sparked when you least expect them. A perfect example of that is David Long, who had the idea for his business after spotting traditional leather goods while on holiday in Morocco.

He sells golf club head covers and golf towels via his Babouche! Golf website and Amazon’s online store.

David explains the story behind his business and how the tips from the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme are helping him grow his company.

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in over 200 bitesize videos.

If you’re already an Enterprise Nation member, log in to your learning dashboard. If you’re not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

What start-up challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

“My biggest start-up challenge has been supply and demand.

“Once my idea took off, I couldn't keep up with demand, so I set up my own manufacturing workshop in Hampshire. This has created UK jobs as well as improving the quality of my product and my flexibility to offer new designs quickly.”

Tell us more about how you went about setting up your manufacturing workshop.

“When I decided to start making head covers in the UK, I knew nothing about manufacturing and sourcing materials. I tried to connect with contract stitching companies, but it was a waste of time. I contacted 34 businesses in the UK who advertised that they worked with small businesses to make short production runs. I received one response, and they wanted to outsource my work abroad. By then, I had decided that I wanted to be a made in the UK brand, and it seemed wrong to do part of the work in the UK, then ship a part-finished product abroad, for it to be completed and then shipped back.

"I decided to take a different approach and I searched for seamstresses local to me, via Facebook groups. I started working with a couple, and then chose to focus on working with the best one – Sheena. She has now been working with me for nearly three years.

“The problem for me though was that Sheena was making and altering wedding dresses etc and I was just picking up the slack.

“When COVID-19 hit and the lockdown meant that weddings were cancelled, I took the initiative and asked Sheena to start making more head covers for me. I could see that golfers were still spending money on equipment during the first lockdown and I took advantage of that. It was then a simple conversation with Sheena about how many head covers she could make in a month so that she worked for me full time. That is how we set up the dedicated workshop.

“Since then, we have grown our stitched product range to cover a wide range of items, and sales are up 465% year on year. I’m now back to the challenge of growing my workshop team to cope with demand in 2022.”

How has COVID-19 impacted on your business?

“I thought the pandemic was going to be a disaster for the business, but strangely in the first lockdown the sales of golf accessories rose as people who were on furlough realised they had more money as they were not going out.

“It is also well documented that the golf industry as a whole grew by 2.3m golfers after lockdown as people returned to the game as it was one of the only sports you could participate in.”

What are your tips for other business owners looking to sell on Amazon?

“Make sure you have the best listing possible. Invest in good quality photography and work the listing bullet points really hard. When I upgraded my imagery, my sales went up.

“Don’t be afraid to talk about being available on Amazon as well as your website. When I spend money on Facebook advertising to my website, my Amazon sales go up. There are buyers out there who will trust Amazon over a small business’ website. That’s fine. It just shows that you need to be where your customers want to be shopping.”

Which part of the Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme has inspired you the most?

Secret to SEO success: Great advice on how you can use Google Analytics and Google Trends to see what people are searching for and create content for your website that mirrors those search trends. Creating relevant blog content helps the website to be found in Google searches for more than just the product.

Introduction to Instagram: The tips on setting up a business profile helped me realise that I had missed a few obvious things, so I went back and edited my profile.

Introduction to TikTok: It was by watching this video that I have set myself the challenge of getting TikTok savvy over the Christmas break.

A guide to Google Analytics: I learnt about audience acquisition data and how to use it to improve my other marketing activities, look at how different audiences react to content differently, and to test out landing pages etc.

Pay-per-click advertising and measuring return: This video was really useful, particularly the advice about using tracking codes for different campaigns.”

What are your plans for the future of your business?

“My focus is growth by opening new markets and 2022 is all about selling in North America via Amazon.

“North America is already my biggest source of sales outside of the UK, but I am aware that shipping time and costs is putting a lot of potential customers off from clicking the buy button. Earlier this autumn I was approached by Amazon UK and invited to join a 12-month mentoring programme that helps British small businesses like mine to launch on

“I’ve set up my account and am now in the process of preparing my first shipment of products for the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) programme in North America.

“I’m hoping that by the end of January 2022 I will have all my golf towels listed on Once that happens, I will be able to spend more marketing effort reaching out to an audience of golfers that is more than six times greater than the UK market!

“If it takes off, I will give myself a whole heap of new manufacturing challenges but those sort of issues are fun to deal with as it means the business is growing.”

Which other entrepreneurs inspire you and why?

“The Dettanni brothers, who created beard grooming products brand Mo Bro’s, are really inspiring. They took a simple idea, bootstrapped it from their spare bedroom and now it’s a global brand.

“I was lucky enough to meet them as part of my business start-up award and they mentored me for six months. They were incredibly generous with their time, and though they had little knowledge about golf, they helped me to understand more about pricing my products, how to promote myself and my brand, and to not rely on just one product but to expand the range.

“They are responsible for me building up from one product in 18 colours to nine product categories with over 100 different items.”

What are your top tips for business success?

“I'd recommend consider setting up a UK manufacturing base. Start off by talking to organisations like Let’s Make It Here and Make It British. They can help connect you with businesses that can take your idea and turn it into reality.

“Don't be afraid to ask others for help. Facebook is an excellent source of groups focused on specific business issues or the use of services like WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify and Amazon. Join a group and see what others are talking about. Don’t be afraid to ask a question. If you know the answer, pay it back by helping others.

“Be prepared to take constructive criticism on board. I frequently ask my customers and target audiences via social media about new product ideas and new designs. I haven’t gone down the route of using crowdfunding to launch new designs of golf towels, for example, but I have been thinking about doing so. I have found that my audiences love the idea that they are helping shape new product development, and you have a ready-made prospect base when a new design hits the website.”

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in over 200 bitesize videos.

If you’re already an Enterprise Nation member, log in to your learning dashboard. If you’re not an Enterprise Nation member, you can join the Amazon Small Business Accelerator for free here.

David Long
David LongBabouche! Golf

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