A series on independent archery businesses. This month, we’re speaking to Matt Pell of AccuBow.
I’m the founder and CEO of AccuBow, the world’s first virtual archery and bowhunting system. The AccuBow was spurred from a need among the archery and bowhunting community to stay in touch with archery more regularly throughout the year, especially when we are not able to get out to an archery range to shoot our bow.
The idea was sparked in February 2015 and we had products on the market by September 2016. We had a concept of making the AccuBow interactive by tapping into the widespread use of apps and smartphones, so we hired a team of developers to turn our concept into reality.
I was a civil engineer by trade, before starting AccuBow. I had zero experience in manufacturing or marketing. My original partner has experience in manufacturing, which helped tremendously and accelerated my learning curve in manufacturing. I essentially had to learn about marketing on the fly, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, experimenting with a lot of different strategies, being open-minded and creative.
The concept of having a business doesn’t necessarily suit me as much as working towards something I feel very passionately about, which is archery and bowhunting. I have been shooting a bow since I was 10 years old — I am now 30 – and I’m genuinely motivated every morning to wake up and work on growing AccuBow. Having a business allows many freedoms, but being energised about the type of business that I have is most rewarding for me.
Running a business requires a lot of balancing. Making sure that every part of the business gets equal attention and treatment. There are certainly some aspects that are more fun for me than others. I enjoy marketing, but I hate finance. Ultimately, I have to spend time on both areas of the business.
We had our best year yet in 2020 from a sales standpoint. I think because our business was already well established and distributed online before coronavirus, the lost sales from retail stores were well offset by the amount of online shopping that consumers transitioned to. This year we are releasing five new AccuBows, with two of them being youth models. We are also releasing our new 2021 app update which will feature some cool new updates including our Bow Battle, which is an online multi-player gaming mode.
One piece of advice? Make sure you have a really good WHY? with whatever product or service you are going to provide. Why is someone going to give you their business? Why is your product or service needed among the archery community? If you have a really good WHY? or, in other words, a really good product or service, from there you’re in control of your own destiny. ⁙