In the world of table tennis, most players have to choose between affordable equipment and items suitable for competition. But CounterStrike Table Tennis aims to change that. The idea started with the founder’s college hobby and eventually blossomed into a full business. Read about the journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides professional grade table tennis equipment.
President and CEO Eric Baker told Small Business Trends, “This would include table tennis blades, table tennis paddles, table tennis rubbers, table tennis cases, and other table tennis accessories.”
Offering high quality at affordable prices.
Baker says, “All of our products are International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Approved (when applicable). This means all of our products are legal for tournaments and even the Olympics. When the majority of the products you see for sale are not ITTF Approved because it is costly and, understandably, the ITTF has extremely high standards. Which would lead many companies to fail the approval process.”
How the Business Got Started
To fill the price gap in the table tennis market.
Small Business Deals
Baker was the President of his university’s table tennis club back in 2008. He noticed that many students who wanted to participate couldn’t because they couldn’t afford the professional grade equipment others used.
Then, in 2019 Baker was looking to start a business and remembered that gap in the market. He started the company to give everyone access to that pro level equipment and increase the popularity of table tennis.
Getting products successfully approved by the International Table Tennis Federation.
Baker explains, “This was not easy. We spent weeks testing each product we developed. Many times having to scrap the product completely and start from scratch so that it would meet the ITTF standards and the standards of our customers.”
Their first inventory purchase.
Baker says, “In order to keep costs down, CounterStrike had to purchase a lot of equipment and materials in bulk so that we could meet the price point our customers needed.
“If our market study was incorrect, and there was not a market for our products, this would have immediately destroyed our company.
“The end result of the risk was fantastic! We had to be creative with our placement and structure of inventory, but our customers have responded well to our products and price point.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Sponsoring Local Table Tennis Clubs Around The USA
Baker says, “Not only does this help clubs that were hit very hard by the pandemic, it would be a fantastic way to get our Company Name out there.
“We were recently chatting with a club in Utah that has a lot of new visitors come in to play, but do not return because of the astronomical costs of Tournament Legal equipment. We would love to be a part of resolving this issue as it fits perfectly into the company’s mission.”
Hosting neighborhood table tennis tournaments.
Baker says, “The participants range from Beginner to Advanced skill levels. It is a great way to build a local community around table tennis as well as build their confidence and skills. Not to mention it is always fun to get their thoughts on new products we are developing.”
“I’m not superstitious. But I am a little stitious…” – Michael Scott | The Office.
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Image: CounterStrike Table Tennis; Eric Baker and his college table tennis club