Great article written by The State Of Ohio Small Business Group regarding the success of MD&I Baseball Academy’s business success.
Rick Finley has a dream of developing athletes while, at the same time, strengthening families. From early in his own career, Rick has seen how sports can powerfully unite a family. His passion for sports and family has led him to establish a company called MD&I Baseball Academy.
The letters stand for “My Dad and I,” and they reflect Rick’s years of experience training his own sons, Ricky and Rashad to become top athletes in multiple sports. Both went on to play at an elite level in both high school and college. The goal is not only to teach kids to play baseball, but also to teach parents to become more involved with their children. This is his story.
While coaching a friend’s travel baseball team, Rick noticed that parents were paying for their children to play, but they weren’t participating with them in the experience. His idea was to involve the parents in teaching the fundamentals of baseball through camps and private lessons.
In a effort to recruit a champion team for this venture, Rick visited the Small Business Development Center at Biztech (now the Hamilton Mill). He met with Mark Langford who helped him develop a business plan as well as connect him with an attorney and a certified public accountant. “Mark had the compassion and the ability to listen and guide me where I needed to go,” Rick said.
Right now, Rick works mainly in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, but he has big plans for the future. One of his goals is to run regional and even national baseball camps along with tournaments in metropolitan areas.
“I am often asked how I moved my business so far forward in such a short period of time. I tell people that it was the help of my SBDC advisor that made the difference. I think all entrepreneurs should work with an SBDC advisor, because it will pay big dividends,” says Rick. “Know your strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with knowledgeable people and you can’t go wrong.”
This article was part of a coalition of articles of small businesses being recognized by the State Of Ohio. The articles were delivered to Capital Hill and submitted to John Boehner in March 2014.