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From Passion to Thriving Business: The Sixteen Sports Story

Yvonne Kwan, owner of Sixteen Sports, a badminton store in Malaysia

For badminton enthusiasts in Malaysia, Sixteen Sports is a familiar haven nestled in the bustling neighbourhood of Cheras. As you enter, a captivating life-size mural featuring badminton legends like Malaysia’s own Dato Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan welcomes you. 

You’ll also notice that the store is filled with a plethora of badminton equipment and gear – proudly carrying brands like Yonex, Apacs, Li-Ning, and more.

Since its inception in 2014, Yvonne Kwan, the owner of Sixteen Sports, has dedicated herself to transforming the store into a sanctuary for badminton enthusiasts.

With a commitment to catering to players at all skill levels, Sixteen Sports offers a comprehensive selection of badminton equipment – from racquets and shuttlecocks to grips, bags, and footwear. 

Additionally, they provide expert stringing services, ensuring both new and seasoned players have their gear in top condition.

When badminton first sparked joy

Badminton championship medals displayed at a retail store

Yvonne’s journey into the world of badminton began with the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where she witnessed Zhang Ning of China win the women’s singles gold medal. That moment marked a turning point for her.

Inspired by Zhang Ning’s tenacity and the strategic nature of the game, Yvonne found herself deeply drawn to badminton, realising it was her true calling. 

At 21 years old, she dedicated herself to the sport, and eventually progressed to train five times a week – proving that it’s never too late to start anything new.

For Yvonne, badminton has become more than just a sport; it’s a sanctuary for stress relief and where she finds inner peace.

The birth of Sixteen Sports

Badminton racquets for sale at a store in Malaysia

Having spent several years in the business of power banks, Yvonne found herself at a crossroads, struggling with intense competition and the constant shifts in the market.

“Opening a badminton store is like fate”, Yvonne shares. And fate began for her when she crossed paths with a highly skilled badminton racquet stringer who was seeking employment.

This encounter ignited a spark within her, inspiring Yvonne to seize the opportunity to bring together her passion for badminton and her entrepreneurial spirit by bringing him on board. 

This, then, marked her venture into the badminton business.

Not always a smooth sailing journey

Yvonne’s path to success wasn’t always easy. She embarked on her dream with Sixteen Sports, starting in a humble space barely a hundred square feet in size, amidst scepticism from those around her who warned her about the industry’s tough nature and slim profit margins.

The journey took an even more daunting turn with the COVID-19 pandemic, as sports and recreational activities were banned under a stringent Movement Control Order (MCO). This meant that her business, too, had to come to a halt.

And on top of this, Yvonne was also faced with the challenge of being a new mother. Juggling being a present parent at the most formative years of her daughter’s life, and attempting to keep her business afloat was, and continues to be, one of the most stressful periods of her life.

Yet, Yvonne held onto the belief that after every storm, the sun will shine again. Her unwavering spirit, resilience, and determination carried her through the darkest moments.

Tough times helped to strengthen the Sixteen Sports brand

Even though the pandemic put a halt to Yvonne’s business operations, she didn’t let it stop her from keeping her connections with customers and suppliers strong. She also put in extra effort to look after her four employees during that difficult time.

Thus, when borders and businesses started opening up again, her loyal customers immediately thought of Sixteen Sports for their badminton needs.

In a move to boost their reputation and stand out in the badminton world, Sixteen Sports also began sponsoring junior leagues. This gave young players a chance to sharpen their skills and start a future in the sport.

Watch as Yvonne shares more about the journey towards building and growing the Sixteen Sports brand here:

Customer engagement as the cornerstone of success

Malaysian retail store owner using POS

Yvonne, like many entrepreneurs, saw her business thrive with the right support and tools. 

What really kept her afloat throughout the pandemic was keeping her customers engaged, which StoreHub Loyalty made much easier for her. 

StoreHub Loyalty is a reward program that incentivises customers to return and spend more by offering them cashback.

But what really won Yvonne over was how seamlessly it integrated with her StoreHub point-of-sale system and its simplicity to set up. All she needs to do is save her customers’ contact info and set up a cashback amount in her BackOffice that gets automatically applied to their next purchase.

This setup not only gives her customers a great reason to return but also significantly boosts Sixteen Sports’ repeat customer base and revenue.

Today, as a testament to all her hard work, her once tiny store has now grown to occupy a proper shoplot that spans a whopping 1,300 square feet; and Sixteen Sports is now a household name for Malaysian badminton enthusiasts.

The secret to juggling multiple responsibilities

Malaysian business owner spending time with her child

Being a mother, Yvonne found that automating her business operations allowed her more precious moments with her quickly growing daughter.

Thanks to the cloud-based StoreHub POS, she is able to keep an eye on her business performance from anywhere, anytime, all on her mobile phone through the StoreHub Manager App.

And the best part? She doesn’t have to pour hours into manual work just to keep her business operations running smoothly. 

The straightforward and user-friendly interface makes it a breeze for her to manage and grow her store more effectively.

The right tools enable business success

Yvonne Kwan, retail store owner in Malaysia with the StoreHub POS

Now, as Yvonne looks back on her journey as an entrepreneur, she wishes she could tell her 10-year-old self to be bold and always follow her heart and dreams.

“Thank you for sticking with your passion,” she tells herself, recognising that her accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible if she had given up during tough times.

Whether you’ve been in the game for years or are just thinking about diving into the business world, StoreHub is ready to help you hit the ground running towards success. 

Inspired by Yvonne’s story and ready to make your business shine? Start your journey by booking a free demo with us now.

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