Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Matt Milhoan, Founder of NeoMotion Academy, located in Avon Lake, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is NeoMotion Academy, where we teach tricking, tumbling, and trampoline skills to students ages three and up. Our customers are generally active children who enjoy "ninja moves" and perhaps don't prefer traditional sports.
Tell us about yourself
I started Taekwondo when I was ten years old and had two of the best instructors anyone could ask for. They made me feel very welcome in their studio, and it helped provide much of the structure and motivation that I needed as a growing young man. I eventually went to college to pursue physical therapy and instead decided that I wanted to become the kind of coach that my instructors were for me. It gives me endless motivation to know that I've now created a space where my own students can feel welcome and be excited to learn each day. My two business partners are also a huge source of inspiration, as they help me tend to the neverending needs of a service-based small business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment (so far!) is enrolling more than 200 active weekly students. When I first got started, I was working part-time at a different karate school that had around 150 students. I remember thinking how cool it would be to get to that level in my own business. Just a few short years later, we've surpassed that and show no signs of slowing down!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Hands down, one of the hardest things is just taking the leap of faith and going for it. Trying new ideas, hiring new staff, moving to a bigger location, increasing expenses, etc. And yet, these have also been some of the most exciting things we've undertaken. As they say - no risk, no reward!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The delivery of your core product or service needs to be the utmost priority constantly. Fancy marketing or a beautiful facility only gets you so far. What is the thing that your customers are ultimately paying you for? What keeps them coming back? Pinpoint that, systematize it, and deliver it the best you can with consistency. For us, it's the group classes that we offer throughout the week. If these classes aren't done well, no amount of marketing or fancy equipment is going to encourage people to refer their friends.
- Have an idea of who you're going to bring on as partners or staff members. Rapid growth is great but may come at a cost without proper preparation. Create an outline of how you're going to manage your growth so you can capitalize on every opportunity and satisfy as many customers as possible.
- Don't be afraid to make changes! No one hits it big right away. There will be mistakes and lessons learned. Embrace these, keep your vision clear, and implement logical changes as necessary.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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