Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ralston Medouze, Owner, and CEO of Strive Academics, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Strive Academics is a black-owned private tutoring and educational products company. We provide private tutoring, online classes, and educational resources for students in a variety of subjects, primarily in middle and high school. Parents of students who want to brush up on their skills in a subject or learn something new are perfect clients for us! We also help students prepare for tests such as the ACT and SAT for college admissions. If a student doesn't feel like they need a class or private tutor but still would like some content to practice what they're learning, our worksheets and other resources are also a great fit.
Tell us about yourself
I began tutoring privately while I was in college. For a few years, I worked with students one on one and learned that I loved working with them to help them reach their academic goals. A lot of students aren't getting the attention they need from school. How can they when a teacher has to pay attention to 25 different kids at once on average?
Once I graduated, I started my tutoring company and expanded the scope of what I was doing. At Strive Academics, we focus on providing tutoring that meets students' individual needs, giving them the space to ask the questions they have and work at their own pace. What motivates my tutors and me are those moments when you see a student's eyes shine when they start to understand a concept or the excitement that comes from them when they do well.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As the owner of a tutoring business, I would have to say that the biggest accomplishment has several students that achieve their academic goals and end up attending the college of their dreams.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is managing a business with multiple facets. In my day-to-day, I wear many different hats as a small business owner, dealing with marketing, product development, team management, operations, finance, and more. The ultimate goal is to scale to the point where I can delegate more of those duties, but we haven't reached that point quite yet.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Never stop learning. Business comes with many challenges, but continually working to improve yourself and your business, as well as seeking out new opportunities, will only benefit you.
- Focus on your relationships. This not only extends to your customers but to your business partners and the people around you. Your network will help support you when times are tough, and it is filled with people that want to see you succeed. Being part of a great community is invaluable.
- Build your company as if you wish to sell it. You may never want to sell your business - I don't - but it's great to build your business as if you are preparing to. Why? Because people don't generally buy mismanaged businesses. Take your business seriously and think about the systems you need to put in place and the metrics you need to hit or keep track of to make your business attractive to a prospective investor. Worst-case scenario, you end up with a great, highly profitable business.
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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