Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Paul Szyarto, Co-Founder at VMMA:
What does your company do?
VMMA is a mixed martial arts and combatives operation that provides high-intensity interval training, built on a martial arts foundation for anyone looking to improve his/her fitness, learn martial arts for self-defense, and apply our techniques to succeed in life and business. The VMMA experience begins with an interview to understand why the student is joining our VMMA team. We then coach our new students through an introductory lesson, which includes an explanation of how the movements can help improve his or her life. New students then receive a plan of action to support their progression from beginner to expert. Classes include techniques from several core disciplines, including Krav Maga, Tai Kwon Do, Kenpo, Capoeira, Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and intense aerobic cardio focused on kickboxing. Beyond providing fitness training, VMMA changes lives by introducing a new level of thinking and focus for achieving success.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am the co-founder and operational visionary, who has worked with the board of directors to create a roadmap for standardizing, replicating, and focusing on operational growth, including the establishment of a national brand. My role requires me to challenge constantly the traditional ways martial arts facilities are managed. This includes introducing technology and different modes of service-based operations. I have the great pleasure of working with so many diverse people who have made the decision to change their lives through the VMMA mindset. Most people lead stress-plagued lives, filled with challenges from family, money, their jobs, and much more. It is amazing to watch a new student, whose life is burdened with tension, progress towards becoming a highly skilled and confident practitioner of martial arts, ready to take on any challenge life may throw at him or her.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
VMMA started in 2016, with a single location in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Our operation has expanded locally into Jamison, Warminster, Warwick, and Richboro, Pennsylvania. Our core group of leaders have worked with us for several years. Based on the highly successful customer experiences we have provided, there is tremendous demand for us to replicate our model nationwide and we are testing our ability to make this happen. Over the past 12 months, our team has learned that replication isn’t as easy as opening a facility. It requires an investment of countless hours in establishing standards, processes and, most of all, developing the VMMA mindset among our extended team. Now that 2018 is here, we are focused on expanding our program throughout North America – and we aim to become the most widely known and advanced fitness program available.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to support the development of more than 20 diverse operations, which have impacted thousands of companies and millions of consumers around the world. I have learned how to operate businesses through many successes but also through many failures. In my early years, I frowned upon the idea of failing. But I have learned that failure is not something to be ashamed of or an ending point towards your progression. Failure is a stepping stone to learn, regroup, and put forth even greater effort in order to ensure the next attempted endeavor is one step closer to success!
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