- What does your business do and how does it stand out from the competition?
I own a boutique boxing studio called Athenas Fight Club LLC.
We distinctly stand out from the competition in several ways.
Athenas Fight Club is exclusively for women.
We are the first fitness facility to address mental as well as physical health.
We place a large emphasis on eliminating stress, anxiety and depression.
- How did you finance your startup? How have you financed your growth since then?
It is very challenging to finance a small business, particularly if it is a concept store.
I financed Athenas Fight Club with my own money. I know this might not be feasible for everybody.
In a case where you simply need to raise money, I recommend you start with friends and family round. This is considered the ” low hanging fruit, ” people that believe in you and want you to succeed. Do not take these people for granted asking anyone to invest money in you is a serious matter.
It is important that you do not approach them with your idea until you have a business plan in hand. I would Google a professional business plan writer and hire them to help you. The cost should be somewhere around a thousand dollars and it is money well spent.
Now that Athenas Fight Club is out of the concept stage and it’s doors are officially open as of April 17th of this year, I was able to close a deal with a prominent Funding company to take my business to the next level.
- What’s your philosophy on business growth: go big or go home, or slow and steady wins the race?
Slow and steady is generally the better notion. With that being said, I must point out that the provisions for growth must be set forth from day one. I will give you an example. If you place a baby shark inside a small fish tank, the shark will grow to the capacity of the tank. If you have major expectations for growth, you must allow for your “tank” to grow as not to stifle your business.
- If you had an extra $50,000 to spend on your business, what would you do with the money?
Marketing Marketing Marketing.
In my opinion, the number 1 cause of failure is attributed to a weak and ineffective marketing campaign. I know some people may disagree, but having founded a national franchise in the past, I can tell you that my biggest challenge was convincing my franchisees that marketing dollars are the most important dollars you will spend, because without a marketing budget, you will eventually run out of funds for all your other business related bills.
- What advice do you have for other aspiring small business owners?
Stay strong and do not give up. Failure is not an option. Sometimes success was right around the corner and you just couldn’t see it.
Focus on customer service. If your customers are happy they will recommend you and the best form of advertisement is word of mouth, but you need those initial customers to help spread the word.
Most small business owners do not think in terms of hiring a publicist. I strongly recommend it. People are more apt to try a new business that they read about in the local news as opposed to seeing an advertisement somewhere.
Good luck to everyone in your new venture!
Athenas Fight Club LLC
Author of the book
” No more bad days”