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Small Business RevolutionBlog

Bristol Businesses

October 26, 2017

Changing your vision for success

Every small business owner has started with one vision in mind. If you own a hair salon, a restaurant, a law firm, each entity began with a vision of how you were going to run your business.

Changing that vision can and is critical to success.

This might sound antithetical to the dream of any business owner. Change your vision, your dream, to something that doesn’t resemble the model in your mind. Well, let’s be honest, change doesn’t have to be that radical. Simple updates or tweaks can make a world of difference and help entrepreneurs on the road to success.

Take Jose Tilapa, owner of Keystone Boxing and MMA Gym. The fifth business featured on the Small Business Revolution – Main Street, Jose’s dream was apparent from the first time our team met him. He loves to coach boxing and teach martial arts. He has a passion for kids and giving back to his community. He opened his gym with the goal of creating the next great Philadelphia-area boxing gym.

That was his vision and his dream – owning and operating a working, profitable boxing gym. The challenge he faced is that it takes time to build that type of gym and to find fighters who can win matches and help supplement fees through winning matches. Especially when you are not known in the area.

Jose is an exceptional coach. Yet once he opened the doors of his gym, he took on another title that supersedes his coach title: business owner. In order to keep the doors open, he needed revenue. So he created gymnastics and martial arts classes for youth. He developed adult fitness classes. He created women’s boxing and fitness programs. And he invited youth in to learn to box. Coach became a small part of running the business.

Any new business such as Keystone needs a steady income to be able to operate. Most of Jose’s boxers could afford to pay only a small amount, if at all. The other classes helped augment this situation, but it also caused confusion of what his business really is all about.

It is extremely difficult to market your product when there are competing priorities of what you offer. The classes, such as Little Ninjas, fitness and women’s boxing pay the bills for Jose. Yet his vision was to be a boxing gym, where he is the coach.

Making a slight change in that vision was critical for Jose to achieve his dream. He can be, and still will be, a tremendous boxing coach and shaper of young lives. But as Robert Herjavec explained in Jose’s episode, “you are no longer a coach. You are a business owner. That is your priority.” To keep the business running, Jose needed to think of himself as the business owner first, a coach second.

When it comes down to final decisions, small business owners are all on their own. Jose received business advice from Robert and the Deluxe team, and he received marketing materials and physical improvements to his gym to help him reach his audience. Ultimately, though, how he runs his business is up to him.

Jose is one of those people who hustles. He is a success at whatever he sets his mind to. Keystone Boxing and MMA Gym will be a success in whatever form he decides to take it. By making the subtle changes he did, his future is more compelling than ever.

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