These six points have helped me drive business success. They may sound like common sense but each point has proved to be important in capturing every opportunity to make Patti’s All-American Gymnastics thrive.
1. Surround yourself with good people who share your passion. Every staff member needs to understand their importance to the bottom line and how, what they do daily contributes to that all-important number. Trust them, pay them well, and always expect and demand their best!
2. You need a bright, colorful facility and keep it spotlessly clean. Make sure it smells good.
Continue to learn something new every day by educating yourself with information from those who have been successful.
3. Read business books, listen to business CDs, go to seminars, buy others’ programs, and build your business on what you know to be true in your heart, gut, and what is right for your demographics.
4. Keep an attention to detail and a laser beam on what your USP (unique selling proposition—what you do differently and better than anyone else in the marketplace). Make sure it answers the needs of your customers. A key to success is to find a need, fill it, and do it better than anyone else.
5. It may sound trite, but location, location, location. If you’re not easily visible to the public, it’s much harder to get noticed. I celebrate my 40th anniversary in this business this year. I’ve been in 12 different locations during that time. I have always been behind a lumber yard, behind a grocery store, behind a restaurant–you get the picture. You should sacrifice space if you have to, if you can get on a main street. You can save a lot of money on advertising and that might offset the bigger rent or mortgage payment. (But, that amount of savings could easily compensate over the years in higher profits and a more successful business.)
6. What I know for sure in a recession or not: Parents will do anything for a child if that child wants it badly enough. In 1982 we had 14% unemployment. I didn’t have kids of my own at the time and when a Mom came in who was late paying tuition and said to me, “Oh, please don’t drop Michelle from class. I will pay you as soon as I get my unemployment check.” It just struck me and I’ve remembered that incident to this day. I remember thinking how important those gymnastics lessons must have been to her daughter. When you have a product or service that is a valuable part of a child’s life, it’s tough for a parent to say no. I know my company is that sort of business, and we will continue to excel in any economic condition. I owe it all to my staff and to the people of the tri-town area who have allowed me the good fortune to work with their children. We figure we have taught more than a million cartwheels during our past 40 years. We know the only thing that will remain the same in the future is our total commitment to provide quality lessons for children!
Patti Komara’s Bio
Patti Komara has owned a gymnastics school in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 offering gymnastics, dance, swimming, and a fitness-based educational preschool called Gym-N-Learn. Patti began speaking at national seminars in 1981 and has led hundreds of training workshops. Patti’s Tumblebear Connection has produced more than 80 instructional DVDs. She has written books on yearly lesson plans for The internationally known Tumblebear Gym Program, School-age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears, YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn, and her very successful Swim Program. Patti co-authored the original USAG preschool KAT certification program. In 2003 she was named USAG Business Leader of the Year. In 2005 Patti was selected as Client of the Year by Action International and in 2006 was given the national service award by USAG. In 2009 Patti began formal consulting for those in our industry and in 2010 her gym, Patti’s All-American, was named in her local newspaper as “Best of the Region” once again. Patti has over 6000 subscribers to her “In the Loop Monthly E-Newsletter” which she has published since February 2007.
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