Dave Kovar and Dave Chamberlain, of Kovar’s Satori Academy (a former Fund I portfolio company) sat down with Curt Rocca to discuss their martial-arts academy. Many business owners can relate to the ups and downs of growth, making difficult decisions, and the importance of having the right people on the team.
View full video (top) or short clips (below).
Starting a Martial Arts Academy: Dave Kovar explains the inspiration behind starting Kovar’s Satori Academy and creating something that, at the time, was unique and new. With the right place, right time, and right product, his business became wildly successful.
Building a Success Story: Part of Kovar’s success was having a talented team that could complement Dave’s skill set. Dave stayed involved in the business while his team executed on it, allowing him to focus on building a great school.
Dave Chamberlain Becomes CEO: In 2007, Kovar’s ran a promotion for a month of free classes. That flyer ultimately led to one of the greatest elements of the company’s success—bringing on Dave Chamberlain as the new CEO.
Kovar’s Considers Expansion: Kovar’s discusses the expansion proposition, what decision they ultimately landed on, and the fears they had about it.
Managing Growth: “This is going to be harder than we thought…”
Making the Choice to Keep Fighting: After a track record of nothing but success, Kovar’s hit some serious bumps, resulting in an emotional toll on its management team. It also led to a decision point–keep fighting or tap out?
Working with DCA Capital: What was it like to have DCA as an investor? Trust enabled a true value-add partnership between DCA and Kovar’s.
Creativity In Rough Months: With determination, creativity, and a strong company culture, the Kovar’s team worked through the rough months and is now more successful than ever. Dave and Dave explain how they made it work.
The World Needs Me at My Best: Dave explains how the Samurai mindset (“the world needs me at my best”) encourages his team to aspire to be better. He advises business leaders to “hire right, train right, and treat them right” in order to instill a sense of commitment. Culture comes down to appreciation and respect.
Readjusting to Good Times: Kovar’s is flourishing now, but the transition from survival to success wasn’t necessarily easy. They wrote a vision statement to help keep everyone focused.
Don’t Give Up: Dave Kovar wouldn’t want to re-live some of the harder years, but he wouldn’t change them, either. Those experiences gave him ample appreciation for the little things today. Dave Chamberlain emphasizes that if you have the right intentions, a good team, and a good product, then don’t give up.
The Future of Kovar’s: Expansion is on the horizon.