How did you get into the industry?
One of my biggest passions is teaching people how to defend themselves. I genuinely feel that every person should have at least the basic skills needed in the event they should ever be in a situation where they would need to defend themselves. Like many people, I started martial arts training as a child because I was getting bullied. Through the years of training in martial arts and eventually becoming an instructor and business owner, I have had over 25 years of experience. In this time I’ve learned that my biggest strengths are teaching and public speaking. I’m gifted in teaching self-defense and feel very comfortable speaking to large groups. Teaching seminars evolved with more and more people requesting group self defense training. Corporate requests came shortly after and that’s when Silverback Self Defense got started. Silverback Self Defense is meeting a demand in the marketplace. The franchise model is fairly new for us. We have had an overwhelming response to our brand with clients loving both the image and the concept. With that we saw an opportunity to franchise.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
Fortunately for us the whole category of self defense training as a business or a franchise model is pretty new. There are really few competitors in the franchise space doing what we do. That’s the exciting part of owning a franchise with us. It’s pretty much an untapped market giving our franchise owners the opportunity to explode within their territory. Regarding recent events and the new things we are dealing with is obviously the challenge of Covid-19. Our group and corporate sales have stopped for now but that’s made way for our Individual or Semi-private and family training classes to explode. People are at home and are finding they have more time and a more open schedule to pursue training they have always wanted to take but have never had the time. We are also transitioning to virtual seminars and online courses. People are more receptive today than ever to train online and through online courses. We have been developing our most popular courses to virtual. We are excited about all of the opportunities we have found when faced with the challenge of this pandemic.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
We are fortunate that there is still an increasing demand for self defense training. The media helps our business a ton by continuing to report crime, assaults and other criminal activity, we don’t see that changing. Right now the obvious challenges will be related to how companies and groups come back to us after Covid-19. We are expecting that through this year that many companies will need to re-group and figure out how they will be operating. Until that works itself out we see our biggest opportunities for expansion and growth will be through pursuing private and semi-private training and developing and rolling out our virtual and online courses.
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
2020 has seen us award our first territory in Katy, Texas. We are also in negotiation for another Territory in Houston at this time, Our goal for the remainder of 2020 is to continue to grow our footprint and brand in Texas and then begin to expand from there to neighboring states.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
We have ongoing support for franchisees both online and in person. All of our training is available for the franchisees to refer back to as they begin to teach seminars. Our staff is also available for assistance with any issues that arise behind the scenes. We have CRM, Marketing and Social Media support that is available as needed.
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
Since we are just getting started in the franchise business it’s easy to say that Covid-19 has been our most difficult moment. Like many businesses we have had to make changes to the way we do business. At the same time, it’s presented many of our best opportunities. We are able to look at our business and our franchises and think through how we can make changes to continue doing business. These changes present future opportunities for us and our franchises to be more successful on the other side.
What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
We are a mobile self defense training company. We bring customized on-site self defense training to our customers. We specialize in individual, group and corporate self defense training.
Training and Support Model?
Our initial training for a new franchisee takes place at our corporate headquarters in Houston for 8 days. We train in the operational side of the business including how to run our business, CRM training, marketing, establishing community respect as a self defense expert and creating a web presence. Because we are an interactive training business a large part of training is hands on learning the techniques that are taught in the seminars and how to teach them. A new franchisee also learns how to sell personal protection products.
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
Being a small business owner our franchisee would spend their day marketing to find new clients, creating proposals for potential clients, following up with clients and scheduling seminars and private training session. Teaching and training groups and individuals in specific topics daily. Maintaining a strong social media presence and establishing community respect in regards to self defense training.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
Our ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about teaching and training in self defense. Someone who is interested in making a change in their clients lives. A candidate should have a powerful presence and feel comfortable speaking and empowering large groups. A potential candidate with current or former military or first responders experience, group or personal training experience. Someone who has already shown a willingness to protect and serve.
Success Stories and Failures with Franchisees?
We have just awarded our first territory in Katy, Texas that has been our biggest success at this time.
What Goals Do You Have for the Franchise Model in the Future?
Our goal in the next 5 years is to have a minimum of 5 territories awarded in the top 200 cities in the US. For more information on the Silverback Self Defense Franchise, Visit the Franchise Site: SilverbackFranchise.com