Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans : Founded by a local Firefighter/Paramedic in 2001, Professional CPR has been providing quality yet affordable life-saving CPR and Basic First Aid certification classes to thousands of individuals and business throughout Northern California. As professional first responders, all of Professional CPR’s instructors have real-life experience and knowledge to help best prepare each student for emergencies. We offer weekly public CPR classes at three locations including Sacramento, CA Stockton, CA and Modesto, CA. We also provide onsite group CPR classes at your home, office, or business.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans : Since 2003, I have worked has a Firefighter/Paramedic throughout Northern California responding to countless emergencies. It was easy to recognize the need for a more USABLE and SIMPLE approach to teaching the life saving skills of CPR and First Aid. I have now spent the last 12 years providing to-the-point, easy to follow, and user-friendly CPR and emergency training classes.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans : While working as a Firefighter/Paramedic, I consistently witnessed first hand the pain and devastation of people not knowing basic CPR techniques. I watched as friends and family members of victims were left with feeling helpless when faced with these emergencies. Despite our best efforts, most of the cardiac arrest victims I treated did not survive. In fact, the 2015 survival rate of cardiac arrest victims in the United States is a mere 5.5%. Each year nearly 400,000 people die from cardiac arrest and many of those could have been saved if CPR was performed. Sadly, only about 32% of people US receive CPR by witnesses or bystanders when they need it.
I began researching the effectiveness of CPR training classes in my area. I found that most of the local CPR classes were not taught by professionals and they provided an extremely useless and frustrating class that focused on strict testing and memorization of numbers and steps. I knew that in a real life emergency, people are lucky to remember their own names let alone something they learned from a ineffective CPR class they took 2 years prior! I only began teaching CPR classes as a side job, but I soon found that it was my true calling! As an instructor, I was able make a connection with my students that others could not. Using simple yet effective techniques, I created a curriculum that gave people usable and effective life-saving skills. Once I found my niche I was off to the races!
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans : Stay focused on your goals, don’t let your excitement and passion falter, and never give up when you know you’ve got something good.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans : Patience, dedication, and most importantly – attention to detail!
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans : 10 hours.
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans : Tenacity and persistence. This is an incredibly difficult and competitive market that can make you easily become frustrated and feel discouraged. But you must keep moving forward. Reinvent, explore new ideas, and compete!
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans : Google Ads and Google Organic have been our best form of advertising. We also use more conventional methods including mailers and phone calls but our online presence is the most important factor for marketing and advertising.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans : We are completely self-funded. Much of our business was started with savings and simply reinvesting profits back into the business.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans : Never give up! There have been multiple times that I have considered folding up shop but I have continued to persevere and not give up. It’s the only way to survive in this market and with these economic circumstances.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans : Hopefully enjoying a much less stressful financial position than current times. Our plan is to have at least 1-2 more locations and an improved process that keeps efficiency at the heart of our organization. We want our company to be the leading alternative to Red Cross and other generic training centers.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans : Dave Ramsey Financial Services, SureFire CPR in Orange County and SimpleCPR.com. All of these companies have perfected the service they provided within the service industry. I believe providing a service versus a product is a much
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans : Employees will always be a risk for a small business due to the simplicity of the transaction: my money for their time. That’s why I never hire employees – I bring in team members. When you can find people who are motivated by the sense of ownership that comes with helping grow a small company, success will never be far behind. It only takes one person to create a product and make it a business, but without the support of a good team that one person will quickly burn out – taking their business down with them.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans : It’s not always easy to figure out what projects are worth fighting for and which ones are simply a waste of your time and effort. I don’t expect anything worthwhile to come easy, but when you’re still stuck on the same project after giving it a good chunk of your time and energy with little to no progress – it’s time to reevaluate.
Q. What motivates you?
Ans : Just like every entrepreneur I can definitely say that I’m motivated by the potential for success. The idea that it’s up to me and my team to grow the business, to create something that is actually making a difference in the world, will always motivate me to push farther and work harder. Beyond the surface simplicities such as money and personal gain, it’s that ability to create something that is really captivating.
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans : The best ideas are the ones that help you bridge the gap between you and your goals. For example, my goal is to provide high-quality medical training to the public and to grow my business in the process. With my goal in mind, I’ll need to generate ideas and create solutions to help me reach it, such as hiring knowledgeable instructors with personal medical experience, providing excellent customer service to build a customer base, and making our classes affordable for the people who need them.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans : By providing the best possible product with a combination of excellent customer service! Customers talk and word travels fast. Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. This is something that they will surely carry with them for a long time and talk about with other potential customers. People remember more about how they were treated during their experience than about the actual service/product you provide.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans : The gratified feeling of working for yourself and not having to report to a “boss.”
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans : Opening our first office/classroom location in Sacramento. Taking that big step and actually committing to a physical location was scary yet exciting!
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans : The willingness to sacrifice both financially and personally into order to grow and expand your dream. This is especially true in the very beginning.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans : T-E-A-M. There are NO “employees.” Everyone is a team member. This promotes an ownership feeling in staff, which in turn creates more productivity.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Ans : Busy.
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans : An extremely high percentage of small businesses fail. It’s just a fact of today’s market. However I don’t think statistics should deter entrepreneurs from following their dream of having their own business. If you have a good product or service, make wise financial decisions, and build a good team, then there’s not much stopping you from gaining traction in your industry. Once you’ve got some forward momentum it’s up to you to keep it going. Understand what it means to be a leader so you can connect with and properly motivate your team, do the hard work, and retain your integrity. Focusing on your personal growth with the same intensity as the growth of your business is what will lead to lasting success.
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans : Dave Ramsey – Entreleadership.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans : Triple-check your work and stay humble. Attentiveness and strict attention to detail will prevent many simple errors, but mistakes are going to happen. When something goes wrong you’ve got to take responsibility and learn from it so the same thing can be prevented in the future.
For more info visit us : http://www.procprclasses.com