When Dave Tate set out to build what has become elitefts.com inc, he never imagined it would become what it is today.
After becoming a successful personal trainer, Dave got burnt out working 50-60 hrs a week. He weighed the pro’s and con’s of opening his own gym, but with the advice of several mentors, chose a path less travelled but one that leverage his passion.
He would also go on to transform many lives.
EliteFTS began a second business in a spare bedroom in 1998. It has since evolved into one of the premier equipment sales companies in the world, outfitting and educating hundreds of thousands of athletes and coaches.
Their mission is simple: Live, Learn and Pass On.
Dave understood early on that he was growing from a technician (or a trainer) into a business owner. So, he had the presence of mind to invest heavily into business coaching programs. He surrounded himself with the right mentors and advisors. In short, he made sure that he understood exactly how to run his business. Unfortunately, this is something new business owners often neglect.
Dave built elitefts from the beginning as if he would one day sell it. He quickly set up systems for everything, ensuring that anyone could step into any role and know exactly what needs to be done.
Another important lesson was to know your numbers. Setting up analytics, reporting, metrics to track, knowing your PLN and balance sheets, it’s all integral to growing and surviving in a tough market. These are not things that can be pawned off on others.
Dave also learned that he had a choice when it came to how he would build his company. First, he could build a value-based business dedicated to serving as many people as possible with the highest-quality products and service. Or, he could build a revenue-based business that focused first on the money and second on the customer.
Tate chose value. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t know what values they personally stand for. Correcting that makes life much easier, because strong values serve to guide you in all manner of business.
Establish your values.
Here is Dave’s simple and clear advice if you’ve yet to figure out your values:
- First, write down the names of the 20 people who’ve influenced you most in life.
- Next to each name, write one or two paragraphs explaining why they’ve influenced you.
- Start to build your business on these principles and ideas. Hone them down into your values.
Make sure to check out Dave’s books. They’re fantastic.
Every decision you now make is simplified, because it will fit with your core values, or it won’t. Over the years, Dave has made many tough decisions based on his values, but keeping them has allowed the business to weather many storms and establish a loyal customer base.
That base also visits elitefts.com regularly to ask training questions and consume educational content that Dave has been accumulating for over 17 years now.
I don’t think he plans on stopping anytime soon.