Launching and owning a business is a common dream and since the Great Recession, many people have pursued this dream through brokers or services like FranChoice or FranNet. Craig and Lori Kaufman faced that situation in 2012, when Craig’s employer issued a team layoff.
“Since we didn’t have our own business concept and haven’t owned a business before, we looked into purchasing a franchise,” Craig said.
His 20 years in IT and her expertise as a technical writer steered them toward Internet-based businesses or even Internet-services franchises. As the pair investigated several businesses, they chose to consult with Andrew Rogerson of Rogerson Business Services, itself a Murphy Business franchise, to identify the appropriate type of business. PRO Martial Arts was offered.
Neither Craig nor Lori practices martial arts, however the business model suits them: they manage managers.
“Each studio manager would be responsible for bringing in new students largely through community outreach,” Craig said. “Our goal with PRO Martial Arts is to leverage our personal strengths to build a scalable business that makes a positive impact in local communities.”
The PRO Martial Arts System blends elements of traditional Korean martial arts. Founder and CEO Grandmaster Ed Samane began his martial arts training at age 11. In 1979, he trained with Hapkido founder Ji han Jae. Based in Pennsylvania, PRO Martial Arts offers an exclusive Anti-Bullying and Predator Prevention Program called ARMOR®.
The Kaufmans opened May 2014 in Folsom and say they are scouting for their second location now.
Craig credits studies at California State Northridge not only for career success, but his career decisions. He began in pre-business, but switched to computer science, gaining expertise in “C,” a program few students could master. A classmate connected him to an engineering company seeking “C” proficiency and he worked for them on and off throughout his career.
Now as a franchise owner and occasional software consultant, he calls upon all he learned in and outside the classroom to build up PRO Martial Arts studios.
“Much of what I learned in class had wide applicability across many disciplines,” he said. “Early studies in pre-business and leadership experience in corporate settings helped me feel confident in my ability to become a successful business owner.”
Carol Terracina-Hartman is a freelance writer based in Sacramento. She covers all things environment. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Service Award from the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. See her work at Examiner.com.