Martin Metzler is not your regular start up entrepreneur. First, he admits he is a bit of a hybrid because parallel to his corporate career he’s also been an entrepreneur. One of his earlier ventures was a wellness institute and med spa that he successfully built with his wife and later sold. Another un-classic startup entrepreneur trait is the fact that Martin's current venture wasn’t started by him. In fact, it was a restart. While advising the principals involved in the businesses it became apparent that the business could take flight if expanded methodically through a combined corporate and franchise model. It turns out that Martin has experience with all that. Though the partners were initially only seeking business advice from Martin, the practitioners were intrigued as they thought about expanding their unique service offering and successful business model. They joined forces and created a new corporate entity, Structura Institute Holdings LLC and 2 subsidiaries, one for corporate owned operations and one for franchising.
Structura Body Therapies provides advanced body therapy and massage services to clients for relief from pain and mobility conditions resulting from car accidents, scoliosis, rotator-cuff injury, athletic performance, and long forgotten injuries. Structura has built a prestigious reputation in customer service and effective treatments.
Martin is setting out to open 200 franchise clinics and 30 corporate locations within 5 years. Currently there are 3 corporate owned clinics and prospective franchisees are actively being taken through the information process. Yet there is still an eye toward the future. Martin added, “On a longer term perspective, international markets and adding additional therapies, services, and a retail line are all possibilities. For now, we have a great model and our clients love us. They are telling us that everybody has to know about us. Their encouragement drives our expansion.”
Martin had something to share about competition. “People ask me so what happens when people emulate what you are doing? I tell them its fine, let them come. It is utopia to believe that you will find a business and be the only one forever. Guaranteed there will be competition. However, stay ahead. Have the next upgrade, even if you don’t’ release it right away. Embrace competition; it is an indicator that what you are doing is right.”
Martin is thinking big, 1000 stores big in 10 years. But just like the business partners that brought him into the business initially for counsel and then to expand the opportunity, Martin has subsequently turned to SCORE for counsel and more recently to franchisees to expand the opportunity. As the African Proverb says, “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.”
Martin is proof that we all need a little help. An accomplished businessman and entrepreneur he still sought the help of objective counsel. That is why he turned to SCORE where he met Chuck Rudnick. Martin shared, “Chuck would give me feedback, his thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations. Then I would tweak things. He is a wonderful sounding board. I think that 2 heads are better than 1 and 4 eyes are better than 2. For me, I needed a more advanced level sounding board and advisor that I found in Chuck. With his vast experience he was able to help me focus and keep me on a successful track.”
When asked if Martin would recommend SCORE to other entrepreneurs, he said, “Absolutely and I don't care whether you are a green behind the ears entrepreneur with zero business knowledge or whether you are an experienced executive, you can always learn and improve. There is a counselor for everyone. People usually pay big bucks for this. At SCORE it’s free and its foolish not to use it as a resource.”
He added, “No matter whether you want to start a small business or a large business, get the right team of advisors early on. Don't try to do it all yourself. You’re not a lawyer or a CPA probably, so why deal with that yourself. Get the perspective of others in their field of expertise. Above all, be open minded. No matter how much you know, you can always pick up something new.”