Local Business Feature with Connie Chesner and Travis Cook of Armored Team Building
Our latest small business feature is with Connie Chesner and Travis Cook of Armored Team Building. They are quite the entrepreneurs leading three different businesses under the Armored Team Building umbrella. In addition to Armored Team Building, they also operate Armored Research and Armored Self-Defense.
Describe Your Business...
Armored Team Building:
Armored Team Building is a professional development services consultancy that serves a nationwide audience since 2016. The company specializes in hands-on experiential team building and leadership development experiences which seamlessly layer together world-class concepts in communication, teamwork, and more with the core principles of Krav Maga (self-defense.) Learn more at: https://www.armoredteambuilding.com
Armored Research is a specialty market research consultancy and a division of Armored Teambuilding, serving a national market from a base in Winston-Salem, NC. Founded in 2016, Armored Research brings together over 25 years of market research expertise with a deep understanding of market drivers, motivators, and communication strategy. Through work with a dynamic set of brands, they specialize in driving individuals, teams, and organizations forward through insights and foundational skills that make strategic decisions more dynamic and powerful, while impacting profit centers and market message decisions.
Armored Self Defense:
Armored Self Defense is an ATA-licensed Tae Kwon Do and Warrior Krav Maga marital arts school with a home base in the Clemmons area. Due to the pandemic, we are currently seeking new sublease space with a partner that sees the mutual benefit of hosting high quality, small group programming three evenings per week (MWF). Our lead instructor, Travis Cook is a dynamic instructor with over 25 years of experience teaching and excelling in martial arts. He is a 5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with 4 World titles and over 25 state titles. Skilled at working with children and adults, he has a passion for teaching Tae Kwon Do to all ages and Krav Maga (self defense) to adults.
What made you decide to open this business?
A passion for making a positive impact on the lives of others by helping them empower themselves in various ways.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
All our work is driven forward by a desire to make the world a better place through our knowledge, guidance, and expertise. We love to see people learn new skills or to gain better insights which allow them to make more strategic decisions and to communicate better or have stronger relationships. As we watch those we interact with across our businesses advance in any way, be it martial arts skills, applying research insights, or even putting new communication tools to work, we are driven to impact even more people.
What is something most people don't know about the business?
Most people don’t realize that we truly serve a nationwide market, with some of our clients representing some of the largest brands in the world, and yet we love to serve our local and regional community just as much.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
Armored Team Building: they love the engaging manner in which we cover content and enrich the lives of participants; we are dynamic instructors and provide content in a relatable and powerful manner
Armored Research: they love that the insights we reveal allow them to make informed strategic decisions about how to message, market, develop new products/services, or even meet the needs of their markets; our information serves to answer the “why behind the what” of quantitative surveys and data points, adding depth that is refreshing
Armored Self Defense: they love the depth of knowledge, dynamic individualized instruction, ability to learn in a challenging, yet guided manner, paired with life skills such as increased confidence, discipline, focus, relationships, and more
What are your goals over the next year?
Armored Self Defense:
As we find a new partner to sublease from, we want to settle into a new physical location when we are once again allowed In addition, we want to grow our programs and our student base by at least 30 students by winter in our Kids TKD, Adult TKD, and Krav Maga programs.
We are working to share our knowledge and insights as much as possible and have goals to be viewed as the resource for adding depth of knowledge about customers to any business or industry.
Armored Team Building:
As training and development evolves, we will have to see what a reasonable goal for this area will become. We know we can shift to virtual for areas of our training, but we want to be more innovative and dynamic.
What are your greatest challenges?
Getting the word out about our expertise, offerings, and insights. We need more supporters and advocates in LinkedIn and Facebook, we need the community to help us to shout our good news and insights.
What is something most people don't know about you?
Most people don’t realize that our businesses are fully self-funded and that all of our work and success has been built through one-to-one personal relationships. We believe deeply in the power of mutually beneficial relationships; it is what powers our success.
Personally, most people don’t know the immense work ethic that has driven our businesses forward and the optimistic and resilient mindset that allows us to face immeasurable challenges and continue to move forward in powerful ways.
Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?
Local businesses are the very lifeblood of our communities, without them, history has shown that towns languish and communities slowly disintegrate. Local businesses not only provide a connection point between neighborhoods, but serve the vital role of being part of the very fabric of the people whom they serve. Armored Self Defense (our most local and B2C division) works to train children and adults not only in the tenants and skills of martial arts and self defense, but to better prepare them to be good stewards and citizens of our community, good representatives of our towns as they travel outside of our area, and to give them something to not only tell stories about as they meet others, but more importantly, something to come home to. Our work in Armored Research can empower local businesses to get their foothold beyond our immediate community, allowing their impact to increase and creating additional opportunities in jobs, growth, and other economic values to emerge.
Anything exciting going on that customers should know about?
Armored Self Defense: The pandemic has hit the martial arts community hard, but we are determined to endure and continue to serve. We’d love to have anyone who sees a mutually beneficial relationship for their space for our MWF evening classes to reach out as we are actively seeking a new partnership based on either trade of services or incremental fees.
Armored Research: We have been hard at work since the earliest moments that Covid-19 came to US shores, researching and understanding how markets are shifting and the impact of the pandemic on businesses across industries. We are offering a free 26-page white paper to business owners and leaders through our web portal. It is called “America on Pause: 5 Major Shifts in Market Motivation to Watch For” and is designed to get businesses thinking forward to what happens as the economy cranks back up. We are also seeking a select set of panelists with deep experience in their industries to share their thoughts and perspectives in a series of discussions that span professional services, consumer services, businesses going through transformation, and those associated with risk areas other owners will likely face (taxes, legal/liability, PR/crisis comm, etc.).
Web portal for report: https://www.armoredteambuilding.com/americaonpause2020
What is the best way for customers to contact you?
We prefer for people to reach out via email to our main email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This email comes directly to both of us, so we can review and respond appropriately. Email also ensures that we don’t miss a chance to connect as we are often teaching corporate sessions, running research interviews, or instructing martial arts, so picking up the phone is sometimes not an immediate option. However, you can reach us by phone at 336.749.7556.
Armored Team Building Websites
(we maintain several pages for Armored Self Defense)