How SCORE helped. 

SCORE mentors are known for the work we do in guiding start ups and young, hopeful entrepreneurs, but much of our work takes place when we support existing successful businesses and organizations.  SCORE volunteer mentor Jim Frey has been working with Keith and Denise Wilkes, owners of FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz for much of the past year to help in critical areas as their business continues to expand and grow.

Keith and Denise founded FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz in 1998 and they now have locations in Elizabethtown and Mechanicsburg. The schools provide self-defense and children's character development programs with a goal to strengthen their students’ mental and physical abilities, while teaching valuable life skills. In 2017 they expanded from basic martial arts to include Martial Arts & Sports Summer Camps and the A+ After School Martial Arts program.

Over the last 20 years this husband & wife team have worked successfully together with clearly defined responsibilities and goals. As the schools continues to grow they sought the guidance of a SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon mentor.

“Working with our SCORE mentor has forced us to hold ourselves accountable because we are reporting our progress to our mentor. It would be embarrassing to sit with him and tell him that we didn't meet our goals for the meeting. Goals are only dreams unless there's a plan and a timeframe.”

~ Keith Wilkes, founder and owner FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz

Their SCORE mentor has enjoyed his time working with the Wilkes on expanding and strengthening their business success.

“It has been a delight to work with this husband and wife team at FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz. They were open to all suggestions and we were able to increase the clarity of the profit & loss statements  and company balance sheets. Their success in the last year has been outstanding and all of the start-up and expansion has been completely self-funded with no third-party debt. A scenario that is rare but highly recommended.”

~ Jim Frey, SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon volunteer mentor

“Our mentor has also been a great sounding board for our plans. Due to changes in our market and continually increasing competition, we have changed the direction of our company during the past year. These changes have resulted in increased revenue and profits year over year.”

~ Keith Wilkes, founder and owner FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz

Keith and Denise Wilkes look forward to working closely with their SCORE mentor as they build on their success and make plans to reach out for advice and guidance on the company's direction, employee issues, social media, and marketing.

“Our advice for any business, especially new business would be to take your mentor's advice and guidance to heart, be open to any suggestions and run with it. Don't be afraid to try new ideas. It's been our experience that it only takes one small idea to make a huge impact on your business and with that, your personal success.”

~ Denise Wilkes, owner FEAR KNOT Martial Arts for Kidz


Client│Mentor Profile: FEAR KNOT Martial Art for Kidz