Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cody Romness, Co-Founder of Allegiate, located in South Bay and Santa Monica, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
High-quality strength training in a team environment. Our customers are former athletes and people who take their strength training seriously. People who want a better option than the cardio-focused options in the market.
Tell us about yourself
I started a business and brand because I thought it was the best shot at becoming who I wanted to be in the future. Driven, creative, financially secure – all the good stuff that comes with controlling your own destiny. With Marketing & Allegiate, it's that intersection where I feel like I'm unique and capable. The timing was also right. I got fired from a company (they closed their sales department) while my future biz partners and I were talking about the idea that would become Allegiate. My partners were serious about starting Allegiate, and when we all decided to take the leap, we were fully committed. Packed up my apartment in a U-Haul and moved to LA, full of hope, fear, potential, and the great unknown. That was about five years ago.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We built a diehard community. A place people really care about. And we have the numbers back it up, which makes me feel accomplished because I'm a scorecard guy. With a couple of months left in 2021, we're on track to generate $1 MM in revenue this year. That's still relatively small compared to some businesses, but that idea we made up now generates over a million dollars a year. And if we can keep expanding, our diehards will grow, and that revenue number will go up, too.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
From a brand standpoint, being innovative and differentiated. It's a double-edged sword. Though it's essential to success, it's really hard to carve your own path and do your own thing because people might not get it. The "right people" will get it, who are hopefully your target demographic. From a personal standpoint, self-discipline. The relentless "to-do" punch list. People management. Building systems and processes and then rebuilding them. Not feeling like you're moving quickly enough and constantly wondering if you could be doing more. Or if what you're doing is really the best ROI for steering the ship where it needs to go.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Don't do it. This sh*t is hard, non-stop, and takes a tremendous effort to get where you want it to go. There are so many pieces of the system it's overwhelming. That said, if you have to do this, if you have to go for it, if you think you have what it takes, then you should jump off the cliff and go for it. I'll meet you in the arena, smile at you knowingly, shake your hand, and wish you Godspeed! Pick great biz partners who are focused on specific areas of the business and more skilled than you are in those areas. For example, a marketing person, a finance person, a product person. Think in systems, not in isolation. How does this element connect to that? If I change this, what happens to that? What else could happen down the road if we do this now? The world's more connected and complicated than it seems. The answer is usually gray, not black or white.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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