Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ranj Bains, Founder of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Victoria, located in Victoria, BC, CA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Challenge your strength. Stretch your body. Breathe easy. Our amazing team of instructors has been specially trained to teach the unique style of classes that we offer at Oxygen. Our state-of-the-art infrared heated studio offers Yoga, Fitness, and Barre classes.

Tell us about yourself

My husband and I started attending our local Oxygen studio on the mainland in 2015. We loved the diverse classes that were offered. I also participated in a Ted Talk around the same time and was inspired by one of the speakers - his opening line was, "Are you living your life by default, or have you designed the life you'd like to live? It inspired me to take a leap, so when our kids came to UVic, we visited them, fell in love with the city, and felt confident there was a need for Oxygen studios on the Island! Voila, here we are with four studios in less than five years!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being new to the Island, and running a business for the first time, was both exciting and scary at the same time. I knew I loved the brand but wasn't sure how it would be welcomed on the Island. It took me about 18 months in my first studio to understand and develop a system that worked for me. Then, I realized that everything I needed to run a successful studio was right in front of me - commUNITY! What we created in such a short time was a huge network of friends, who then became friends, and everything fell into place.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It's no secret that the pandemic hit the yoga and fitness industry hard. I had just opened the downtown studio six weeks prior, so it was damaging both financially and emotionally. In a normal situation, it takes a good 12-18 months for the business to get going. In this case, we haven't had that opportunity until the last couple of months. Being a business owner is tough in even the best situations. You are constantly on call, and you're not technically your boss - all your clients are your bosses! I think the best way to describe it is like having another baby!! Your time is not yours anymore - you have good days and bad. The secret to happiness, though, is always to remember your why! Why did I choose to open this business? For me, coming back to my why has got me through some of the toughest days!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Do your due diligence before you decide to open up your own business. Will this business fit into your current lifestyle? Why do you want to open up a new business? Are you willing to work at least 24-7 for the first two years to establish your business?

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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