Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tyler Prieur, Owner of REAL Personal Training, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
REAL Personal Training is an exclusive fitness studio that focuses on personalizing exercise to improve the physical and mental health of each unique person's quality of life. Our customers range from as young as 14 years old to 75 years old, with a focused effort on a target market of 40 years old to 75 years old.
Tell us about yourself
I was introduced to exercise and personal training at the age of 14 when I had my own sports performance trainer to help me excel in hockey to reach my goal of earning a hockey scholarship to an NCAA school in the United States. Unfortunately, due to multiple injuries, I had to make the tough decision to hang the skates up and pursue an education at the University of Ottawa, where I enrolled in the Human Kinetics program. During my third year at University, I became a certified personal trainer and was hired at a local personal training company. I built my schedule to a point where I was maxed out and started to think about what my future after completing my Bachelor's degree would look like. Going to medical school was always on my mind, but I ultimately followed my passion for exercise and finished my third and fourth years of University by taking business courses as my electives. I had the fortunate opportunity to be offered to open a franchise for the current fitness studio I was employed at, but with a good mentor and lawyer advice, I decided to stay in Ottawa, Ontario, and open up my own personal training called REAL Personal Training. Our emphasis on the personalization of exercise for each person's unique body and circumstances is motivated by viewing exercise as a tool that can enable people to improve their quality of life and, more importantly, their physical and mental health. Caring about people and finding a way to make a positive impact on their day, week, month, year, or life is super rewarding, and there's truly no better way to accomplish this than motivating and guiding people to exercise for their own well-being.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is simply staying true to our brand and model. We are not a large fitness company or own a large space, but by having a studio that is focused on private and semi-private sessions, I have been able to develop a business that survived the pandemic and lock-downs in Ontario, along with growing the business to a point where we require more space, more resources and building our brand to have a positive impact in our community.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a small business owner is wearing multiple hats and time management. What I mean by this is being a personal trainer, administrator, manager, bookkeeper, marketer, and CEO. One of the most difficult shifts in my business is taking a step away from the personal training service and sessions to be able to focus on business development and strategy.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The top 3 tips I'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today would be the following:
- Find your passion: Starting, running, and growing a business requires a huge time commitment and energy, but this can be a much easier thing to do if you really love what you're stating and offering; otherwise, your quality of life and stress can have a negative impact on every part of you.
- Don't go in blind: Do your research, and think of the past, present and potential future of the business you're thinking of launching. Going into business with no peripheral vision can create a lot of roadblocks in the future and more work than needed if you were to think with an open mind from the start.
- Take care of yourself: I cannot stress this enough, and I see it way too much. Many of our customers are entrepreneurs who simply 'forget' themselves along the way, which impacts your health. A healthy leader can create a healthy atmosphere which will translate into a healthy and thriving 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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