Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Richard Bucciarelli, Owner of Speed Training, located in Woodbridge, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My company is Speed Training, and we provide customized, evidence-based, sport-specific fitness testing, training, and monitoring, as well as physiotherapy, chiropody, massage therapy, and cognitive training services to athletes from a wide range of individual and team sports, out of our 200 square-foot Lab and High-Performance Centre, and 1000 square-foot Sports Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre. Our customers include athletes ranging in age from as young as 7 or 8 years old to adults between 18-40 years old. We work with athletes from all competitive levels of sport, from youth amateur to youth and adult college, professional, and international levels. In addition to working with athletes, our facilities also cater to members of the general population.
Tell us about yourself
I originally formed my company, Soccer Fitness Inc., over 20 years ago, as a way to combine my passions for soccer, coaching, and exercise science into a career providing fitness testing and training to soccer players. Eventually, we re-branded our company to Speed Training as we began to work with many other athletes from many other sports, including soccer. I decided very early on that I wanted to become the best in my profession, so I identified several key areas that would contribute to my career success and set goals to achieve the highest level of success possible in each of these areas. They included:
- Owning my own facility and differentiating myself from competitors by providing superior technology, training, and customer service.
- Building a team and surrounding myself with the best and most qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced people in the industry, both from a fitness/sports science as well as an entrepreneurial and business standpoint.
- Prioritizing my own education and professional development, including achieving the highest level of academic education (Ph.D.), coaching education (National "A" License), as well as the most well-respected professional certifications (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Exercise Physiologist, and Registered Kinesiologist) in the industry.
- Working with athletes and teams at the highest levels of my sport (soccer), including college/university, the Ontario Provincial and Canadian National Teams, as well as Canadian and international professional soccer clubs.
- Publishing unique and proprietary scientific research using my own training protocols to maximize credibility and also publishing articles and other media content to maximize brand awareness and recognition.
- Becoming a teacher, coach, educator, and eventually Professor in order to share my knowledge and expertise with as many athletes, students, coaches, and exercise science professionals as possible.
I am STILL motivated every day to excel and be the best I can be in each of these areas!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Keeping my business alive and expanding - first into a larger facility in 2020 and then adding a physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary clinic in 2021 - during the 3-year period of government-enforced lockdowns and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, while I saw many other fitness businesses (including some run by friends and colleagues), forced to close down.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Time management is a constant challenge because there are so many tasks to complete every day, all of which require strong attention to detail and cannot be rushed or ignored, so having good discipline is probably the most important skill which has allowed me to effectively manage my time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Differentiate your company, product, and service - what makes your/your products/services better than those of your competitors?
- Do not accept low standards for yourself - identify the areas in your career and industry that will help you to be the best, and work on improving in each of those areas, every single day.
- To become successful requires discipline, hard work, and sacrifice. There are no shortcuts.
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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