Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tammy Thomas, Owner of Davis Swim and Fitness and Yolo CrossFit, located in Davis, CA, USA.

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

My business is a health club in South Davis, and the majority of Davis families and students are my clients.

Tell us about yourself

I started as an instructor at Davis Swim And Fitness in 1996 and became part owner in 2005. The club underwent a considerable change, and the former tennis courts were removed. The membership base declined because of a new club in town. Gradually, I helped take the club from losing a lot of members during the change, from 400 members and increasing the membership base to over 3000+.

What motivates me every day is just seeing our members transform their health and bodies into a positive state. DSF is enormous in the community and has been around for over 50 years. I am proud to be the owner of such a fantastic place where people can go and have fun while improving their mental health.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is staying in business during the pandemic. It has been a tough few years, and I lost more than half of my membership base. However, the people that have stayed and returned to the club are incredibly supportive. I could not have survived if it was not for the people that continue to support us as a community-based health club. We continue to have our members come back to their local fitness facility.

I continuously try to improve the club and its many classes and offers as much as possible to make them Happy. We added an outdoor gym, making it a great necessity for those who prefer to work out outside. Our six-lane heated lap pull has also been an asset during these trying times. Next month we will host the pioneer auction for the elementary school here in town. Giving back to the community is important because the community has been supportive and returned. I feel like we help each other.

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

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is being consistent and everything you do. There isn't much downtime. If I'm not at the club teaching and coaching classes, I'm in my home office working on the advertisement and doing payroll. It's nice to get away on vacation, but even their things still call you back.

It's never a dull moment, and staying on top of things at any given time is essential. I think you have to be the type of person who enjoys the daily challenge and putting out fires as they come up… Because they do come up! You also have to love what you do so that it doesn't feel like a job. It just feels like you're hanging out with all your friends daily.

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

I think the three top things I would say to someone who wants to start a business are:

  1. Do what you're passionate about.
  2. Stay positive and work hard every day.
  3. Don't let the little things get you down. Stay away from drama and keep your staff motivated.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It's essential to create an environment in your business where everybody works together as a team. I constantly have meetings and team-building outings with my staff. It's also essential to ensure that everyone feels valued as an employee and your customer base. People enjoy being around motivated and positive people, so offering a fun environment helps people to want to continue being a part of 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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