Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Casey Vanac, Owner of The Sweat Box, located in Mentor, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Sweat Box is a group fitness studio where we celebrate everyBODY. Our motto is "Come As You Are!" so our customers are anyone and everyone who believes in the importance of moving their body. We offer 30+ classes a week, taught by nine certified instructors. We have members as young as 13 and as old as 82.
Tell us about yourself
I became a fitness instructor five years ago. After taking my first Poundfit class, I knew I needed this workout in my life. I found a training near me and began instructing almost immediately. I was teaching all around the county. You'd find me in schools, churches, parks, different gyms and studios, and detention centers. I then became certified in Spin and group fitness. When Covid shut down all gyms, I went virtual. I remember at one point, I had over 50 participants in a class from all over the world! It was an "AHA!" moment for me, and I knew I needed to create a space for all of these rock stars to come together.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is creating a safe space for my members! My numebr one goal is to have every single person feel comfortable the moment they walk into our doors. I want everyone to feel like they are free to be exactly the person they are. I believe when you give people that freedom, it ignites something inside of them to become the best version of themselves.
I LOVE hearing our members' success stories! Whether it's losing weight, fitting into a pair of old jeans, looking fabulous in their wedding dress, mentally becoming healthier, non-scale victories, or just seeing members come out of their shells, this is where the magic is, and it is a reminder WHY I opened TSB.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with a business owner is exactly that! YOU are in charge. At any other job I've had, there's always someone above me to "deal with it." If a bike breaks, the instructor calls off, or there are software issues - I better figure it out! I am also learning how to stop taking everything so personally, LOL! When a member doesn't come to class for a while or pauses their membership, it is like a knife to my heart! I lay awake at night wondering what I could do better as an owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take care of your employees and customers. My members have my personal phone number and know they can text or call with any questions. It really helps to build a relationship.
- Staying organized is going to cut out so many headaches! (I'm still learning this one!)
- If your number 1 priority is the money, you're in it for all the wrong reasons, and chances are you're going to struggle. Find what you're passionate about. Ask yourself, how can my business help someone/the world?
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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