Wow!! What a year it has been. From making the decision to open Reward Fitness Studio in Fort Langley to giving birth to my miracle baby, Evangeline, to daily strategizing, planning, and building Reward Fitness Studio. I have learned so much through this experience, and wanted to share some tips on building your own business. With every new business, there are always hiccups along the way which you can’t foresee happening but there are some things you can do to ensure you have the best, most productive (both financially and with time management) experience as possible.
Here are some tips for anyone building their business:
- If you are building your business from the ground up, make sure to research your contracting company. I’ve heard so many horrible experiences with contractors, and trust me when I say this, they can make all the difference when you are building your business. It was a no-brainer to hire Kenorah Design + Build. Their office is in Fort Langley, and they just started a new commercial division and are absolutely killing it. They have a huge team with extensive experience and can help you every step of the way from design to build. Ed was my contractor, and he honestly felt like a dad to me through the whole journey. Dallas was extremely busy with tax season, and couldn’t be there for the day-to-day tasks. I was so thankful to have Ed who was organized, realistic with the budget and timeline, and always had my back and best interest when making decisions. One of the nice things about Kenorah is they write up a very accurate budget breakdown before you start your project. I was very thankful for this because at the beginning of the project I had a realistic number of how much it would cost me. Originally when I budgeted for the project I expected it to cost way less – but of course this is because Reward Fitness was my first build and I had no idea how much everything would cost. Ed was also very hands on during the build, he was there every day for hours, and built the stunning paneling around the mirrors and pillars himself (one of my favourite elements in the studio). So all of that to say, do your research, and make sure to hire the best because your contractor is essentially going to be managing your project.
- Hire a designer! As soon as I walk into a business I can tell if the owners designed the space themselves. Designers are ESSENTIAL. I had a big vision of what I wanted my studio to look like, but I had no idea how to execute it. I hired Peridot Decorative Homeware and Gregory Funk to design the studio and their vision and execution was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
- Stay organized. There are so many stages, steps, to-do’s when opening a business and it can get very overwhelming. The amount of details that go into a new business is insane and seems nearly impossible for one person to do. Prior to starting the business I wrote out 3 phases. This helped me organize my time and tasks, and focus on what needed to be done at that moment. Phase 1 included financing, permits, business plan, design and marketing that the business was going to open. Phase 2 included hiring staff, building a website, classes, looking into retailers, learning the software and all the fun nitty gritty stuff. Phase 3, execution! This is when we ordered all the retail, computers, equipment, wrapped up construction, focused on day-to-day tasks, staff contracts and training, scheduling, and pushed marketing.
- Don’t get too hung up on your plan. Trust me when I say this. I am very organized and such a planner and NOTHING ever goes according to plan. There is not much more I can say about that, but just remember, when your business is opened it’s OPEN for good. I tried to be optimistic about the delays and took advantage of my extra time by spending more time with my daughter and family.
- Build a team that reflects you. Invest in your team, make them feel valued and apart of something bigger than themselves. Share your vision, your purpose, your passion for whatever it is that you are creating and let them get excited about your business. Your team is a massive part of your business. Ever go to a restaurant and eat an amazing meal but the server is rude and that just ruins the entire experience for you? Positive human interaction is key to having a successful business, especially if you are in the service industry.
I hope you found this list helpful, and that you can come visit me and my team at Reward Fitness Studio. We have worked so hard to bring my vision to life and it is better than I could have ever imagined it to be! HUGE thanks to Kenorah for working so hard on building Reward Fitness Studio.