In this episode, I have a great conversation with Ninette Wassef. She recently opened Chrome Cycle in Los Angeles 7 months prior to the recording of this episode. She gave some incredible tips to opening a new studio and a heads-up on some challenges that you might not anticipate.
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Get to know your neighborhood
- Prep time needed before opening your doors
- Find the right people to delegate to
Here’s the Complete List of Tips:
- Take your time and do your research. No matter how ready I was for a career change, I knew that I could not make the switch into fitness without immersing myself in the industry, attending conferences, studying the LA market and its trends, and finding the right location to open an indoor cycle studio.
- Have access to twice as much capital as you estimate in your budget. I was advised to grossly over budget because very few things will go according to initial plan. If I hadn’t heeded that advice, Chrome Cycle would not be operational today.
- Be relentless. I was told “no” at least 3 times as much as I was told “yes.” In my case, I took “no” to mean “not now” or “not here” and I tried over and over until I found the “yes” I needed to move forward.
- Listen to criticism. No matter how petty it may seem. Especially from your consumer market.
- Marketing is essential. If I could do this over again, I would have taken the money that I put into PR, doubled the budget, and allocated it to marketing from the get go. You can never do enough marketing, and while I’m struggling now to find capital to contribute here, I know it will pay off down the road.
- My brand doesn’t need to fall in line with what’s already out there. While it may be tough and somewhat scary, going against the grain on certain issues/trends is not only extremely rewarding, but more welcomed than you would expect. When your gut tells you to take that leap, do it.
- Delegate. It has been extremely difficult to let go of control and trust those working with and for me, but no one person can do it all. And in fact, sometimes delegating allows someone else to do the job better than I am doing it, freeing my time up to focus on the things I need to focus on to keep moving forward.
- Never say “no” to a pitch from another company/individual wanting to partner with you. Always listen. You’d be surprised at where these connections can lead.
- Customer service must be the foundation of a boutique’s reputation. End of story.
- Do not underestimate the fitness industry. It is just as tough, cut throat, and demanding as any other profession. I strive everyday to earn our reputation among the many amazing companies making differences in people’s lives.
Other References in This Episode:
PTDC Case Study
Contractor: ViewLine Development – Brian Metcalf – (661) 212-8118
Architect: Randal Larsen – (714) 269-4424
Custom Indoor Cycles (They ship internationally) – Andrew Sandoval – (949) 533-0740
Sound/Lighting: Guitar Center GCPro – Ziv Gross – (310) 569-8476
Shay Kostabi (Ninette’s Consultant)
Me! Barry Ennis