BOSSLADIES: Celebrating American Business Women’s Day

by

[tps_title]Kate O’Donnell[/tps_title]
FL_Masters_WomansDay_700x365_slides_kate

What inspired you to start a business?
Deciding to open my own business was a choice that I am grateful for every day of my life. I was a part-time group fitness instructor for a national organization when a change in policy helped me identify a need in our local community for an affordable, accessible, and flexible wellness option. I knew exactly what I wanted: a fitness studio in a renovated and re-purposed mill building in a downtown arts and innovation district in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

What’s a day in your life like?
Like many small business owners, I wear multiple hats: the personal training coach, the mother, the wife and the owner/instructor! My day begins at 6:30 am, with personal training clients and helping my husband prep our children for school. Then, I’ll typically head back to the studio for late morning and afternoon classes, work on choreography, and clean the studio. I love the flexibility of my days- especially because I can arrange my schedule to attend events at my kids’ schools.

What advice do you have for others who want to start a business?
I have two pieces of advice that I would give to anyone who is looking to open their own business. The first is to be very clear about what your mission is and what it is that sets you apart from your competition. Once you know these two things, it’s so much easier to make decisions. The second is to pick one or two goals for growth each year and commit to them. Our first year in business, I wanted to diversify our offerings and that required an investment in equipment. Throughout that year, I found ways to purchase the equipment I wanted a little at a time. The second year, I wanted to divide our very large space by creating a smaller training studio. This would enable us to run two classes simultaneously, thus maximizing our peak times. We just finished that project last week.

What keeps you motivated?
What I love about being the owner of a fitness studio is that I need look no further than my classes to stay motivated. I am so blessed to have a community of students who not only encourage one another and celebrate one another’s successes but also provide such great feedback to me that I cannot help but always want to make their experience the best possible one. I am also very lucky to have instructors and a front desk team who share the same values that I do and who allow me to be able to take time away from the business, making the task of balancing work, family, and fun MUCH easier!

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