Feeling a little flabby and ready to get in shape for the holidays?
Meet Judie Aronson, Founder of RockIt Body™ Pilates, www.rockitbodypilates.com/. With some savvy marketing and a little luck, she turned her passion for a new type of workout into a successful business. Here’s what Judie had to say:
Tell us about your background and why you opened Rockit Body Pilates.
As a working actress for many years, it was essential for me to stay in shape, and I dreaded it! I would just keep trying one workout after another because I got bored easily.
Then, in early 2007, my friend suggested that I try the Pilates Plus/SPX workout. I instantly became addicted, and it was the first exercise I’ve ever done where I wasn’t constantly looking at the clock.
The funny thing was, everyone else who took the classes seemed to be as passionate about it as I was. Then, it hit me. I decided to create my own, beautiful studio in a great location… an exciting workout where I would offer clients a personal relationship. This would be a place where clients could bring their friends, meet and connect with other clients, get a great workout, feel good about themselves, and have fun doing it.
In February 2009, RockIt Body Pilates, www.rockitbodypilates.com, in Manhattan Beach, CA, became a reality. And it was so popular, we just opened another location in Redondo Beach, CA this last February. It has been a lot of work but a dream come true.
Why is this fitness business different from all the other, related gyms and fitness clubs out there?
In just 50 minutes, you experience a unique fusion of pilates, cardio, and strength training to upbeat music. And this special combination of activities helps you achieve muscle definition faster than traditional pilates and/or weight training alone. It also promotes flexibility and elasticity, which helps prevent future injuries.
Plus, classes are small so it’s almost like having a personal trainer because you get individual attention.
How did you get the word out about your first studio to be able to open a second location so quickly?
I was very lucky in that one of my friends knew a publicist who heard about my business and shared it with the producers at the TV Guide Channel. They did a national, television segment about RockIt Body Pilates, and once it aired, word spread quickly. I was inundated with requests to open locations throughout the country!
What kind of marketing have you done that has been successful and why do you think it was successful?
So far, we have received a lot of new business from word-of-mouth, the best kind of marketing. Almost every person who tries a class gets addicted to the workout.
People ask our clients how they got fit and lost the extra pounds, and our clients tell them about the classes. Then, these referrals come in and try a class at a special, introductory rate. And usually, they like their first class so much that they come back for more.
We also place ads and coupons in our local newspapers and mailers and participate in local events.
What was your biggest challenge in promoting and marketing your business, and how did you overcome that challenge?
I was one of the lucky ones who got a great break through the TV Guide Channel segment. However, RockIt Body Pilates has grown rapidly, and this has created the challenge of trying to find the time to run the business, train and hire new instructors, handle sales, and take care of the marketing too.
With all of this going on, I needed assistance that was cost-effective. Fortunately, I found clients to trade business services and outside freelancers to assist with various projects. This has helped to keep costs down and provide more time for me to take care of business priorities.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs out there?
If you have a great idea for a business, don’t let others tell you that it’s impossible. “No” doesn’t mean “no” to me. I will just find another way. I started my business during the economic downturn, and everyone thought I was crazy. But I needed to pursue my passion and had a gut feeling it would work.
Thanks for your great tips and advice Judie, and congratulations on your success! To find out more about this unique workout, visit www.rockitbodypilates.com.
And if you need help spreading the word about your new business, getting your Web site optimized for the search engines and creating appropriate newsletters, blogs, e-mails and more, please contact me here or at www.rembrandtwrites.com. Thanks!