I’m Gonna Do It! My New Business Idea: One Life Foods Market

It’s often said the best business ideas come from solving a problem.  And that you have to be passionate about a startup business for it to succeed.  As the owner of 2 Pure Barre studios, I’m extremely passionate about fitness and living a healthy life.  I’ve been an athlete my whole life and I can’t imagine not working out.

But there are two parts to that … what about the healthy life?  Yeah, there’s this whole healthy eating-thing that goes along with staying physically fit and you can’t really ignore it.

Unfortunately, the business that I already own doesn’t integrate healthy eating into its offerings … so, I’m gonna do it!  I’m going to start a new business to help solve a pretty big problem I’ve been facing: How to eat healthy meals when I’m too busy to cook.

Something tells me many of you struggle trying to solve this problem too!

What if there was a solution?  What if a business existed that eliminated most of the time required to eat healthy at home?

I will be launching One Life Foods Market (www.onelifefoodsmarket.com) to do just that.  Sorry, the website isn’t up yet—but it will be soon!

One Life Foods Market will be the place for busy people to buy healthy meals when they’re too busy to cook for themselves.  The business will have 3 tiers:

  1. One Life Foods Meal Plan—Want to cook, but find yourself totally uninspired when you get to the grocery store? Me too.  But it’s funny, when you have a meal plan along with a grocery list of all the things you’ll need for the week, shopping is a breeze and cooking is fun.  There are enough things in life to worry about, eating and making good food, shouldn’t be one of them.

This is how the business will start—the website will have monthly meal plans for sale.  I’ll be able to gage interest in the concept with minimal investment and spend time getting feedback on what meals customers like best or what could be improved upon.

  1. Pre-Made Meals Membership—You just don’t have time to cook, but want to eat healthy. Ordering your meals in advance for the week and picking them up would be your dream come true.  It’s mine too.  Luckily we know each other!

You may be wondering where the “market” part of One Life Foods Market comes in.  Assuming the feedback from the meal plans is positive, One Life Foods Market will open a store front for the pickup of pre-made meals.  The business plan will be to sell various types of weekly meal memberships—think meals for 2, 3, or 5 days made just for you.

  1. Hungry Now for a Healthy Meal—You got it! Simply walk-in and grab a meal or two.

Couldn’t plan ahead and order?  Work deadlines cutting into your cooking time?  Or just made a snap decision not to cook?  Walk-in and select a tasty meal.  Grab some healthy snacks, maybe even a bottle of wine.

So, what do you think?  Lots of work needed to build One Life Foods Market—branding, building and launching the website, marketing, finding the store front, opening, and hiring employees.  My first tasks will be to build and launch the website as well as do all the legal stuff that you have to do when starting a business.  I’ll keep you updated on the progress right here on www.shesonhertoes.com

I’ve made some big progress on outfitting my new home office, and on Thursday, I’ll reveal some pics!

Until then, stay on your toes!

Did I Accomplish My Goals for 2017?

Last December, I announced that my one-word mantra for 2017 was “GROWTH.”  Specifically, growing my business by either opening another studio, acquiring another studio, and increasing our retail sales by selling more workout apparel.  And since it’s about a week from the end of the year, I can confidently report that I accomplished NONE of these things!  Was 2017 a total failure?  Of course not.  Here’s why …

After evaluating these three choices, I realized that there were actually some better options out there.

Selling More High Margin Services

In addition to selling classes at my Pure Barre studios, we sell performance workout apparel including leggings, tanks, tees, and anything else you might need during a heart pumping, sweat streaming workout.  And that’s a great complement to taking class—clients are always going to need the right apparel to enhance their experience in the studio.  But … there’s this thing called margin.  Gross margin is defined as the total sale minus its cost of goods sold, divided by the total sale, expressed as a percentage.  Put more simply, the gross margin of a clothing sale is much less than the gross margin of a sale from our classes.  Put even more simply, it costs us much more to sell clothing than it does to generate income from classes.

After careful evaluation, it makes more sense to think of new and innovative ways to sell more classes and generate revenue from other high margin services or products that have a very minimal cost of goods sold, rather than chase lower margin sales from clothing.  Selling clothing will remain an important part of my business, but we will be focusing our time on creating more high margin sales opportunities.

In fact, we’ve just rolled out Pure Barre Elite, which will allow clients to purchase 2 special classes each month including an Intensive class which is usually 75 minutes and focuses on a particular part of the body, like thighs, seat, abs, or arms for more intensive work.  The 2nd class will be a more instructive class called Classic Elite, which will give clients more understanding of the Pure Barre technique through hands on corrections and tips on form.  Both classes will keep our most loyal clients challenged and learning throughout the year.  A win/win for everyone.

Diversifying My Income

Financial advisors continuously advise their clients to diversify their investments to mitigate risk, so it only makes sense to diversify my sources of income as well.  Building the audience to www.shesonhertoes.com has allowed me to earn some additional income from book sales and soon from the course I’m writing called How to Hire a Rock Star Team (It should be ready in a few weeks!)

Starting a New Business

Finally, after considering my options of growing the studios by either opening a new location or acquiring an existing one, I have come to the conclusion that I’d rather start a brand-new business.  There are a few reasons for this: 1) I’d really like to start something from scratch and develop the business plan, branding, and building of my own unique concept.  2)  I have a new interest (It’s complementary to fitness!) and I think it makes a great business idea.  3) Since my team is doing an amazing job running the studios, I have the time to work on something new.

What is this new idea?  I’ll tell you about it next week.  I’m really excited about this new challenge!

Until then, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!  And … stay on your toes!

 

My Employees Don’t Need Me Anymore. What’s Next?

Yesterday, I walked into one of my studios and my manager told me she was working on our August schedule.  Great.  I sat down expecting to be asked a question about how to do something or to help her out with a problem.  Instead, she told me she didn’t need me to work that much in the studio or to teach.  I was immediately filled with mixed emotions.  I was so happy that she had things under control, but I was also a little sad.  My business has taken a lot of my time and energy—ok, almost all of my time and energy since I opened my first location.  What am I supposed to do now?

I’ve been asking myself “What’s next?” a lot recently.  My business turned 5.  I wrote a book and am anxiously awaiting the final steps in the publishing process—so close, about a week left until the book is available for sale!  I’ve hired a great manager and now an assistant manager, and will be focusing on training them to run the studios on a day-to-day basis.  So, what am I going to do now?  How will I occupy all this new-found time?

While I’ll always be involved in my studios to some degree, I’m thinking about starting another business and entering the ranks of serial entrepreneurs.  I’m still in the discovery phase and not ready to announce what I’m planning, but when you are your own boss, it’s important to diversify your revenue and protect yourself financially.  So, if starting a business is risky, why would owning multiple businesses be better than owning one?

You Won’t Be Starting from Scratch

If you started one business, find a second that complements your existing business, so you won’t be starting from scratch trying to build a brand-new client base—sell to your existing list. My next potential business endeavor is very complementary to my Pure Barre studios.  In fact, it’s the same business model of working to get every client on a membership to earn reoccurring, predictable revenue each month.  That’s what I know how to do—create a sales process that works to convert first-time clients into members and create an environment that people want to keep coming back to visit day-after-day, week-after-week, and in a lot of cases year-after-year.

My clients will also be very interested in this potential business idea and will most likely want to try it out (just an FYI, it’s not fitness).  Starting any business is difficult and challenging, but if you already know who your client is, where they live, where they hang out, and that they already support your existing business, chances are they’ll be interested in checking out your next business, which means you won’t have to build an entirely new client base from scratch.

Diversifying Revenue Protects You Financially

Financial advisors are always telling investors to diversify their holdings, meaning don’t put all your money in one investment, especially don’t put all your investment savings in the company you work for.  The same is true for businesses—if you can start one business, get it established and find a trusted manager and rock star team to help you run it, starting another business will help diversify your income like you’ve been advised to diversify your investment portfolio.

There are two ways to diversify one’s income, active and passive.  You can actively start another business or get a second job to earn income.  Or you can earn income passively, by renting real estate, selling a book, or adding dividend-earning stocks to your portfolio—you’re not actively working towards earning the money, this income is just showing up into your bank account.  Earning both active and passive income is a great way to diversify and protect yourself financially, especially if your business is cyclical.

You’ll Never Be Bored

By starting another business, you’ll get to learn new skills, solve new problems, and expand your capabilities as an entrepreneur.  With all these new challenges in store, you’ll never be bored and will always be learning.  Besides the obvious personal and leadership development, starting another business can also expand your network and possibly lead to other opportunities to serve in your community.  All exciting!

I don’t know about you, but the more I have going on, the more I can get accomplished.  Since I have a great manager and rock star team to help me run my studios each day, it’s time to start looking at my next opportunity.  I mean, when your employees tell you they don’t need you anymore, I guess you have no other choice but to listen!  But they’ll always need me to sign their paychecks …

I’ve been reading several of Tony Robbins’ books, so I’ll give you a run-down on them in my post on Thursday.  I might even have another update for my own book.  Eek!

And on Friday, the start of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I’ll share some of my top picks for Fall boots—because it’s never too early to make your Fall boot purchases.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Why Having Multiple Revenue Streams Will Take Your Business from Good to Great

You know that you should diversify your investments.  You wouldn’t want to invest 100% of your money in one stock.  You’d want to diversify to an index or simply across multiple stocks in several industry sectors to protect your money and minimize the inevitable ups and downs of the stock market.  But what about diversifying your business revenue?  Have you thought about safeguarding your business by adding multiple revenue streams?

No.  That’s ok.  I didn’t consciously think about it until about eight months ago.  But in order to run a successful fitness studio (or business), you need to have multiple revenue streams.  Here’s why…

You will protect your biggest asset

My business is my biggest asset.  I’m guessing your business is your biggest asset as well.  And while I don’t sit around constantly contemplating the sale of my studios, it’s important to remember that they are an asset of value and a great deal of that value comes from the predictable revenues or memberships that have been sold.  I am always working to make sure that our reoccurring memberships which we call Pure Barre Platinum (12-month contract) and Open Barre (month-to-month no contract) equal my fixed costs and salaries.  The more reoccurring revenue or membership revenue that your business can count on, the more stable the business is—the more valuable it becomes.  Working to grow reoccurring revenue also has the added benefit of reducing your stress because you’ll know how much money your business is expected to earn each month and there won’t be any worries about how you’ll pay your rent or your employees.

 You can increase wallet share

I discussed this in last week’s post about the value of your distribution channel, but if you can find a product or service to sell one client, you can probably find something else to sell to them in the future—you can increase wallet share for your business.  What else could you sell to your existing client base?  For my business, it’s workout apparel and accessories.  If a client has a membership, selling them workout clothing is a great second revenue stream.  It makes sense—clients would need workout clothes to take class.  What else could you sell your clients to gain wallet share?

 A cash infusion can fuel growth

Developing an additional revenue stream could mean a cash infusion for your business that can fuel growth or allow you to reinvest in the business.  What does this mean?  For my studios, we sell student semester packages three times a year.  Since the students pay for several months in advance, that’s three times a year we receive a significant cash infusion to save for tax payments, purchase additional equipment, make studio improvements or simply add to the studio savings account.

Diversifying your business revenue will take your business from good to great and ensure your biggest asset remains your biggest asset.  But how do you develop multiple revenue streams and increase leads?  That’s what I’ll delve into in my next post—how to increase leads and ensure you have a steady stream of leads to grow your business.

Until then, stay on your toes!