BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Stephanie Moran

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Stephanie Moran

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Consumers are increasingly purchasing multiple memberships to get a complete and well-rounded work out and they want fitness on demand. Not to mention the MB acquisition by Vista.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

In the studio space, I’m inspired by Sarah and Mason Levy, who built the y7 brand out of eight mats and a 300-square-foot space in Brooklyn six years ago.
In the tech space, Startup founders is my inspiration. In this business, its such a grind and so easy to give up among the competition. Simply taking the risk and going for it is inspiring.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

I’ve learned that owning a studio demands a lot of your energy, your time, your commitment and your money. You have to be there every day.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

I love teaching my teachers to deliver quality classes and providing the gift of fitness to our community.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

Podcast – “I love the startup”
Book: 7 habits of highly effective people
Other than those channels, my influence has been experience and people who have mentored and inspired me along the way.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Amy Hochhauser

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Amy Hochhauser

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

I think there is going to be a lot of consolidation in the Boutique Fitness Industry over the next few years and it will be more important than ever to differentiate yourself from the pack and deliver on your brand promise. Also, cross-training and multi-modality boutique studios will continue to trend — but quality will be the most important standard. Today’s consumers are smart and discerning. There are many options out there. Studios will need to have truly qualified, results-driven trainers to stand out from the crowd.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

I’m inspired and invigorated by the challenge of building a business and watching it evolve in a dynamically growing industry. The landscape has changed radically in boutique fitness over the last eight years and the ability to pivot and stay relevant fuels me to keep learning and growing.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

One of the most important lessons for me has been the importance of maintaining your brand culture as your business grows. The magic of your brand doesn’t just automatically translate to new locations. You have to work hard on your brand culture and make sure that every employee in every location understands the WHY behind your brand. If they can share your vision and your purpose, the benefits will flow to the bottom line.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

The people are the reason I’m here! I love the amazing community of both customers and staff that I’ve seen develop over the past eight years. What started as just an idea has led to a multi-state community with a shared purpose; that’s such a gift. And to see the lives we’ve influenced and changed—it’s worth every minute of hustle.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

I’ve always been a big fan of Brené Brown, and her recent book, Dare to Lead, is no exception. There are so many great and influential nuggets in there, but what really resonated was the affirmation that leading from my heart and allowing my employees to see my vulnerability was truly courageous leadership. My co-founder, Rhodie Lorenz and I, have always relied on our hearts to make decisions. We do our best, but we don’t reach for perfection. Instead we strive for progress…and JOY.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Gail Giovanniello

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Gail Giovanniello

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

People want a true ’boutique’ experience: Personalized service, a great workout, a great customer service experience, a place to meet friends and be part of a small community. Plus, the digital market is going to BOOM more and more.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

I am inspired to continue to run my own business because I love to be creative and nothing will set me apart more from others more than my individual creativity and unique to me.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

Though it may be fun and creative, it must run as a serious business. Working with like-minded people is key for support and great team work. It is true: hire slow, fire fast. I always strive for the right FIT for my teams, both administrators and the instructors.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

I love getting to know my clients and sharing a like minded craft with other instructors. I like that I can try on different hats from instructor, to business speaker, to creative coordinator. I love that the it is trendy now to own a fitness studio and it keeps me on my toes. I never stop coming up with ideas in order to stay in the trend.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

Books have educated me, as I am a self taught business owner. My favorites are Creativity in Business, The One Minute Manager, Drive (by Daniel Pink) and The E Myth. Plus, many Ted Talks on people, personalities and behaviors.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Frank Benedetto

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Frank Benedetto

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Technology. Specifically, the technology involving fitness and nutrition programming. There are platforms emerging in the currently separate fields of program delivery and results tracking via biometric data. When these two areas become linked, we will be able to effectively utilize AI to program to a level of certainty beyond human capability.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

I’ve been inspired to build businesses that serve as vehicles for change. Most people grow up thinking that businesses are solely to make money. I’ve always studied the founders that were hell-bent on a mission and made the money as a result. I hope to do the same in the continually merging fields of health and fitness.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

I think everyone has read that enduring failure is a part of the game of business. Taking that notion a step further, I’ve learned that overcompensating on a lesson learned from a failure is sometimes just as damaging as not having learned that lesson at all. I would often swing between extremes rather than making subtle adjustments.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

I view business as a form of art. I love the psychology of branding and the never-ending process of refining the message a brand is trying to deliver. Business is the way I express myself.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

The NYC transit authority slogan had the single greatest impact on my management philosophy. I was on a subway frustrated with a team member and contemplating the ways to deal with it, when I saw the billboard: “If you see something, say something.” From that moment, I’ve instilled a culture of being upfront with all communication, even when it’s difficult to do so.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Kari Saitowitz

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Kari Saitowitz

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Technology will continue to shape the industry from marketing and customer service to back-office functions and the overall actual experience. Brick and mortar locations will need to offer differentiated propositions vs. digital content. New entrants, variety-seeking behavior and increasingly educated consumers will hold fitness brands increasingly accountable to deliver real value (i.e., effective workouts, educated teams, personal attention, low cost/luxury, etc.). A broader definition of “wellness” and aging of the population will also shape the future of the industry.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

Initially, I was inspired by other entrepreneurs who successfully built businesses around their ideas for “a better way.” But my team and clients quickly took over. My core team always has my back and motivates me to improve, grow and continue providing opportunities for them. In addition, “love letters” from clients remind me of the positive role Fhitting Room plays in their lives. Knowing clients count on my business for emotional and/or physical wellbeing is an awesome inspiration.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Every time I’ve gone against my gut, I’ve come to regret my decision and ultimately had to alter my course. Examples range from hiring decisions to contractor selection to booking system implementations. If you do misstep, recognize your mistake and move quickly to course correct. Don’t second guess yourself. I try to trust my gut, even if it leads to unpopular decisions in the short term.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

I feel like I’m at the center of a virtuous cycle of positivity. My product is inherently good for people emotionally and physically; my studios are places of learning, care and respect; all clients are treated like VIPs regardless of fitness level, gender, race or age; and I’ve worked hard to build a culture where all team members feel valued. I love that fitness attracts individuals who come from different backgrounds but share a passion for changing lives. #happyplace

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Fhitting Room is nothing without the individuals who deliver the experience, so keeping my team motivated is critical. Lean In helped me view many situations completely differently. I had my Chief of Deets & Peeps read this book as well, so we could have a shared frame of reference and vocabulary. We often talk about how far to “Lean In,” rather than trying to make a circle into a square in making management decisions.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Amy Glosser

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Amy Glosser

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Two trends that could affect boutique fitness negatively are virtual/home-based workouts like Pelaton and the high cost of small businesses in NYC. That said, the pie is getting bigger and many more people working out.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

I’m inspired by all the first-time students. Those who have never worked out—or not in a very long time. Since our vibe is welcoming and non-judgmental, we get many women who find us and change their lives to include fitness. I’m also inspired by the intense start-up culture of NYC with amazing new businesses like the Wing and Ask Tia.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

Determine what you are not good at and find a work around—hire someone, find a consultant, find a partner, etc. Throw a lot at the wall—continuously innovate, keep what works and ditch what doesn’t, but don’t get stale. And develop your secret sauce: Know it, nourish it, market it and build it into your point-of-difference in a crowded field.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

The best parts of being a studio owner, for me, are flexibility, seeing clients find fitness and building a close community.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Roxy Borger

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Roxy Borger

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Trends is a big question. I wonder how technology will continue to evolve to serve the studio experiences with apps, online courses, education and VR, and I’m also watching how the larger entities who own several brands and franchises will continue to grow and affect the urban markets.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

As a studio owner, I was most inspired by the dedication of my students and staff. Some had been with the studio through several different teachers and studio owners, and they continued to show up week after week. Their behaviors have reminded me of the power of slow change and kept me inspired day after day.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a studio and business owner is that I don’t have to do everything myself. It took some time for me to trust and once I did, I was able to serve so many more people and flow so much better with the day to day.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

My favorite part of being a studio owner was learning the ins and outs of the business, growing as a teacher and leader, and connecting with my tribe each day. I just love learning and being challenged! It was a great, deep learning experience for me—and of course, the wholesale yoga clothes. (Just kidding, sort of.)

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

My management philosophy has been most influenced by my personal desire to be the leader I always wished I had (since I began working at age 14). Books that have added to this drive: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, It Starts with Why and Getting Things Done. As for podcasts, Gary Vaynerchuck’s Podcast Ask Gary Vee is a favorite.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Canada Salter

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Canada Salter

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

My inspiration comes from untouched opportunity in my industry. Change and growth within my company makes us better and keeps competition from catching us.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

The most important lessons as a business owner is treating employees how you like to be treated. Staff retention and development is key to the success of the business. If employees are happy, customers are happy.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

The most rewarding thing about being a business owner is seeing employees thrive financially and love what they do. In addition to this, it is gratifying to hear customers talk about their experience at our locations.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

Dave Ramsey has a great management philosophy; it’s simple and to the point.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Eric Posner

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Eric Posner

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

The continued proliferation of the wellness industry as a whole is supporting the growth of boutique fitness (the wellness industry is growing 2x faster than the global economy), and real estate deals are getting sweeter during the ‘retail apocalypse.’ Corporate wellness budgets are increasing as a means to recruit and retain talent, plus get employees healthier, not to mention more salespeople are entertaining clients over fitness classes instead of steak dinners. Although not replacing boutique fitness as a category, at-home workouts are gaining traction and finding a place in people’s workout routines.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

People seeking growth. On a daily basis I am meeting and connecting with our riders, hearing their stories, and following their progress. Frankly, it’s what keeps me so excited about growing SWERVE – building communities of likeminded people on their respective journeys to accomplish their goals, and elevating each other along the way.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

“The only way out is through”—is so spot on. As it relates to business (and life), the importance of facing your issues and tackling your challenges head on is the only way to progress. If issues linger for too long, you’re wasting time. Make the hard decisions, have the difficult conversations and face your fears. It always pays off.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

SWERVE is all about elevating people’s lives through teamwork, so what I love most about being a studio owner is embodying that motto. This starts with growing and empowering our people then carries through the experience to our customers. Enabling our clients to leave healthier and happier than when they came through our doors is incredibly fulfilling.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

Books: The Founder’s Mentality (James Allen & Chris Zook), Principles (Ray Dalio), Leaders Eat Last (Simon Sinek), Good to Great (Jim Collins).

All of these books have helped me grow into a more effective/empathetic leader and taught me how to hone my entrepreneurship skills and think through the fundamentals of growing a business. I would recommend these to all entrepreneurs.

BFS-NYC 2019 Speakers – Five Questions with Lars Scofield

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Lars Scofield

What trends do you see most affecting the future state of the Boutique Fitness industry?

Mainstream population adopting wellness and fitness, group exercise proliferation into different lifestyle levels (e.g. professional networking, social events, dating, employment team building activities etc), in-home exercise market share, value-based big box gym market share and outdoor physical activity adoption.

Who or what inspires you as a business owner and why?

I’m inspired to make a difference in people’s lives. The most fulfilling aspect of being a boutique fitness owner is having an impact on lives and creating an environment where powerful transformational changes take place, where physical activity begets physical health, which leads to mental, emotional and spiritual health. I also love creating vibrant and thriving communities that strengthen and deepen relationships among members for purposes of achieving common interests and goals. Group exercise is a phenomenon that creates a sense of belonging to a community, which inspires and motivates people and creates energy that pushes people to achieve their goals and become healthier on all levels.

What is one of the most important lessons that you have learned as a studio owner?

That passion and hunger for fitness and being part of something bigger is the most important driving force in achieving buy-in by the team, which creates a thriving and vibrant work culture. Yes, being educated and having relevant experience are important qualities that will contribute to professional success, but at the end of the day hunger and passion for the brand and community is what best positions employees for success.

What do you love most about being a studio owner?

Being a part of the transformations that take place among members of the community. We not only provide a platform for transformation to take place, but we’re a part of the journey and we get to experience and share it with our members.

What book, video, podcast, Ted Talk, etc. that has influenced your management philosophy and why?

I can’t point to a single external source. My years in Corporate America management are relevant to boutique fitness management. We empower our managers and let them lead and make mistakes, but provide a safety net and support which allows them to learn from their mistakes and grow professionally and in life.