Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy McCabe.
Amy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I taught Yoga & Pilates in San Diego for many years! Throughout the years, I worked for many different studios & always thought “I could do this!” (own my own studio that is). Around my 6th year of teaching, I really started getting serious about the dream. I bought a ton of books on small business ownership, I started talking to other small business owners, I started putting together a business plan – I was super motivated and then I’d get stuck, lose motivation or just get scared of all the debt I’d be in so I’d stop.
Then, came January and once again, on my resolution list in big bold letters was START YOUR BUSINESS THIS YEAR. So, once again, I’d start the process over again with renewed enthusiasm. I can honestly say that this cycle went on for about 4 years. I believe it took so long because there was a lot of life stuff that was taking over- getting married, buying a condo, having our first child, etc… all of this amazing personal life stuff takes a lot of money, so if that is what you are focusing on it’s really hard to have the capital to start a business.
Finally, in 2016, when I had a 2 year old & was pregnant again, I came to the realization that if I didn’t just do this, then, it was never going to happen! I heard a lot of people tell me that there is never a perfect time to have kids & you will never have enough time or money so you just have to do it! Well, I feel like this lesson also applies to start your own business. My husband & I scraped some money together, I got a personal loan, a business credit card (which I maxed out), an equipment loan lease and then we were off & running! We rented the smallest space we could afford, asked our family & friends to help install floors, speakers, paint, etc.. and I even put my 2-year-old to work sweeping. We opened our doors in February 2017 and I can honestly say, it was a very proud day! Fast forward to right now and we have almost been open for 2 years! My daughter is now 3 & my son is: 1. Our life is CRAZY! I wear many different hats – I’m an Instructor, studio cleaner, payroll specialist, Marketing Director, HR Specialist, Accountant, etc… plus, I’m also taking care of both kids! It was busy but I love the studio so much & I’m proud of the teachers we have, the classes we teach & the amazing clients we serve. Plus, drinking a lot of coffee & wine helps a lot! 🙂
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road! I think the biggest obstacle we faced was how to get the money we needed. It’s really challenging to get a business loan when you are not an established business! Another obstacle was definitely trying to do everything! I was teaching a ton of classes, cleaning the studio, doing payroll, marketing, etc.. all while pregnant & chasing after a 2-year-old! My advice would be to prepare yourself for a lot of work! Unless you can hire a lot of people to help you, most likely you will be doing a lot of the work yourself! Also, get your partner on board. If you are married or have a significant other, make sure that they are supportive of your dream because most likely they will be a big part of it! So much of your time, energy & finances will go into the business, so you need to prepare them for that and get their support because you will definitely need it!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Studio Reform Pilates – what should we know?
Studio Reform Pilates is a Group Reformer Studio. We teach Pilates on specialized equipment called Reformers. We have 8 machines in the studio which allows us to provide a small personalized group class at an affordable price. We have some of the BEST teachers in all of San Diego and I believe we offer the best class experience you can get for the best price! The energy of the studio is one of the things I am most proud of! It’s definitely a place for good Vibes. 🙂 Our teachers are happy to be there, and so are the clients & you can really feel that when you walk through the door! I think what sets us apart is that we are definitely a small time “mom & pop” place. Many of our students text or call us on a regular basis to help them with account issues, find lost water bottles, ask questions. etc. We know almost everyone who walks through the door & they know each teacher. This consistency helps us know the students’ bodies better (injuries, pregnancy, surgeries) and allows us to better customize the class to each students’ individual need. Many studios are a revolving door of new teachers & students, so no one ever really knows each other. I really wanted to create a warm, welcoming space where we all knew each other & it felt like home when you walked through the door, and I think that’s what we’ve created and it makes me smile from ear to ear! 🙂
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
The most important piece of advice I could give a woman wanting to start her business is first making sure you are passionate about what you will be selling or what service you will be providing because owning your own business will be your life! Then, get a focus group of people together and pitch your business idea to them. Tell them the product/service, the price, logo design, location, etc. Then, get their HONEST feedback! Would they buy the service or product or if they wouldn’t do they know people who would? What do they think of the price point, logo, etc.? Once you take the feedback into consideration, narrow down exactly what product/service you are providing and who you are marketing it to. Be careful to not be a Jill of all trades (meaning you offer too many different services/products to too many groups of people). Really define your brand – who you are, what you stand for, what you are offering & who your customers are! Then, of course, comes the really fun stuff like financials! 🙂 This part is really important! Get together with a good accountant/financial planner to help you map out exactly what you will need to get up & running & how much you will need to “float” you while your business isn’t quite generating income yet. Getting a clear financial picture will allow you to accurately plan out your loans, repayment schedule, a number of employees to hire. etc. After all that you just have to take a BIG leap of faith & trust that you have what it takes, and even if you fail, at least you gave it a shot!
- First Class is $10
- 10 Pack of classes $150
- Reform10 Autopay Membership $99/mo for 10 classes a month
- Reform4 Autopay Membership $55/mo for 4 classes a month
- Address: 1040 University Ave #B209B, San Diego, CA 92103
- Website: www.studio-reform-pilates.com
- Phone: 619-354-8468
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: studio_reform_pilates
- Facebook: @studioreformpilatessd
Ash & Arrow Photography