Bonnie Cashman graced the second issue of Benefits Selling as president of The Balanced Program Inc., “a nationally recognized leader in the worksite marketplace of voluntary benefits with emphasis to small and medium sized employers.”
Four years later, in July 2007, she retired. Now her life is all about Pilates while running Lab5 Fitness.
Grow. Take risks, and strive to learn and grow. Starting a business in 2011 is so much different than starting one in 1981. Social media did not exist in 1981; today these tools play a critical role in how you operate a business and affect the level of your success.
Be a people person. No matter what business you’re in, you’re really in the people business. At LAB5 we have a mantra: “We’re not in the fitness business. We’re in the people business providing fitness.”
Build the right team. Good people, staff and employees always make the difference. Surround yourself with talented, committed individuals. It’s an added benefit at age 61—everyone on our team is much younger, which allows me to learn from them and give me the opportunity to mentor.
Know the customer. Know who your customer is, what they’re looking for and want, and ask questions. Not everyone is a potential client. Understand being selective is a good thing. Never forget you’re in business as a result of these customers. Value them and never take them or your relationship for granted.
Generate leads. Lead generation is critical. Building your list of qualified prospects starts with names to be converted to prospects, thus turning them into sales and ultimately retaining them as clients. This was true in the insurance business, and the same is true in the fitness business.
Consider details. The small things always make a huge difference. For example, if we are baking cookies and the recipe calls for 10 ingredients and we decide to use only the items we think are important and decide to eliminate the flour, the end result will be very different than we expected. There’s a purpose for each of the original ingredients. The same is true in our business.
Make mistakes. Making mistakes at this age ensures you will continue to grow and learn. I’ve found humility is alive and thriving at this age. Who knew I had so much more to learn? I find all of this exciting and am very grateful for the opportunity.
Photo by: Rick Dahms