Becky is one busy women -- part-time lawyer, full time entrepreneur! If you are interested in starting your own business, Becky has some valuable tips for you.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. It is my goal through Becky's Fitness Company – to offer a full range of interactive fitness services through the internet/web. Currently, I offer a Virtual Boot Camp – with daily exercise missions (these are workouts I assign either in written form that come with active links to my exercise video demos AND / OR an Audio Workout/ MP3 that I offer for sale on my website)
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I am also a Lawyer – solo practitioner – I still practice law, about 10 hours per week. I represent airlines throughout the state of NY in all of their small claims baggage and customer relations claims. I am also a former flight attendant.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
As a lawyer and successful business person I am constantly asked this question – and I ALWAYS tell people – fear NOT trying and missing out on a great opportunity more than you fear failure. Go for it! Let you imagination run wild and follow your dreams. Just understand your own business is A LOT of work!
How did you come up with your business idea?
My business idea merged over time; my original plan was simply to become a personal trainer and work a few hours per day. Then as my training progressed, I would come up with ideas on how to better serve my clients, especially from long distances when travel or money became an issue and the virtual world or personal training and group fitness emerged. My audio workouts were created because of my disdain for workout videos forcing a person to workout in front of a TV……
Who did you hire to help you? Bookkeeper, Accountants, Lawyers …? Would you suggest others do the same?
I am actually a lawyer and would absolutely advise a person speak to a lawyer about their business plan to be sure they are set up properly in terms of insurance, liability, trademarks etc. I also hired an accounting firm that assisted with the incorporation of the business, the bookkeeping, taxes etc. Those are the two most important professional in assisting you with a business set up. You do not want to dedicate your life to something and then risk losing it all for improper tax filing, or insurance protection, etc.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
Yes – I operate my business from home. The biggest problem with this, is sometimes it is difficult to turn off the business side of me and relax and be a wife, friend and family member.
Do you own a business with family members? What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?
I currently run Becky's Fitness Company and the law office out of a home office with the help of my husband. He owns and operates an architectural firm out of the same home office. We both created and developed all three businesses and work together on all three, each to varying degrees. I would have to say our biggest challenge is remembering and acting as husband and wife at times, rather than constant business partners. We travel a lot for weekend getaways to overcome this challenge, and it seems to be working well. I am 34 years old and we have been together for19 years this October, married for 9 this August. We have been in business together since 2005, but worked together for many years growing up.
I believe partnerships are VERY challenging and always advise my clients to really try and enter into the business venture on their own if possible- especially with family members and spouses. As a lawyer, I typically do not see these types of relationships as being easy; an exit strategy is a MUST when entering into any type of business relationship with family. My husband and I have the businesses set up where they can easily be split in the event of a misunderstanding.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
I would have to say for women – their biggest challenge is the fear of being a business owner. Once they get over that, I find they are micro managers that can run a business just as if not more efficiently then men! I would have to say there is an advantage to being a woman business owner as a woman tends to trust another woman more so then a man – which opens you up to a world of networking and a target market before you even have your grand opening!
This is great advice for any entrepreneur! Thank you Becky for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us!