Stepping into the Unkown – A personal perspective on setting up a new business

Last Updated: November 5, 2018 in Members

We’re so pleased to have awarded the inspiring Gina of Precision Poise our November Member of The Month and we thought we’d use this opportunity to hear a bit more from the lady herself.

We’re so delighted to have you as our Member of The month Gina, could you tell us all a bit more about your background and how you came to set up your business?

I am a Pilates and Dance Fitness Instructor. I set up my own company Precision Poise in March 2018.  I am no stranger to career change, or the prospect of stepping out into the unknown.
I come from a professional dance background. A career path that had always seemed quite certain, having been accepted into a full time vocational ballet school at the young age of eleven. However, injury eventually resulted in a premature end to my dance career, and suddenly all those plans needed to be rewritten. I returned to studying, gained a degree in Genetics and established a brand new career in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as a Global Marketing Manager. Whilst I loved my job, thriving on the pressure & international travel, I never truly felt settled.
I started attending Pilates classes a few years ago. Stepping back into the studio for the first time, it immediately became clear. The studio was where I truly felt at home. But “coming home” would have meant stepping away from the security of a well established career and stepping back into the unknown. Not an easy step to take. When I fell pregnant in early 2016, I knew if I was ever going to take that step it was now. Otherwise I would always be wondering “what if?.
Precision Poise is the culmination of a lot of hard work, studying and bags of determination to make it a success. From a single class offering at launch in March 2018, Precision Poise has grown quickly and I now teach a range of Pilates & Dance Fitness classes, 1:1 Pilates sessions, and specialise in Women’s Health, particularly with pre and postnatal clients. I am set to take the next step forwards in November as I move my classes to a new studio in a more central location, and expand my timetable further.
Some say we never know what the universe has in store for us. Looking back, I feel that every twist and turn has lead me to where I was ultimately supposed to be. My dance background, my experience in marketing and business planning, it all feeds into where I am today. Life can throw us curve balls sometimes. Embrace it, run with it, as we never know where it will take us!

What is your business ethos?

Anyone working in the fitness or wellbeing industry is ultimately driven by a desire to help others. It is important that in the process of creating and sustaining a successful business I do not lose sight of the drive that brought me here in the first place.
There are 4 key values that I strive to uphold: to Support, to Encourage, to Understand, and to Empower. It’s not just about the time my clients spend with me in the studio. It’s about the lasting impact I have on their self awareness, ability and confidence.

I would encourage anyone to take time to identify their own personal drivers behind their business. Why do you do what you do, and what impact do you want to have on your clients/customers? Write them down and revisit them every so often to make sure you don’t lose sight of them. Behind all the glossy marketing and catchy slogans, it is the way you make your customers feel that will establish trust, build loyalty and ultimately enable your business to flourish.
What would you say to anyone starting their own business or embarking on a new venture?
If you have passion, drive and determination then you are already part way there.
It will be hard work at times, perhaps even more than you imagined it would be. If you can keep hold of that passion and remember why you took that step in the first place, it will help see you through the more challenging times and keep driving you forwards.

What words of advice can you offer based on your own experiences so far?

• Focus on your strengths, and don’t be afraid to outsource the rest!
Doing it yourself may seem the cheaper option, especially when you are setting up and every penny counts, but what may take an expert at hour could end up taking you several hours or even days. Convert your working hours into an hourly rate and you will soon see that the DIY approach isn’t necessarily as cost effective as it may seem.
• Have an open mind and be prepared to adapt
Constantly assess what is working, and what isn’t. Adapt and refine your offering to one that meets the needs of your real customers…they may behave differently to the hypothetical ones in your initial business plan!
• Put yourself out there.
Setting up on your own can be a lonely experience if you allow yourself to become too insular. Meet with, communicate with and work with other like minded people. We have so much to learn from each other, and so much to gain from an open mind and a desire to help each other to succeed.
Like many others, you are juggling self employment and parenthood.

How do you stay organised?

This is a challenge that so many people face. You want to be the best you can be as a businessperson and a parent, but you can’t dedicate 100% of your energy into both at the same time. It can leave you feeling like you are doing a suboptimal job on all fronts.
I have learnt that I can only really wear one hat at a time. When I am with my son, I am as dedicated as I can be to being Mummy. The rest of the time is my time to work on my business and ongoing development. I don’t plan in work to do during nap times any more – there is nothing more stress inducing than trying to convince a resistant toddler to nap when you know you have a huge to do list to work through! If he naps, then I simply treat it as bonus time to get ahead.
A productivity planner helps me manage my schedule and prioritise my daily goals. Having clearly defined admin time is important to avoid falling behind, and a to do list is such an important tool when your brain is juggling so many different things at once!

One of the main reasons we awarded you MOTM is the collaborations you have made within The Collective. Why is collaboration important to you?

The inspiring Helen Keller sums up collaboration perfectly in one simple quote “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.  I believe if we want to truly succeed, to be the best we can be and offer something truly great for our customers then collaboration is surely the way forwards. We have so much to learn from each other, and the bringing together of different talents and expertise can create something very special.

Can you tell us more about the collaborations you have made so far within The Collective since joining?

Through The Collective I have met and shared insights with many talented and inspiring people. New connections have enriched both my professional and personal life, from trading business tips to experiencing deliciously nourishing food and even a little pampering!
One important collaboration I have in progress within The Collective is with the lovely Suzi from Suzi B Coaching. A lot of my work is with pregnant and postnatal ladies, supporting them as they work to stay strong during pregnancy and return to physical activity after childbirth. Suzi is a life coach who helps to guide and support women as they transition into motherhood. We both recognise that physical and emotional wellbeing are closely intertwined, and therefore to truly support these ladies there is much to gain from combining our efforts and expertise. Suzi is now on hand to provide emotional guidance and support within my Precision Poise Motivational Mums Facebook group. We are currently working together to create a special session, bringing Mums & Mums-to-be together to share their insights and receive advice & support relating to emotional and physical wellbeing in pregnancy and motherhood.
We are very fortunate that The Collective is full of people who are willing to work together, support each other and that share a common drive & passion for the work they do. When I met with Ben Price of The Fitness Masters a few weeks ago to discuss our respective businesses & explore potential opportunities for collaboration, I was particularly struck by the incredible drive & enthusiasm he has for his plans. Informal meetings like this can be wonderful for opening the door to discussions that may just lead to a great idea or collaboration.

How can we find you and can you tell us your class times & locations?

You can find out more about me and Precision Poise on my website www.precisionpoise.com. You can also follow @PrecisionPoise on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

From 5th November, my classes are moving to the new studio at CrossFit Chichester – with a new expanded timetable.

Mondays

7.00 – 7.50 pm     SOSA Dance Fitness

8.00 – 8.50pm      BalletBeFit Ballet Fitness Workout

Wednesdays

7.00 – 7.50pm      Prenatal Pilates

8.00 – 8.50pm      Me Time Pilates for Mums (6 months postnatal onwards)

Thursdays

9.00 – 9.50am      BalletBeFit Feel Young 65 years+

10.00 – 10.50am  BalletBeFit BalletFitness Workout

11.00 – 12.00pm  Postnatal Pilates Level 2

12.15 – 1.15pm    Introduction to Postnatal Pilates (6 week course)

7.00 – 7.50pm      “Control” Beginners Pilates

8.00 – 8.50pm.     “Flow” Intermediate Pilates

Fridays

10.30 – 11.20am  Prenatal Pilates

11.30 – 12.20pm  “Innovation” Pilates with Small Equipment

In addition to these group classes, I offer 1:1 Pilates sessions in client’s own homes, and also have a limited number of in studio sessions available for 1:1 mat based Pilates.

I also teach Ballet Fitness and SOSA Dance Fitness classes on Tuesday evenings and Wednesday mornings for The Body Suite; a fantastic studio centre owned by fellow member of The Collective, Dee Bodle.

Thank you so much Gina, we love having you as a member of The Collective and hope your business continues to go from strength to strength.