When my business partner, Kari Koch, opened Circle Studio: Pilates and Gyrotonic in 2006 she came to SCORE for help with managing 6 staff members, a quickly growing clientele and all aspects of day to day operations that were both exciting and overwhelming for a brand new business owner.
Kari credits SCORE for 6 successful years, which included weathering a recession, but ultimately building a thriving business and strong team.
When Kari had a baby in 2012, she asked me to partner with her so that she could continue with the business, but have time to spend with her new family. Kari had such a great experience at SCORE that of course we used them to help us with details of solidifying the partnership; guiding us to take the steps necessary to build a strong foundation and see our staff through the change.
I continued working with a mentor (and still do!) and taking classes at SCORE to build my management skills, learn more about business and educate myself to be a better business partner and owner. What I got was so much more than that.
Kari and I both love Pilates and Gyrotonic because they help keep our clients strong, balanced and aligned; informing all aspects of their daily lives. But you need more than passion for what you do to be a successful business owner.
When I first began working with a mentor; I was in a word, terrified. It was such a big investment and decision; I felt anxious and lost. My mentor and the other incredible volunteers at SCORE met my determination with their own to help me learn basic business and staff management tools. These men and women have a wealth of experience and personal success that is shared with unbelievable compassion and dedication. I incorporated their suggestions into my work and I began to feel more confident and capable.
Kari and I began meeting with a mentor together in addition to my individual sessions to help us thrive as partnership. Today we have 10 happy, successful employees, a strong client base, and a wonderfully supportive partnership that uses our strengths and differences for our benefit.
What I would suggest to any new or potential business owner is this: go to SCORE and put in the work to build a strong foundation for your business, take their suggestions and use your passion to create a thriving business.
As an owner I am becoming more balanced, strong and centered every day just as I do from my work in Pilates and Gyrotonic; all thanks to SCORE.