Ph.D Sports Education Leadership, UNLV
M.S. Kinesiology, James Madison University
B.S. Kinesiology, James Madison University
What’s your business, and who are your customers?
Parker Personal Training LLC. is a live virtual personal training company. I got into the live virtual training format about six years ago, which was well before this became a popular means of training in the past few years. The people I work with are looking for convenience, commitment, and a creative option for getting their workouts in, along with having some socialization. Overall, my clients are not focused on weight loss or the aesthetics related to exercise. They are looking for a consistent and long-term lifestyle intervention that fits their busy schedules and lives.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a personal trainer for 23 years now! I can’t believe that is even true, as it feels just like yesterday when I started. I began training because I felt that it was a great way to create meaningful and lasting relationships with others. Fitness is just a platform for deeper relationships to me. While most people come in the front door because of their physical aspirations, they often stay because of the deeper lifestyle factors that my version of training provides. Honestly, I’m not always motivated every day to do what I do. When you do something for 23 years, you will not always feel like you want to do it all the time. The actual progressions of exercises and the science of it all is fine, but it never sustains me. The relationships sustain me and how we grow with each other.
What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is having 80 percent of my clients continue to work with me for a decade plus. I’ve managed to create a warm, inviting, and sustainable environment for people to do something that feels counterintuitive to them. That is a major accomplishment because the retention rate for exercise is so low, but I’ve been fortunate to have around a 90 percent retention rate over 23 years. It has allowed me to have a steady income and high-quality social and emotional engagement with my clients.
What’s one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Knowing that everything comes down to you, especially with what I do. I am my own HR, CFO, and marketing department, along with being the main service provider. It can be like being on an island sometimes, but what makes it hard also makes it wonderful.
What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Focus on customer service and creating a product/service that has an emotional tie to it.
- Build your service for longevity, not a quick fix.
- Be proficient and knowledgeable about all aspects of the business side of your work.
Where can people find you and your business?