For those that have been curious about the Catherine O’Connor that has been writing these blog posts for Target Patients MD, hello! In addition to working for Target Patients MD, I’ve also been working for Club Pilates in Westchester, NY as a Sales Associate.
While working for both companies, although unique and arguably in very different fields, I became interested in the similarities between them in regards to medical and health marketing. To reiterate, Target Patients MD is a medical marketing agency and we help medical businesses thrive. To better explain, Club Pilates is a chain pilates studio and although it is a chain, each individual studio is its own independent business.
I reached out to the owner of three Westchester, NY Club Pilates locations, Heather Rhyu, to ask her some questions and get to know Club Pilates from a business standpoint a bit better.
First and foremost, I wanted to know how Heather came about owning three locations, since usually each studio is an individual owner to just one location.
“I was working in finance in the city a few years back and I was also pregnant with my second child. I got a random call from a franchise consultant and it could not have been more perfect timing because I was really looking for something else in my life. I wanted more flexibility being a new mom and I still wanted to be a business woman so I told the franchise consultant what types of businesses I’d love to own, the flexibility I longed for and the involvement I was prepared to give. One thing led to another and here we are three locations later.”
I wanted to know more about the behind the scenes information so I prompted Heather to further emphasize on just how cool it is that she owns not one, not two, but THREE Club Pilates studios.
“I had no intention of purchasing more than one location at the time. I was already taking a huge leap of faith by leaving finance in NYC and opening my own business. Once I met with the corporate team, they explained that if I were to pay a franchise fee for three studios now, I’d save money, get a deal and have the opportunity for a lot more growth. I think I made the right decision.”
I asked Heather what specifically about Pilates she loves, because you have to love what you do to run three businesses!
“Pilates genuinely is a very great form of exercise that ANYONE can do. No matter if you’re young, old, super fit or have never worked out a day in your life, you can do pilates. Sure, you have to learn how to do it, but anyone can do it. It’s super low impact and also great for rehabilitation in terms of injuries or surgeries, which a lot of other forms of exercise are not. It truly does help everything from your core, to posture to toning. Not only is it a great physical workout, but it’s also definitely a mind-body workout. A lot of people come to Club Pilates for that mental de-stresser.”
I asked Heather what she would say to any other woman who is looking to open their own business. If that’s you, this is your sign!
“I would say to definitely make sure you do a lot of research before investing in any business. Make sure it is a business model that will work and that there is a definitive need for the service you are providing. Location is incredibly important so think about that when deciding on any business. Most importantly, it’s all about your staff. Hire good people and treat them right and everything else will fall into place.”
Lastly, I asked Heather how she ensures there is no spread of false or misleading medical information.
“I’m fortunate in that because Club Pilates is a franchise, a lot of content is provided to us and I don’t necessarily have to create it and worry about things like that. When I do create content or even have a conversation with someone, I always emphasize that we are not doctors and we definitely recommend getting medical advice from your doctor or approval from your doctor if you are injured, pregnant, etc. We are also very careful to disclose that pilates is not going to be a form of weight loss because it’s low impact and not cardio based, but we do emphasize that it is great for everything else – toning, lengthening, muscle training, etc.”
Speaking as someone that works at Club Pilates, I have seen firsthand just how knowledgeable all of the staff is when it comes to speaking to any member about the health aspect of taking our classes. I myself have a knee injury and the instructors are always so careful to modify anything for me. We have women that are pregnant taking classes because they feel safe at our studios. It is so important as a business to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that accurate information is being shared.
We at Target Patients MD are also very careful to disclose that we are not doctors so we understand the importance of using the right wording and disclosing any and all information in a way that is accurate and not misleading. We hope that this inspired you to work out, start a business or do something else amazing!