Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A. Located in Elburn Illinois, FUSE Gym is a family owned and operated fitness facility. We have created a unique gym environment with a great sense of community. We offer incredible group classes with a heart rate monitoring option, personal training and open gym memberships…accommodating to all fitness types, while also keeping a tight knit social group informed on healthier eating and living.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A. The owners of FUSE, who are also the trainers and teachers, carry a multitude of certifications (all listed at fusethegym.com). Our greatest accomplishments are the success stories and transformations our clientele have seen in themselves and in others at FUSE.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
A. Having a deep rooted passion for fitness and athletics, we saw the people of surrounding towns craving something different from their gym. FUSE’s sense of community truly gives its members the motivation to dedicate themselves to health and fitness.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. 1) Must have a true passion for your line of work. 2) Have a detailed plan of what you want your business to accomplish in both the short term and long term. 3) Adapt…bumps in the road will occur and how you deal with them will determine the success of your business.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. Relentless drive. Being a visionary. Positive and engaging attitude.
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average? Constantly working on our craft.
A. There are never set hours when you own your own business.
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. The development of personal relationships with our members. The strong bond we’ve created goes a long way with bringing in new customers.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A. We’ve dabbled in a few different areas of marketing without seeing concrete results. Constant presence on social media has been incredible and as above mentioned, the ever powerful word of mouth has really been our greatest asset.
Q. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A. 100% family owned.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A. Setting shorter goals along the way…where we want to be next month, in 6 months, in a year…all striving to achieve the long term goal.
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A. In 5 years, we’d love to have our own building with double or triple our current floor space. In 10 years, we’d possibly like to entertain the idea of franchising and having FUSE locations in multiple areas.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. Any company that truly looks to make a positive difference in their community and cares for their customers as if they were their own family members.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
A. Somewhat…we rely heavily on the 4 owners of the gym to handle almost all day to day issues.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A. If we find validity in an idea, we will exhaust all abilities to make it happen.
Q. What motivates you?
A. Health, fitness and the happiness of our members
Q. What are your ideals?
A. Great environment, great energy and a proud sense of community
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
A. Keep our collective ears open…what our current members say, what potential members would want, how the industry progresses and how to implement in our facility to suit our clients.
Q. How do you define success?
A. Having the ability to do what you want day in and day out
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. Personal relationships with the customers
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A. Executive decision making
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A. Maybe not a single moment…probably two events: running into people we have never met but who know about us and FUSE / getting affirmation from our members on their health improvements and how they feel about themselves because of what we’ve instilled
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A. Freedom to think outside the box and immediately implement
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A. FUSE is an extremely high energy community that loves a daily challenge
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A. Would have attempted to do this years ago
Q. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A. Owning a business with your spouse and having children is a tag team effort but we have found a great balance
Q. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A. Rate of growth. Our plan is to always maintain our solid customer base while slowly creating a new buzz and growth
Q. How did you decide on the location for your business?
A. Convenience and having already developed an identity in the existing community
Q. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
A. The formula has to be the right personalities loving what they do
Q. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
A. The Ricketts Family because of how they, as a family, developed their brand into an ownership of something they love dearly
Q. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A. Our father/father-in -law
Q. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A. The Art of Happiness
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A. Few BIG mistakes but constantly learning on the daily how to improve, changes to make and ways to get better
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
A. Damage control starts with admitting something wasn’t done as it should be
Q. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A. Work Out!
Q. What makes you happy?
A. Family and the ability to make those around us happy
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. Time at home, time with our children.