Nearly eight years ago, Russell Carter was responsible for bringing the indoor cycling craze to Philadelphia with Body Cycle Studio. We recently sat down with the owner and instructor to learn more about his business and, also, why Philly?
Why did you decide to start your business? Tell us your backstory!
Seven and a half years ago, I opened the first indoor cycling studio in Philadelphia. As a former pharma rep, I would take cycling shoes on my travels. Indoor cycling was prevalent in cities like LA and New York, but there weren’t any studios in Philly.
Why do you love doing business here in Philadelphia?
Originally from Brooklyn, I went to Temple on a football scholarship and embraced Philly and became loyal to the city. Body Cycle is about those same principles of community and loyalty.
What’s the most helpful piece of customer feedback you’ve received?
Make sure you care about us and continue to care about us (the customer). Knowing customers’ names, keeping the experience consistent, and staying connected with customers is all part of the Body Cycle Studio experience.
Also, staying true to who we are as a business. Newer, flashier studios are coming in to Philly and it can be tempting to change, but to do so would be inauthentic and not sustainable. It’s important to stay true to the original vision.
What’s your advice for other business owners or someone who wants to start a small business?
Read The E-Myth! Implement systems into your business – work on your business more than you are working in the business. Make sure you build systems based on how you want your business to run; invest in people who are just as passionate about your business as you are.
Additionally, take the time to plan your business exactly how you want, so that you can take yourself out of the equation for occasional time-off. Also, treat your managers like your customers; they are the ones who are face-to-face with the actual customers.
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