Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Castagna-Rogers.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After 17 years as the General Manager of a full-service fitness center and spa, I decided to resign and follow my passion, personal training. Although this was a scary “leap” to take, I knew I needed a life change and wanted to grow my true talent.
In October of 2014, I opened On Course Training and Fitness, a private, upscale personal training studio located in Mashpee, Massachusetts. I wanted to offer a unique experience; different from the traditional gym setting. The components most important to me are One-on-one attention with no distractions, privacy, focus, cutting edge training techniques and an IMMACULATE environment.
I hired a web designer and professional photographer, I utilized social media and online marketing tools to build my business. Most importantly, I offered complimentary sessions as my schedule allowed to anyone who showed even the slightest interest in personal training. Very quickly word spread and I was busy, very busy!!
As my business grew, I listened and learned from community feedback. Many people conveyed that they would love to work with me but couldn’t afford a personal trainer. So, I added small group conditioning classes to my schedule. My first class in 2015 had two people enrolled. I was paying a sitter to get my kids off to school so I could teach the class… it was costing me money. However, I knew I had to teach that class or it would never grow. Present time, I offer multiple small group conditioning classes and they are full.
As the demand for one on one sessions grew, I decided to offer partner sessions. This allowed me to accommodate the demand for training while offering customers a discounted session. I carefully match clients with a partner that has same or similar needs and it has been very successful.
Following my dream has been a journey I will never regret. I am committed to what I do and wake up every day excited to get people healthy. I invest time and money into educating myself and keeping with the market trend; fitness is constantly evolving.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Self-employment is not always a smooth road. Cape Cod is seasonal; May through October, I am crazy busy and November through April there is a slight drop. I normally take time during the winter to breath a little, educate myself and promote my business. I have found this to be critical in keeping steady 12 months a year and attracting new clients. If you wait until business is slow to start promoting yourself, you have waited too long.
Competition… there is always competition out there. Use new, competitive businesses as an opportunity to critique your own. Are you offering your customers the BEST experience and products. Do you need to “step it up.” I am always looking at my business and finding ways to make it better and deliver more to the client. I believe the moment you “sit back,” someone will take your seat!
Have courage and believe in yourself. It can be scary to say goodbye to a steady income every month. If possible “try out” your business on the side and see what type of feedback you get. You will quickly realize if you can make a go of it on your own. Keep a clear, positive mind and set goals. In the early stages my goal was to give at least two complimentary sessions a week. At the end of the month, that was 8 sessions I gave away but more than half became clients. Sometimes, you have to give a lot in the beginning to see the end value of your time.
Please tell us about On Course Training and Fitness.
My career began 25 years ago when I became a Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Aquatic Exercise Instructor. I quickly realized I loved the industry and became a Certified Personal Trainer. I have instructed and trained in many facilities throughout Boston and Cape Cod. I also competed for many years in Natural Body Building. I won numerous bodybuilding competitions in Newburyport, Boston, Plymouth and Cape Cod which allowed me to then compete nationally. In 2003, I won the national title and became the female champion in my class.
Since then, I have continued to educate myself and have completed numerous certifications in many aspects of fitness. Most recently, I completed the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) golf conditioning certification and now offer sessions devoted to flexibility, range of motion and overall conditioning specific to golfers.
I specialize in all aspects of strength training and conditioning for youths and adults. I work with a varied clientele which includes mature clients over 70 years of age, clients with special needs, Parkinson’s patients and stroke recovery patients with the majority of my clients being men and women looking to improve overall health and fitness.
Every workout is customized and I modify on the fly when needed. I have been complimented on my ability to work around pre-existing injuries and have people doing things they never imagined.
What sets me apart from other trainers is my experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm. I know what it takes to see changes and I bring that knowledge to every session. The location, feel and energy of my studio offers a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I am constantly reading, searching the web and attending seminars related to fitness. No favorites at this time.
- Small Group Conditioning Classes $159 monthly
- Individual Training packages available
- Partner Training packages available
- Website: www.OnCourseTrainingAndFitness.com
- Phone: 508-280-0595
- Email: Cheryl@OnCourseTrainingAndFitness.com
- Facebook: On Course Training and Fitness
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