Running Start: Get Your Fitness Biz Off the Ground

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You eat well. You’re fit and fab. You get plenty of beauty sleep. We salute you! But have you ever thought about taking your fitness fervor one step further? There are plenty of young people making a few extra dollars from their health know-how—and you could be one of them. If you’re wondering how to start your own health or fitness-oriented business, we’ve got some advice inspired by a few very enterprising (and healthy) teens. A few tips to consider before you launch your fitness or health-related biz:

1. Identify a niche and a need. College buddies and workout fiends Michelle Velasquez and Anita Mirchandani were frustrated by the lack of a quick and easy resource for locating the numerous boutique workout facilities in New York City. Sure, some people still stick to just one gym membership, but many opt for a more varied workout experience by hitting yoga studios, Pilates, Crossfit and more. For these folks, Velasquez and Mirchandani created “FiTMAPPED,” a mobile app designed to help pinpoint nearby fitness studios and gyms. In short, they saw a need, and they met it! Simple, right? Their app has hit the big-time and has been featured in the New York Times and on Huffington Post.

blogilates2. Teach! If you’ve got a gift for a particular sport or exercise regimen, why not share it? Cassey Ho was just a college student when she began taking her knack for Pilates instruction seriously. She created her first video tutorial upon graduation and eventually created a hugely successful YouTube channel: Blogilates. But her entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there—in college, Cassey couldn’t find an attractive (and large enough) yoga bag, so what did she do? She created her own line of bags, naturally. (Again, success fulfilling an untapped market!)

3. Use your unique skills to promote fitness. You can start a fitness-related business without actually breaking a sweat. Take Di Petta, for example. At just 16 years old, he used his profound tech skills to launch an app called “Fitspiration,” designed to help users keep track of their fitness goals. And just like Di did, you could use your skills to create an exercise accessory or something to keep people motivated. Identify where your gifts lie and go from there. (P.S. Don’t worry—we expect you’ll get plenty of exercise yourself as you pound the payment advertising your new biz!)

4. Use technology wisely.
Technology should be your BFF if you want to launch a successful business. Lizzie Marie Likness must have known this with her own start-up—a website aimed at teaching kids how to eat better. She included demos and tutorials, as well as a newsletter and even her grocery list! And it worked. At just 13, Lizzie has appeared on the “Rachael Ray Show” and has her own web series on WebMD. So let this be a lesson—embrace the publicity the web can provide. Maybe you’ve got some fitness moves that deserve their own tutorial!

5. Make it a passion project. Who says your project has to be for-profit? At age 14, Andres Cardona founded the “South Miami Basketball Academy” to teach kids basketball skills as well as general physical fitness tips. His project stemmed from his own love of basketball and his desire to provide a healthy outlet for kids who may have experienced trauma in their lives. With a motivating force like that, we’re betting Andres keeps his business humming. And though he doesn’t charge the kids for his program, he organizes tournaments and competitions to raise funds. If there are fitness needs in your own community that you’d love to meet, follow Andres’ lead and kalee-soreycombine your passion for sport with your desire to help a population in need.

6. Create a great blog. A blog presence is a fantastic way to spread your message about fitness and healthy habits, be it exercise or eating. Kalee Sorey did just that, crafting a blog that tells the story of her journey to becoming a certified “Beachbody” coach, as well as tracking her fitness goals and even meal plans. Keep your blog up-to-date with fresh material and cross-reference with other social media outlets to ensure your message finds its audience—and help pump up your business muscle!

Also, be sure to take a look at our more general tips for starting a business here and here.


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