BiggerPockets Business Podcast

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 60: Turning Your Passion Into a Scalable Business With Tammeca Rochester

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On today’s show, learn how to identify a personal passion and/or need, combine it with your professional skillset, and launch a business that energizes you and your community.

Tammeca Rochester sits down with J and Carol to reveal the story behind Harlem’s first and only indoor cycling studio, Harlem Cycle.

From the genesis of her idea, to hiring contractors and renting space, to her pricing strategy focused on “packages and commitments,” Tammeca shares a ton of great tips for anyone looking to bootstrap any type of business today.

Download this one, and be sure to subscribe to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast so you won’t miss us next week!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcast.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

J:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast Show number 60.

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Tammeca:
She’s like, “No, it’s because when I walk in here you know my name. It’s when I walk in here, like people start saying hi to me.” I realize it’s not just the location for us, it’s more of how we’ve been able to kind of connect with our community that is coming into our doors.

J:
Welcome to a Real-World MBA from the school of hard knocks, where entrepreneurs reveal what it really takes to make it. Whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there, this show is for you, this is BiggerPockets Business. How’s it going everybody. I am J. Scott, I’m your co-host for the BiggerPockets Business podcast, and I am here again this week with my amazing wife and co-host, Mrs. Carol Scott. How’s it going today, Carol?

Carol:
Doing so well, thank you. And listeners I’ve got to tell you, I’m so absolutely looking forward to our conversation today. We have just such a wonderful guest who is really ready to share a very, I guess, relatable entrepreneurial journey. She had a super successful corporate career, balancing that with being the mom of a young child, and she saw a business need really based around one of her passions. So she was like, “I want to do this business.” So she wrote up a vision, took it to the banks, the banks shut her down, but she’s like, whatever, I’m doing whatever it takes to make this happen, and she really did, super inspiring.

J:
Yeah. We really looking forward to this interview. So our guest today is Tammeca Rochester. She is the founder of Harlem Cycle, which is a fitness cycling studio in Harlem, New York. And yeah, as Carol mentioned, she started this basically as an opportunity to solve a personal frustration that she was having with local fitness studios. And this desire to solve that problem grew into a business, and that business is now starting to expand throughout Harlem, throughout New York.
And yeah, great, great interview. Tammeca talks all about how we deal with partners or how we should be dealing with partners, how she’s bringing her son into the business. She talks about the value of networking. I mean, just great tip after tip for any entrepreneurs out there that are kind of looking to make that transition from a corporate job or a regular job into the entrepreneurial world.
She didn’t start with any grand plans of having a huge business. Really, this was just an opportunity born out of a frustration that she had. Absolutely great interview. If you want to learn more about Tammeca or anything we talk about in this episode, check out our show notes at biggerpockets.com/bizshow60. Again, that’s biggerpockets.com/bizshow60. Okay. Now, without any further ado, let’s bring Tammeca Rochester on to the show. How are you doing today, Tammeca?

Tammeca:
I’m good, thank you so much for having me.

Carol:
Tammeca, thank you so much for joining us today. We are so looking forward to your conversation. So I have to tell you, before we had this chat, I went out to your website and I was blown away by so many amazing reviews. And a couple of recent ones, I’m guessing you’ve read them of course, but I want our listeners to hear them. Okay?

Tammeca:
It depends on how recent.

Carol:
Exactly, it’s good stuff. So one is, “Energetic and positive workout, great pace. Just what I needed after three months of quarantine and eating.” Got to love that. We’re all feeling that, right? And then the next one was, “So glad Harlem Cycle is offering these livestream classes and keeping us strong through the lockdown, go Harlem Cycle.”
So I think it’s just the greatest thing that you are clearly making an outstanding impact, not just in your local community, but by doing virtual lessons and people in lots of other locations as well. So can’t wait to hear more about your success in doing that. So before we get to the backstory of how Harlem Cycle started, can you please just let our listeners know what is Harlem Cycle?

Tammeca:
Yeah. So Harlem Cycle is Harlem’s first and only indoor cycling studio. We’re a fitness studio that focuses on indoor cycling, but we do have some map-based classes, signature classes that focus on low intensity interval training.

J:
That is awesome. Okay. I need to stop right here and just … I just need to reinforce how awesome that was. We’ve done 50 some interviews now on this show, and that was the perfect example of an elevator pitch, a perfect elevator pitch. I would tell every entrepreneur; you need to have that couple sentences that 15 to 30 seconds just absolute nailed down pitch.
When somebody asks you what you do or what your business does just to be able to break it down that cleanly, instead of saying, “Uh, well, we sort of do this.” So just, I think that’s … there’s your first lesson for anybody out there listening, you have your elevator pitch nailed like that. That was awesome.

Tammeca:
Oh, thank you, thank you. I always say it has to be two sentences or less, no one has attention span anymore. Two sentences or less.

J:
Absolutely. Okay. So I want to get to Harlem fitness and talk about Harlem fitness, but before we get there, I’d love to kind of jump into your backstory, figure out where you came from and how you got to start Harlem fitness. So can you tell us a little bit about your back story?

Tammeca:
Yeah. So I’m originally from Jamaica. We came over to the US when I was younger, but I grew up in Atlanta. And so growing up in Atlanta, the thing to do was ride your bike. Like all the time, you knew where everyone was because of how many bikes were parked at their driveway. That was the thing to do was just riding your bike. So progressing through my career, so I ended up going to Spelman College for my undergraduate degree in mathematics, then Georgia Tech. So it was a dual program, five years. You leave Spelman and go to Georgia Tech and get your engineering degree. So I ended up with a mechanical engineering degree.
And then from there, I worked at Colgate in New Jersey for several years in manufacturing. While at Colgate, I decided to go to school at nights to get my MBA to transition over into marketing and that’s when I moved to New York when I made that transition. Now, when I made that transition life got hectic and crazy, and that’s when I discovered indoor cycling because of the pressure of a new job, and at the time I had just had my son. So I was also trying to kind of lose the baby weight and find a stress relieving activity.
And someday someone just mentioned to me, he was like, “You should always do things that used to make you happy.” And I thought, well, the only thing that used to really make me happy was riding my bike in the streets of Atlanta. So I had rented a bike, my son was like four months old, I put him on the bike. They had the little seat that you put the baby in on the back, and we took our bike to Central Park.
It was literally the scariest experience of my life. Like I was trembling then came back, riding your bike in New York City is not the same as riding it in Atlanta. Everyone’s training for something. Everyone’s a professional. You have to make your way through traffic just to get to the park. It was just so scary, it was just the worst experience, it completely ruined riding my bike for me. And I remember coming back to work and mentioning the story to a co-worker, and they were like, “Well, why would you try to ride a bike with a baby anyway? Go to indoor cycling class.”
And I was like, “Oh, what’s that?” So I had no idea. And I tried an indoor cycling class, absolutely loved it. It was like, wow. So 45 minutes all to myself, music, everyone’s riding to a beat. It was so much fun. And so I continued to go during my lunchtime at Midtown Studio. Now, the interesting thing is after that, the first time it was just so interesting because it was like, “Wow, this is new. I like it. This is great. I’m getting a real great workout. Plus, there’s just like this connection of people.”
But after that moment, I started like paying attention a little bit more like, okay, I don’t really liked the music that much. It was just like the newness of it that was really great. I didn’t really love the music. I loved the facilities. They were always very clean, friendly when I came in. I got all the free, good luxury soaps and things you can take on your way out. Loved all those little amenities, but I didn’t love the music, and the culture was a little weird, kind of a weird energy from it.
So I started looking for other places outside of that Midtown area that did indoor cycling. And I’d found that our local YMCA up in Harlem had a cycling class. Now, absolutely loved the music. Like it was everything I listened to growing up. We’re Jamaican, so I was just, it’s so good, reggae and reggaeton and all those kinds of music. And so that instructor always played it and I was, “Uh, found it.” Now, here was the problem, you had to come an hour before, put your name on a list and maybe you got a bike. There was no guarantee that she would even get a bike.
Facilities, there is always like a bike broken or things like that. It definitely wasn't the downtown studios where I was so accustomed to these like nice facilities and these nice reservation systems. And I thought, well, why do I always have this, like there was always a trade off. I had to settle for something. And then one day I was just out running and I thought, I'm not satisfied with my options. I think I can do this, and then what? Five months later, Harlem Cycle opened.

J:
That’s crazy. So one, you started a business to solve a problem that you had that you probably assumed a lot of other people had. So I love that. Number two, I was expecting like you were going to come on and you were going to say yeah, I was always into fitness, and from a little kid, I was like going to the gym all the time and I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. But no, this was kind of like, you had a corporate job and this was just a hobby, and you said, “I need to do this better because I don’t like the offering that is available to me, so I’m going to make it better off.” So that takes guts.

Tammeca:
Yeah.

J:
What was your thought process behind like the trade offs of, I have to leave my job to start a new business. I mean, that’s crazy.

Tammeca:
So I actually stayed working for the first year.

J:
Okay.

Tammeca:
So I managed to do that full-time. So I’d wake up 5:30 every morning. At the time, my son was four. Drag Mikey out of bed. We’d come to the studio, open up, let the instructor teach, and then we’d take him to daycare, and then I’d go to my office from 9:00 to 5:00. 5:00 on the dot, I gave Colgate no extra minutes, 5:00 on the dot I was out the door taking my son back up, and here, opening up at 6:00. I mean, we did that for a year.
I would not necessarily recommend that as a strategy for opening a business. I actually ended up gaining 40 pounds my first year of opening a fitness studio. The level of stress was just unbelievable. I mean, we were working from 5:00 AM to at least 8:30, 9:00 every single night, open seven days a week. It was super stressful. You’d come in here all the time. Every night, you see Mikey eating his dinner at the desk and playing with his toys in the lobby. It was super stressful. Physically, it took a toll on me, but after that year I knew I had to do something different. I knew I was holding the business back and I had to get out of corporate.

Carol:
Very cool. I’d like to talk even more about those early days, about that first year when you ironically gained that 40 pounds opening a fitness studio, because of all this stress and all of those steps that were necessary to get this business launched. So can you take us back to those very early days? Talk about how you found the location, about building it out, all that type of stuff. What were kind of the mechanics and how did you go about them?

Tammeca:
Yeah. So I will say for any business owner starting a business, the first thing you need to do is write down your plan. And so I was out for a job one day and saw this vacant building and it had a for rent sign. I was like, “Ooh, it would be great if there was a cycling studio right here.” And that was really what started me thinking about there should be a cycling studio in Harlem, like right here up the street. You run to, go right back home.
And so I reached out to actually whoever the broker was on the building and just ask them about, like what’s the pricing for a space like this? How much is it per month? They came back with a number which seemed outrageous, just completely outrageous. As I was talking to the broker, they were like, “Well, what are you trying to do, maybe I have something else in mind?” And I was like, “Well, this is what I’m trying to do.” And I was like, “Give me a week, let me get back to you with real details on what I’m trying to do.”
I took that week, wrote my business plan, but most importantly looked at financials. So he’d given me kind of a general ballpark of what commercial rent would be like in the city, and so I used that as kind of the starting point for the financials. Definitely looking through it, understanding that in the first year you’re not going to have 100% capacity. Maybe you’ll have 20% capacity. Like what does that really look like? Can I survive? That also told me that I needed to stay at my job for a year.
So I really took the time to write out the plan, look at the financials. Then I called him back in a week. I was like, “Hey, can you show me some stuff? Here’s my budget.” So that was the biggest thing. I couldn’t tell him what I wanted when I first spoke with him because I had no idea what I wanted and what my budget was. So I came back with him with here’s my budget, now can you show me. Then from there, I put in like three applications at different locations and they asked for everything.
I tell people to this day, I'm not even sure if Mikey, if he's still mine, because I had to commit so much to getting a location. They asked for everything. All of your taxes, anything that you've ever owed. So make sure you have that documentation ready because they will ask for it. But then from there, I reached out to a design agency, and they're critical in the city, not sure about different locations, but in the city it's critical because you need someone who can tell you the zoning, the permit process, how to build out, how to find your contractor.
And so I reached out to a local Harlem based contractor and not even realizing it, but the moment I started looking for the space in Harlem, I was like, well, I got to keep it local. So every person I worked with had to be within Harlem. And that was also part of the mission, was like, we’re here to help the community. When I started writing the business plan, it was like, the vision is to change this community, to bring a healthier lifestyle, to do all this. And I was like, well, then everyone that works here should, at some point be invested in this community. So all of my contractors and designers all had to be from the community.
So I reached out to the design firm to give me a kind of a quote on what this would be, which was great because I had no idea, like how to do soundproofing. I had no idea how to do tiling, painting, none of those. No, I’m not that handy. Don’t let the mechanical engineering fool you, we don’t actually physically do it ourselves.

J:
This is something I really love. There’s so many entrepreneurs or want to be entrepreneurs, and I know I’m like this is well, who think, okay, before you start, you need to understand everything. You need to have your business plan. You need to know what your location is going to be, how you’re going to design it, how you’re going to build it out. And in my experience, that’s the thing that kind of keeps so many of us from taking that next step, because we feel like we have to know all the answers upfront before we get started. But what I hear you saying is this was an iterative process.

Tammeca:
It was.

J:
You made the decision, I want to start a cycle studio, but you hadn’t thought about where, you hadn’t thought about what type of building, you hadn’t written your financials out. You don’t know anything about the design or the build out. But you said, “Okay, I’ll learn as I go along.” So I mean, was that daunting for you? Or I mean, what were you thinking during this time? Were you thinking like, oh, I can’t do this or was it just yeah, I’ll figure it out.

Tammeca:
For me it was more of a, I’ll figure it out, like it can’t be that hard, right? I think this is where they always say entrepreneurs, there’s two kinds of entrepreneurs. They’re the business focused ones and then the ones that are crazy, and I think I’m the crazy one. In a sense that I thought, well, we’ll figure this out. This is not rocket science. This is creating a space for a community to do health and wellness. It’s a basic necessity, we can figure it out.
I did not even get my cycling certification to teach until a month after I signed my lease. I didn't start teaching until November when we opened up in April. I hired instructors and had them teach me how to teach. So I totally hear what the business people and entrepreneurs, future entrepreneurs are like, well, let me write this really expensive plan, and I did. I took the time to write. I took a week, wrote out the plan. I focused on making sure that I had the details that were needed to make sure that my budget was there. My financials were in order. That I could actually do this.
And then from there, everything else was out I’ll figure it out. I’ll either hire the right people or could start reading, start googling, start YouTubing, start figuring it out. And so for me, it was more of the latter of just being crazy and figuring out.

J:
Yeah. The plan isn’t so much for other people; the plan is to figure out the questions that you need to answer. And even if your plan doesn’t answer all those questions, at least it lets you figure out the questions.

Tammeca:
Exactly. So as I was writing the business plan, it really helped me kind of hone in on, oh, why are you doing this? Because I needed a space for myself to enjoy music at this, but it was, well, are there other spaces out there? I had to do the market research to see was I just not looking for a space, where there’s spaces out there and I just didn’t look for it? Or was there really a white space and an opportunity for a fitness studio in Harlem. And so from doing that research also helped me kind of define my idea, looking at how other studios were doing it and looking at what they were lacking.
And the great part about it too is, instead of waiting for myself to be the expert, Harlem cycle was designed from a consumer perspective. So not from a fitness perspective, but from a consumer perspective. So our experience and our rise are based off of what a consumer would want, which is exactly how, as I look back is how I would have wanted a studio to be designed because that’s who you want to enjoy your business. So even as I opened, my instructors were like, “Oh, you should do this.” And I’m like, “No, nobody wants that. When clients walk in, I wouldn’t have wanted that. No one wants that.”
And it’s great to always have that perspective of the people you’re trying to serve and what they really wanted, and because I was from that perspective, I think that gave us kind of the leg up when we opened. So people came in and immediately saw like that experience part of us really taking them through those classes.

Carol:
That’s really cool. And it sounds like that perspective is what really drove so many decisions in the beginning, right?

Tammeca:
Yeah.

Carol:
Because you said it, that you really, at the end of the day, you just boiled it down to, you wanted to create a space to increase community health and wellness. And it sounds like all the decisions you made in driving this customer experience were all wrapped into that overall perspective, which helped you focus in on what really needed to happen to make it a really successful enterprise. So how did you go about gathering the information about what the customers wanted, what your clients were looking for?

Tammeca:
So I actually sat down with a group of my friends and I asked them to do like a quick survey. And it was like, “If you were going to the cycling studio, what would you want?” Half of them were like, “I don’t want to go cycling.” “Okay, fine. A fitness studio.” It’s like, “All right, let’s generalize it.” And it was just to get their perspective because I realized my perspective wasn’t the only one out there, but I wanted to see what people were looking for, and there were some very common themes.
There were some common themes in what they were experiencing now versus what would have been ideal for them to continue their fitness journeys. And one of them was just looking at the front and seeing this perfectly thin person who looks like they’ve never eaten one ice cream in their life, and it just wasn’t inspirational after a while. It’s like you’re trying as hard as you can, but you’ll never look like them. So part of it was seeing people that looked and resembled them, seeing real people who have real jobs come in and teach a class and then be like, “All right, now I got to go to work.” Because you’re living that same lifestyle.
Then second, it was also the customer service when walking in and those ease of checking in, ease of scheduling. So it was like just really sitting down with a group of friends, getting their perspective, so that was my market research.

Carol:
That’s great market research. I mean, your friends sound like the type of people that you had clearly want to have as clients anyway. So why not take advantage of that situation-

Tammeca:
Exactly.

Carol:
And see what their real deal is, I think that’s fantastic.

Tammeca:
And the good news is they did not spare my feelings at all, they tell you the truth.

Carol:
See, even better. And the walls come right down. So I'm curious back in these early days, we haven't gone down this subject yet, where did the funding come from for Harlem Cycle? Was it self-funded, did you get a loan? How did that all work out?

Tammeca:
It was all self-funded between me and my fiancé. So at the time, I’d worked in corporate for about 12 years and I’ve always been very frugal, so I don’t spend a lot of money. So I had a significant enough savings that I could be able to kind of help launch Harlem Cycle. And then as the year progressed on, my fiancé had to step in several times to help me make payroll, to help pay for things that it just wasn’t happening, because when you open a business, you have to expect that there’ll be a class that you’re teaching two people, just two people.
Two people don’t make you any money, but you have to continue to pay your instructor, and you just hope that those two people will be come back and hope that they bring a friend next time. There were several months of just that, that my salary plus my fiancé’s salary was what covering that payroll. Now, I will say when I first started, I went to the banks and asked for a loan. And I can tell you as someone who has an 800 and something credit score, significant savings, they looked me in the face and was like, no.

J:
Oh, really.

Carol:
My goodness.

J:
Do you know why that is? I mean, was it that your plan wasn’t good enough? Did you not have the asset?

Tammeca:
My plan was [inaudible 00:21:28].

Carol:
Like, let’s be clear.

Tammeca:
I have no idea. I mean, you can always speculate on what it was, but I had significant savings, credit score, full-time job making six figures and still could not get a business loan at all. And they don’t really give you a reason other than sorry. Besides that, which was fine because it made me even more scrappier, made me hustle a little bit harder to make Harlem Cycle a success.

Carol:
Awesome. Yeah. You’re like, if nothing else, I’m going to do this. Not only because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s what I want to do, but to spite all of you who say that I shouldn’t be doing it, right? They’re just totally trivial. So you took us through our first year. How did you get to the point when you knew after that, I think you said it was one year, you determined that you were in a situation where you could do this full-time? Is that accurate?

Tammeca:
Yeah.

Carol:
So how did that happen? How did that transition come about?

J:
And also, I want to know where those first two customers came from. You mentioned like you taught a class with two people.

Carol:
That’s right.

J:
So how were you marketing to get those people that eventually got you out of your full-time job?

Tammeca:
So when we first opened, like our first day we did all three classes, like come in, try us, just see the space, meet the instructors. We sold out, well, sold out, but it was free. We sold out in literally 24 hours. It’s like the community wanted that. We were the first … we’re still the first and only cycling studio. And so we had six classes that they all were filled. Now, here’s the thing, I have never seen any of those people again in my life. I’ve never seen any of them.
Free people are free people. They look for free. And so the interesting thing is while we were having classes that day, we were getting sales, but these people weren’t coming in. So people were starting to like book classes nice and slow, and we’re buying packages. They were already committing to a space they hadn’t even seen yet, which was just, it was boggling to me because I met … I told you I don’t spend money, so when I do, I take my time to research.
So I would normally go in, take a first class and then commit to a package. But there were some people who had already committed to packages and they were just finding out from social media. I started Instagram and Facebook and was just putting it out there and using hashtags for Harlem and Harlem business and fitness, and that’s kind of how it spread. And then I asked every person that came for the free classes, so I can get something back from them was to take a picture while your here and share it on your social media, so at least your friends knew that you were here. It started spreading the word kind of organically about how we were here. So it was mostly social media that really put us out there. I didn’t start doing any kind of paid advertisement until a year in.

Carol:
That’s really cool. And can we touch a little bit more on one specific point you talked about in there and that’s the one of people committing to packages. Can you talk a little bit more to our listeners about why package pricing and committing to packages works for a business, because that is not always such a familiar concept with everybody?

Tammeca:
Yes. So that is what keeps us alive, packages and commitments. So this is also the thing. Fitness is a strange kind of market because I don’t lose you to another business. I don’t lose you to Soul Cycle or Flywheel or the YMCA or to another studio down the street. I lose you to your couch, and that is a hard thing to compete against. So you have to stay committed. If you know that you have 10 classes and you have to use them in 30 days, you will take 10 classes because you don’t want to lose your money.
Now, if you just buy one class here and your like, “Well, I’ll buy it the next time,” there will always be something else that comes and grabs your money before its time. You will always find something else to spend that extra money on before it’s fitness. So fitness is usually the last thing that people will commit to. So you have to sell packages, you have to get them to commit in advance. And it’s just part of culture that you take care of yourself last, which is really terrible.
We should always take care of ourselves first. Self-care has become a new hashtag, but it is something that is really important, but it’s always been seen as the last thing to do. So you have to make people commit, commit to a package, commit to your business, and that’s really what keeps the business going.

Carol:
Super.

J:
Wow. So it’s really interesting what you just said because we always think about how do you compete against the big boys in your industry, against the big competitors? And like you said in the fitness industry, it’s not necessarily competing against your competitors, it’s competing against laziness in the couch. And so the fitness industry has a whole set of challenges that a lot of business owners don’t have to worry about. We like to think of our product as a necessity, but a lot of people just decide, no, I don’t need your product at all, and they don’t go across the street, they don’t go anywhere.

Tammeca:
They don’t go anywhere. And it’s crazy. If you come to us is because you came to us because we’re in your community, because you see what we’re doing, because you like our rides, because you like our music and we’re still different from the other studios that you won’t like them. And so you just end up not doing anything, which is the worst for your health, and that is so hard to get you back off that couch, because now you started filling your time with your favorite shows or things you do, and it’s so hard to get you back.

J:
Okay. So we get through that first year and I know this is a huge question that our listeners are always asking is how do we know when it’s time to kind of make that leap? How do we know when it’s okay to say, I’m going to go all in on this? How did you make that decision? What did you look at? What was part of your decision process?

Tammeca:
So for me, it happened in November 2016. So we had opened in April, November 2016 I made my first $10, 10 full dollars. I could pay payroll; I could pay all of our commercial rent. I could pay everything and there were still $10 left in the account. Didn’t have to move it from my check. Didn’t have to ask my fiancé for anything. We like had paid all of our bills and that was November. And it was like a light bulb for me. When I went into the office at Colgate, I was looking around like, I don’t need to be here anymore.
It was just so much going on. And then with work, it started finding out about me having the studio. We’d gotten some really great press. And so there’s like this little micro aggressions from my boss and be like, “Oh, we know you have to run off Tammeca because you have another business.” And I’m like, “But yeah, but I’ve been here for like 10 hours, so what’s …” I feel like …

Carol:
So who cares? Yeah.

Tammeca:
Exactly. So it was like those little micro aggressions that was just adding up and building up over time. So once I made that $10, I started like really looking like, “Okay, what did I do to make this $10 so I can keep doing it and keep doing it and keep doing it? Like what made November so different?” And so by January, end of January, I had really sat down and thought, I just physically can’t do this anymore. I physically can’t do both these jobs. And we had started making a little bit more because by then we had finally made it to the best time of the year, resolution season.
The best time of the year for fitness is resolution season and we’d finally made it. So because we started literally a month after like the big swing in fitness, we opened in April, which was like right at the tail end of resolution time, and then going into the summer, is this slow period. So we really like, it was the worst time to be opening up, but we had finally made it to resolution season. I was starting to see the numbers pick up, but I also was seeing my weight increase.
I was starting to see my son being tired all the time. I was starting to see that physically; this was affecting my family. And I realized like I was holding us back. So it was just kind of a wake up call of first making those $10, but then taking a step back and kind of looking at how it was physically affecting my family.

Carol:
So Tammeca, I love how you’ve brought up so many times this whole aspect of how this is impacting your family. In many times throughout this interview, you’ve talked about specifically your son, right? Mikey. And I think it’s so incredibly powerful that he was there with you in this business since even the business was just a spark of an idea. You talked about in the beginning of this interview, you talked about riding through Central Park with him on the back of your bike. And J and I as business owners, we’ve worked really hard throughout building our businesses to make sure that our children are integrally involved. And it sounds like you have somewhat of the same outlook with your son. So is he an integral part of this business? It certainly sounds like it.

Tammeca:
Absolutely. When people say, “Who owns Harlem Cycle?” I’m like, it’s owned by Tammeca and Michael, and he’ll tell you he’s an owner. When you walk into the studio, he may be the person at the front desk that checks you in.

J:
And he’s eight years old.

Tammeca:
He’s that integral. Sometimes my front desk manager will be like, Mikey does this better than me, and I’m like, “Well, yes, yes, he does.”

Carol:
Clearly. Like, I don’t know why we’re surprised.

Tammeca:
He does.

Carol:
Right?

Tammeca:
He knows all the clients’ names. He knows how to check them in, he knows how to change over the studio in between classes. He rides during classes, and since we’ve been doing live stream, he’ll co-teach a livestream class with me. So we even have a mommy and me class.

Carol:
That is, I have no words. And of course me, emotion me, I have tears in my eyes, of course, shocker listeners, but that is the coolest thing. So you have really found all kinds of ways for him to be, not only involved in this business, but to full on own this business with you. That is really, really cool. Do you have any tips for our listeners perhaps, who, because we hear this from a lot of people Tammeca, a lot of women, especially who are always like, I want to be able to open a business, but my reality is my number one priority in addition to my full-time job is making sure my children are taken care of. Do you have any tips on how we can make sure we get our kids involved so that everybody wins?

Tammeca:
Yeah. So my first tip is don’t separate them from the business. They actually want to do it and they learn a lot. Mikey is very outgoing, very great at speaking with people and that’s a skill that we want him to have. So to me, people are always, well, what about the balance? There is no balance. Everything has to be connected. So my tip number one is making sure they are part of the business, making sure they feel invested in it with you and it’s okay to bring your kids to work. It’s okay to have them at the front desk.
There is no person out there who will be offended by seeing a little five-year-old at a front desk, checking you in and learning how to pronounce their name. Everyone thinks that’s cute, and the person that doesn’t think it’s cute, you probably don’t want them in your business anyway. So it’s those little tips. It’s like, let’s stop trying to separate things and then try to balance them separately, but just integrate it all as one and you’d be surprised in how your kids will grow from it as well as how your business will grow.

Carol:
That is so cool.

J:
Yeah. When I walk into a business half the time I’ll see the kids kind of sitting over in the corner on their iPads playing games. And then the other times I walk in and I see the kids actually actively participating. I mean, I don’t want to say that everybody has to make the same choice, but the value of getting your kids involved, not only do you like keep them busy and it helps you, but it also gives them the right mentality.
Like Mikey’s going to grow up and I know plenty of other entrepreneurs who have kids who their kids are going to grow up with this entrepreneurial mindset, not scared to go out and market, not scared to go out and sell, not scared to talk to customers and understand what it means to run a business. I mean, you can read all about that. I mean, you can go to business school and read all about that for years but doing it for a couple of years as a kid, that’s probably the best experience you can get, so love that.

Tammeca:
Best experience ever. And they have all these like kids programs to teach them business and I’m like, why would I sign you up for a kid program when you can come and learn business firsthand? So it’s all about kind of making it all work together.

J:
That’s awesome.

Carol:
Totally.

J:
Okay. So that was 2000, sounds like 2016, ’17 that you went out on your own. How’s the business grown since then?

Tammeca:
So we have grown, which is great. So the good thing is, I did realize I was holding us back. The moment I was able to step away from my full-time and focus more on the business, we saw exponential growth. Like we grew over 100% by 2017 and we’d just been growing 40, 50% since then. We’re poise now that we’re opening our second studio this year.

J:
Congrats.

Carol:
Wow.

Tammeca:
So this is great, four years later.

Carol:
That is awesome.

J:
And so is that also going to be in Harlem?

Tammeca:
Yes. So second one will stay in Harlem. We’re making sure we conquer this Harlem market first before we go outside.

J:
Got it. How big is that market you think?

Tammeca:
Well, so Harlem itself is geographically very small, but the interesting thing is I get clients all the way from Brooklyn, Long Island, New Jersey coming into Harlem Cycle. One of the things that I thought was, oh, well, it’s because we’re close to people’s home and it’s so convenient, but it’s not that. It’s one of the things as I talk to my client that comes, she used to come twice a week from Long Island and she was like, “No, it’s because when I walk in here, you know my name. It’s because when I walk in here, you play music that I want to hear. It’s when I walk in here, like people start saying hi to me.”
And so I realized it’s not just the location for us, it’s more of how we’ve been able to kind of connect with our community that’s coming into our doors. An so conquering that Harlem market first and then from there, we’re going to take ourselves outside of New York City.

Carol:
This is so cool in so many ways I can’t even stand it. So for the second studio that’s opening up somewhere in Harlem, do you have a partner that’s going to run it or how’s that working, and just kind of what are your thoughts on partners in general?

Tammeca:
No, my partner is Mikey. He’s already a difficult business partner. So before I opened the first year, so here’s my thing on partners. For partners, I think it’s very critical that you find the right fit and find the right fit not only from someone who can bring equal amount of investment to the table, but someone who brings equal amount of value to the table. So before I opened Harlem Cycle one, I had reached out to someone who was locally in the area that taught fitness and said, “Hey, I come with a business background, you come with fitness. I think, if you’ve ever considered opening up a cycling studio, I would love to partner with you.” They were super excited. It was just amazing. Yes, we worked together for a solid month before I realized this was not going to go well.

Carol:
One solid month.

Tammeca:
One solid month. Now, remember I move fast. So it only took me four months to open the studio. So within that first month, they kind of wasted my time. But I wrote the business plan and sent it over to her to review and she had no feedback, that was like red flag number one. At no point, you’re not even reading through to kind of critically analyze a business. You have … this is a person that is not bringing value at that point.
Second, she also mentioned that she did not have the level of investment needed after I had put together the numbers. She didn’t have any of the investment, not just a smaller portion, but no investment. And she also said that she suspected to be an 80% owner and 20% because she was into fitness and I wasn’t, so.

Carol:
Wow. All righty then.

Tammeca:
It’s absolutely laughable. And the interesting thing was, so it’s laughable now because I’m outside of the situation and looking back, but when I was in it and talking with her, it made me start doubting myself. I started thinking, well, maybe she has a point. I’m not in fitness. People in fitness in Harlem don’t know me. I started to really question those things, but it was all smoke and mirror. And the good thing is, once I realized that this was absolute foolishness, that I was going to pay this, have someone be a partner and they own more of the business and I do all the investment upfront. And she also mentioned she didn’t want the lease in her name, so she wanted all the liabilities in my name.

Carol:
Oh, isn’t that convenient?

Tammeca:
It is so convenient; all the liabilities would be on me. You’ve made no financial investment and you get 80% ownership. It seemed crazy, but this is one of those lessons for all business owners. I, at the time, wasn’t secure in myself to realize that I could do this because I wasn’t in fitness. And it took like seeing this level of craziness happening for me to realize that I am the best person to bring Harlem Cycle to Harlem. And I had to really grab myself in that and really focusing and realize that I don’t have to be in fitness to know how to hire good people in fitness or how to create a good business. I didn’t need that. And so when it comes to partnership, my biggest thing is making sure they can bring value and make sure hey also can financially commit because there should not just be one person taking all of the liabilities.

J:
I love that, and I think if there is absolutely nothing else that our listeners get out of this episode was that golden nugget you just said, don’t let insecurity lead you into a bad partnership or giving away more than you need to because so many of us think I can’t do this on my own and I need somebody else. And too often what they’ll do is they’ll bring in somebody that knows even less than they do, or is less qualified than they are simply because they’re just terrified to do it themselves. They’re so insecure.
And so I love the fact that you recognize that and you realized, okay, well maybe I don’t know everything, but I can learn it just as easily as this person, and I don’t have to give away 80% of the business. So I absolutely love that. Let’s fast forward to 2020, and we all know what’s been going on the last few months with coronavirus and basically places being shut down. Can we talk a little bit about how the coronavirus, the pandemic has impacted your business, and what, if anything, you’ve been able to do to kind of keep things going and deal with-

Carol:
Continue moving forward.

J:
Yeah, thank you, Carol.

Carol:
My pleasure, happy to rescue.

Tammeca:
So we’ve been closed since March 15th and you know we’re in New York City, so we still have a solid six weeks before we’ll even be open again. Here we are, what, mid-June and we still have about six more weeks to go. So the pandemic, it literally came out of nowhere for me. I don’t know about other business owners, but I remember that Friday before … this is crazy, because Friday the 13th was the last normal day in New York City.
But I remember that Friday, the head of the Harlem hospital was actually, he takes my classes on Fridays and I had two nurses and a pediatrician, they take the morning class and we’re all in there. And I was like, “Guys, what’s really going on with this virus. Should I be scared? Like what’s happening?” And they were all like, “No.” One of the designs of the studio is that you have plenty of space. There’s no one in front of you. We all sit … that was also part of the experience that I wanted to make sure that Harlem Cycle was doing different.
So we’re already plenty of space apart. Our cleaning protocols are so … when you walk in here, you’re like, “Did somebody just lysol here?” Yes, we probably did. So we’ve always been tip top when it came to cleaning. And so all my doctors from my Friday morning class, they’re like, “Oh no, you’re good. You’re fine by the law.” And then by Sunday night, I was like, I feel like we should be closed because the news, it had just escalated in 48 hours so high. So that night I like from hour to hour, I was just like, “I don’t know, should we be open? Should we be closed? Should we be open? Should we be closed?”
And one of my instructors is actually a nurse. So I called Jazz and I was like, “Jazz, what’s going on? Should we be open? Should we be closed?” She was like, “No, I think we’re good,” and I was like, then literally an hour later, I was like, “We’re going to close. We just going to have to close.” You just never know. And to me, I was like, either be close for just two days, at least we took some precaution to see what was going on. And so we closed that Sunday night and immediately Monday morning, I reached out to some of my business owner friends. And so this is also another lesson is make sure you make friends, network, connect back with your community, connect with the business owners.
I reached out to them just to see what was going on, told that we were closing. But I reached out to some of my business owner friends who own restaurants and one was, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t know how long it would be closed, but I knew that we would be closed at least for a week or two, and I wanted to make sure my clients were taken care of. So I reached out to my business owner friends, restaurant owner friend. We started filming them doing meal prep ideas and restaurants and immune boosting food recipes and providing recipes, your grocery shopping list for what you should be buying in quarantine, not just the Oreos, but the broccoli and all the other things that will help boost your immunity during this time.
We started filming and putting that together by that Monday. And then by that Tuesday, I had already reached out to my team. I was like, “Hey guys, let’s do some at home workouts to kind of get our clients moving on this week, because once again, I don’t want to lose them to the couch. I want them back.” So we started filming that Tuesday. So within a week we had produced on demand videos. We had produced recipes from some of Harlem restaurants. We had started hosting by that Thursday, we started hosting midday movement sessions on Instagram to kind of keep them moving since everyone was home now, just these free 20 minute sessions just so you can connect back with us so we could connect back with you.
And we’ve kind of kept that going this whole time. We’ve been keeping all the free IG movement sessions going. We used to always do a wellness Wednesday series within the studio where we bring in someone in the wellness business and he’d just be in our front lobby and people come in and post. So we still do that now just via IG where we may had a lot of great partnerships. And three weeks after we’d shut down, I decided to rent out our bikes. So I actually shipped out our bikes to all of our top clients, there were some-

Carol:
So cool.

Tammeca:
Cool and scary. Cool and scary. I actually thought about it within the first week, but it took me two weeks later after that to kind of finally say, okay, let’s do this. Because we put together our live stream classes and our mat based workouts and we just weren’t seeing people like jump into them. A lot of clients were like holding out like, “Well, I could wait a month. I don’t want to do a whole new workout regimen.” There were like, “Well, I could wait a few weeks before I start back.”
And a lot of them, we made a lot of calls to our clients, so that’s one thing we always do. We text, we will call just to check in and they would all be like, “Oh, this is great. I mean, I love the livestream classes, but I miss cycling.” And so I realized this is your go to work out and it’s my go to work out and that’s what I love to do. And so we decided to ship out our bikes to our top clients. Now, what made it scary is my bikes are my number one asset for my business.

Carol:
Sure.

Tammeca:
If I don’t get those back …

Carol:
Then what?

Tammeca:
… that’s the problem. And that’s why I sat on that idea for two weeks, because I had smelled it back and forth, like this is a huge risk to have these bikes in people’s homes. And so then I made a decision, okay, it’ll only be our top clients. Like clients we know will take care of us. Will take care of my bike’s, fine to regularly come to the studio. So we shipped to them. From that, it’s been about six weeks since they’ve had it. It’s fine.

Carol:
Oh, that’s so great.

Tammeca:
[inaudible 00:44:46].

Carol:
Well, it sounds like you are very thoughtful in your approach about how to, and who to work with on that program. And just a side note, you’d mentioned earlier, the importance of making friends and making connections and being so integrally involved with your community. I would suspect that just the logistics around getting these bikes into people’s homes is a challenge in and of itself. But again, I would suspect that because of your connections in the community, because of the people that you are so integrally involved with, that you were able to make that work. So I think that’s just another testament to why you have to be just a champion of everybody in the community to work together.

Tammeca:
Absolutely. As a community based studio for me it was, we can’t keep saying we’re a community based community and we don’t even know the people in our community. We don’t know the other business owners. We don’t know what they’re going through. And so that’s why we’d even continued our wellness Wednesday series where like this week alone, I’m having one of Harlem’s restaurant owners, we’re doing a cooking demo. We’ve had some of our yoga studios do yoga sessions with us.
And to me, it’s also promoting both businesses at the same time, connecting back to our clients, giving them something to do while at home. Everyone’s on Instagram right now. Everyone’s on Facebook. Everyone’s looking for something to do, something different, something fun and looking for a familiar face. So as New Yorkers, there’s a lot of us that live by ourselves.And now that you’ve been home for six weeks by yourself, it’s great to have just a familiar face, even if it’s just on the screen.

Carol:
Absolutely. And it’s not just a familiar face on the screen, additionally, you’re providing a workout for them. So it’s the best of all worlds. It’s super cool.

J:
Can I just throw in? I love the fact that you figured out how to pivot in all of this and how to keep your business going. I know there are a lot of like businesses where there may be some obvious way to kind of pivot a little bit like a restaurant might be able to do carry out or take out, but there are a whole lot of service businesses like yours where I’ve seen entrepreneurs basically just throw up their hands and say, “Nope, this isn’t going to work. I’m just going to go and sit on the couch for the next month or two months or six months and I’ll come back when it’s done.” And you didn’t do that. You said, “I’m going to figure out how to do this.”
And the fact that you can even say, I gave my bikes to my top customers, my top clients, how many business owners out there have no idea who their top clients are because they’re not integrally involved in the business, they’re not integrally involved with who their customers are. The fact that you know your customers and you can say, these are my top customers, these are the ones I trust. I mean, that’s part of the reason why you’ve been able to do this. So kudos for that.

Tammeca:
Absolutely. I’ve seen a lot of business that I haven’t heard from them in six weeks, but that couldn’t possibly be our approach for this. And I tell people, I feel like I’m working really hard during this quarantine. I might need a vacation before we open back up because I’ve been working really hard on these pivots.

Carol:
I can only imagine. So I’m just curious Tammeca, so many cool things here. So what’s next in with Harlem Cycle for the next couple of years, what’s coming down the pipeline?

Tammeca:
So we definitely having our second studio coming soon. We’re also now working on a subscription program. So look at those that other brand that I don’t want to mention, we’re coming. So we’re working on a subscription program that will launch by end of this month. And so it’s been a lot of filming and getting that together and just putting it all together. We annually have some events that we will continue to grow. We have a cardio retreat that happens and would normally happens in May, but we have to cancel this year, but we’ll be back for next year, bigger and better getting some really great partners on board for it already. So that’s the good thing, with all this time people are at home, so people are responding to my emails already. So we’re getting a lot of great partners on board for next year and getting those things already kind of solidified.
And it’s just from here, it’s growth, making our programs bigger. We’re taking an instructor training program even online now. So there are some silver linings to this whole thing. These pivots were coming, but not this fast and not this soon, but now they’ve kind of forced me to level up, level up when it came to technology, level up when it came to kind of expressing that Harlem Cycle vision to more than just Harlem. So even last night I had someone from LA in my class and I thought, wow, that’s amazing. Thank you.

Carol:
That’s cool, that’s awesome.

Tammeca:
I had someone call last week, someone from Canada and I was like, “How do you know about us?”

Carol:
Wow.

Tammeca:
But it’s really great to kind of see that this has given me a glimpse of the possibilities of where my brand can go. So we’re going to continue to pursue it and continue to push forward.

J:
That’s fantastic. And once again, just a testament to the fact that you’re not scared to learn as you go and iterate and figure out what’s working and not working. And so many of us would just be like, yeah, okay. I don’t know what to do with this whole new world, you didn’t let that stop you. So it’s just a great reminder to everybody out there. Just go try something and if it doesn’t work, try something else. If that doesn’t work, try something else because you can figure it out. So love that.
Okay. Well, this is where I would love to jump into the last segment of the show that we call four more, and that’s where we are going to ask you the same four questions that we ask all of our guests. And then the more part of the four more is where we’re going to give you an opportunity to tell us a little bit more about where we can find out about you and your business and how our listeners can connect with you. Sound good?

Tammeca:
Sounds good.

J:
Okay. So I’m going to ask the first question. So think back, what was your very first or your very worst job and what lessons did you take from it that you’ve used in your business today?

Tammeca:
When I was 14, I was Mars the moose. You didn’t see that one coming.

J:
What is Mars the moose?

Tammeca:
So he’s actually a character in kids’ books, and I had to dress up in the big furry character outfit and I had to go around to different schools, elementary schools at the time during the summer, and these were for the kids that were there for summer school. And they wanted to kind of just encourage them and keep them excited about summer school and learning and I was their favorite character, Mars the moose. And this is in Atlanta. It was like 180 degrees inside this moose costume. And the moment I walked in, all the little kids would like run and push me down because they were so excited to see me. It was literally the worst job of my life. I thought I was going to die from heatstroke every single day.

J:
Wow. I’m seeing here, so I’m looking online, I had to look that up and I’m looking, it’s a blue moose, Mars Moose.

Tammeca:
It’s a blue moose.

J:
Wow.

Carol:
And I’ve been fishing the furry mascot costume. I remember, oh my gosh, like taking the kids to Six Flags in the middle of the summer and seeing all the people walking around in mascot costumes, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, how are they doing that?” And you lived that whole situation.

Tammeca:
I lived it. I lived it for a month and then I had to quit.

Carol:
And you lived to tell about it, wow. Amazing. Okay. I’m going to take the second question Tammeca. What would you say is the best piece of advice that you have for small business owners or young entrepreneurs that you haven’t yet mentioned today?

Tammeca:
I would say take the time to write down your vision, make it clear, make sure you understand it and just make sure that no one else can fuzzy your vision.

Carol:
Awesome.

J:
I love that, and here’s the thing. So many people would say, write down your plan, write down your plan. You didn’t say, write down your plan. You said, write down your vision, and the two are very, very different.

Tammeca:
Very different. The plan will change. The plan changes. It’s the vision that has to stay the same. So for us, the vision of Harlem Cycle is being a community center, fitness studio changing lives, changing everyone’s health and wellness through indoor cycling was the original plan. Now, we’re pivoting through indoor cycling, through livestream classes, through on demand workouts. So the plan changes, but the vision stays the same.

J:
Absolutely love that. That’s fantastic. Okay. I’ll take question number three. What’s your favorite book? It can be a business book. Doesn’t have to be a business book, but what’s your favorite book that you think people should be reading that they probably aren’t?

Tammeca:
So I end up reading The Alchemist at least three times a year.

J:
I have it on my shelf, love that book.

Tammeca:
Yes. So for me, I have to sometimes when I get into like a down mood or like things just aren’t going my way and the good news is it’s short. So you can read it in like 24 hours. I have to remind myself it’s about the journey, the journey, the journey, the journey, like it’s not about the end point, it’s the journey. And so I end up reading that book when things get really tough for me.

Carol:
Excellent.

J:
Great, great recommendation. Again, for anybody out there, it’s a narrative. So it’s a story. Really, doesn’t take a lot of brain power, it’s quick, but really it’s impactful.

Carol:
Okay. And then our fourth question is you’ve mentioned earlier that you’ve always been a little bit frugal and you don’t love to spend, but I’m still curious to know what is something along the way, either in your personal or professional life that you’ve splurged on that was totally worth it?

Tammeca:
Oh, this year I bought myself this foot massage. It was like $200.

Carol:
Ooh.

Tammeca:
I use it almost every day, and Mikey uses almost every day too, so.

Carol:
That is awesome. I love that kid. He’s got it figured out.

Tammeca:
He knows how to live life, but the good thing about it is for 15 minutes I can do nothing but get my feet massaged and I could just sit there and relax. And so it’s not really about how great the foot massage is, because it really is. But it like holds me down for 15 minutes of just like me time.

Carol:
Which I would assume does not happen the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day for you ever, so that’s really good news.

J:
Awesome. Well, that was four. Now, I’d like to jump into the more part of the four more, and that is where you tell our listeners where they can find out more about you, where they can find out more about Harlem Cycle, where they can connect with you on social media and anything else you want to tell our listeners.

Tammeca:
Awesome. So you can always find me online, www.harlemcycle.com. You can always email: [email protected] On social media, we’re at Harlem Cycle across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And me personally, you can find me on LinkedIn at Tammeca Rochester.

J:
Fantastic. Those will all be in the show notes, so check out the show notes for those links. Tammeca, this was absolutely awesome. Thank you so much for joining us this week and I hope that the coronavirus is over soon, you can get back to your in-person classes and we look forward to having you back in a year or two to hear about your expansion.

Tammeca:
Yes. Thank you so much for having me, this was super fun. Thank you.

J:
Awesome.

Carol:
Thank you so much Tammeca, talk soon.

J:
That was a fantastic interview. She is so relatable. I mean, how many of us start in a regular job or a corporate job and think, okay, I want to become an entrepreneur and are able to just kind of say, “Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to go find a space, I’m going to go build it out. I’m going to figure out how to do this.” A year later, quit their job, and then four years later be ready to expand the business. I mean, it’s just such the quintessential American dream.

Carol:
It really is, and I’ve got to tell you seriously, that woman has so much energy, so many great tips, just bomb after bomb, after bomb of amazing tip of here’s what worked for me, and here’s what you should do as an entrepreneur. And I absolutely love how she spoke about the importance of being so well connected to your community. I absolutely love how she pivoted her entire business model in one week, right? How cool is that? And of course, one topic that’s so near and dear to our hearts, which is integrally involving your children in the business and having them grow up in the business because it’s way better than any type of business summer camp or business class could ever teach them, and it makes it awesome for everybody.

J:
Yeah, absolutely. And one of my favorite quotes from this episode was, “The plan changes, the vision stays the same.” And it really speaks to how important it is to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to build. It’s not so much about the detailed plan, but it really is about the vision because the vision is what’s going to lead you to success. So anyway, fantastic episode. I think we’re ready to wrap this up. Are you ready to wrap this up?

Carol:
Let’s wrap it up.

J:
Okay. Thanks everybody for tuning in. Hope you have a fantastic week. Stay safe, stay healthy. She’s Carol, I’m J.

Carol:
Now, go write up a vision and let nothing stop you today. Ooh.

J:
I like that. How about let nothing stand in your way?

Carol:
That’s like a triple rhyme, that’s a trifecta.

J:
Thank you. Thank you.

Carol:
Tammeca, you were awesome. Thank you so much J. Thank you for everything. Listeners, thank you. Stay happy, healthy, safe. Have a wonderful week. See you soon.

J:
Thanks everybody.

Carol:
Bye.

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Tresta is an app for iPhone and Android that lets you do business calling and texting from anywhere, with no hardware – just the smartphone you're already using. Tresta allows you to add local and toll-free numbers, with tons of call management features that empower you to communicate smarter and more efficiently. This is the best business phone app on the market, whether you're a real estate investor, small business owner, or entrepreneur. Growing your business is all about networking and communication, so it's important that you're available.

Tresta is offering a 30-day free trial, so you can see if it’s right for you. Visit tresta.com/biggerpockets

Mid-roll Sponsor

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Tammeca’s concise “elevator pitch” for her business
  • Launching a side business as a parent with a full-time job
  • Writing down her business plan right at the start
  • Negotiating a commercial lease
  • Working with designers to shape the look and feel of her studio
  • Putting the consumer’s desires front and center from the beginning
  • Getting rejected for a business loan
  • Why free giveaways don’t convert into paying customers
  • Connecting entrepreneurship with family (“It’s OK to bring your kids to work!”)
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show:

Connect with Tammeca

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