New Entrepreneur (NE):
Name & surname: Valeska Kostrova
Sector of activity: Sport and fitness
Did you already start your business? No
Name of business/website: Gym Power
What is your future business? Gym
Host Entrepreneur (HE):
Name & surname: Rui Moreira
Sector of activity: Sport and health
Experience in running a business (in years): 7
Name of business/website: Sport & Health Club ApS
What is your business? Sport and health club
Period of exchange: 10/09/2022 – 31/01/2023
Duration of exchange: 4,5 months
Valeska wants to open up her own Gym – to do so, she learned from Rui:
My name is Valeska and I currently live in Austria. I have had a passion for sport since I was a little girl and I want to pass it on to more people. For me the confidence is in us, but only if we make the effort, because the best things are worth the wait.
I want to create a gym where people can work out on their own, in groups and with the help of a coach. I want to help them feel good, both physically and mentally. To test their strength, dedication and fight.
Of course, having your own business and being independent is not an easy task. Beside the financial aspect, I think the most important element is desire. If it’s not there, excuses follow, but if we develop it we will learn to walk, to run, and at the end to compete.
My journey started when I found out the program from its website. As usual, I was browsing and looking for something and it came up. I read briefly what it was about and went on with what I was doing. Over the next few days I kept thinking about the program and when I was able to find more time, I sat down and read more in depth. Then I started preparing the necessary documents and the rest is history. I didn’t pick the host based on any demographic criteria, it was important to me that we had similar and complementary goals.
In the begging of the process, I was a little nervous about the unknown, but that quickly passed and I’m glad I took that step, found a suitable host and was approved to participate.
It has always been interesting and enriching for me to visit new places. I love nature, architecture, and every country brings a huge difference in that. Maybe I feel the emotions of the good and the bad of a new environment together. For example, meeting people with a different culture and upbringing has its own uniqueness and difference and can show and teach us many things, but at the same time, it is so different from the way we have lived and been raised that to some extent it makes me feel out of place.
During the exchange, me and the host performed various activities, which were related to discussing and researching different services for both sport clubs to reach more customers and help them to achieve their goals for healthy body and figure and reduce the risks of certain diseases. I also explored my gym competitors, their pros and cons and the host guided me to create a strategy how to differentiate myself from the competition. We also discussed my goals – different machines for more variety, classes for different people and preferences, childcare services for the mothers who want to get rid of the unwanted fat during pregnancies but don’t have time, personal trainers, advertisement, promotion, free sessions and trainings promos. We created templates for contracts, memberships and cards design and a system for customers charging. I worked with gym management software to have a better organization of work and to easily manage and monitor my future business and performance. I was part of the host’s training and personnel meeting to learn how to manage them. Together we visited the host’s sports club, as well as other clubs and gyms, worked with documentation, went to different meetings with partners together, edited my business plan, shared ideas, experiences and knowledge from each other, discussed our future and current concerns related to the development of our businesses, etc.
I learned a lot of new things for business implementation, staff management, price calculation, contracts, how to work with gym management software, how to achieve more customers, how to promote my gym, the services I will offer, etc. The host always mentored me and shared his knowledge and strategies with me, found a lot new services to offer and also learned some techniques for working from me.
The whole exchange went smoothly, no problems arose. There was a great understanding between me and the host. I met a lot of new people – users and business owners. They were all very individual – guided by their needs or the needs of others, supercilious, kind and covertly well-meaning, others for whom success is like a fix idea, etc. I find something beautiful in this because I understand how different and unique people are and because of someone’s actions, we can take a lesson for ourselves.
I certainly gained a lot of knowledge, in many areas. I realized that with entrepreneurship comes great responsibility – for the development and success of a company, for the well-being of staff and customers. An entrepreneur has to think about dozens of people.