It’s not easy to start your own business. Between finessing an idea, finding the necessary resources (materials, space, staff) and drawing in customers, it’s no wonder most start-ups fail. If you want to make money and succeed in the long-run, you’d be smart to follow the advice of Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, who co-founded cult fitness brand SoulCycle. In seven years, they’ve taken their company from one studio to 19 and counting, and they’ve inspired countless devotees to get fit in NYC and across the country. Play our game to get their advice on how to find a better job and, ultimately, start your own business.
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Rice, on setting up shop: “For our first location, we thought a lot about accessibility. We wanted to be near several trains and an express stop. Then, for future locations, we focused on brand quality and what people were going to see.”
Cutler, on dealing with setbacks and delays: “If a location doesn’t open on time, we do our best to hold additional classes at the nearest studio. In Miami, we did a pop-up shop while working on setting up the permanent location.”
Cutler, on securing funding: “If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to be really creative about how you use your money. American Express is an incredible resource for small businesses; they allowed us to up our credit limits at a moment we really needed it. Depending on your financial situation, some banks will also do unsecured lending up to about $100,000, which can help move the needle.”
Rice, on competition: “It really ties back to having a strong belief in your core brand. We look at every ride as a mini production to the time you approach the front desk to the time you walk out the door. We spend all our energy focusing on customer service, training our teachers, building beautiful facilities and continuing to evolve the brand. At the end of the day, anyone in the marketplace encouraging people to get healthier and exercise is a good thing.”
Cutler, on achieving goals: “Different milestones touch you in different ways. I remember closing the doors of the studio for the first sold-out class and the stereo was on… We couldn’t believe we did it; that was probably after about four months.”
Rice, on being an entrepreneur: “You need to know how to do every job. Elizabeth and I know how to launder towels, fix bikes, look at an Excel spreadsheet… All of that. Don’t worry about making a mistake. Just pick up and move on.”