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Career Story: Owner Of A Children's Gym

Owner Of A Children's Gym

Job Title: Business Owner

Type of Company: I am the owner of a children's fitness gym, where we teach gymnastics classes.

Education: BA, Early Childhood Education (minor in Sociology), Simmons College •• MBA, Boston College

Previous Experience: I worked as a pre-school teacher for years before moving into the business field. I then worked for two leasing companies. We leased computer equipment and I worked as an inside sales rep.

Job Tasks: At our children's fitness gym we teach gymnastics classes to children 7 months old to 8 years old. As the owner, I am responsible for all the finances: paying bills, watching our cash flow, and keeping track of our incoming payments. We use a program that charges the parents automatically, so it's important for me to run reports to insure that the charges are done correctly. I also run reports that tell me when a customer's credit card will be expiring or alert me that a payment's been declined. In those circumstances, I contact the parent to resolve the issue.

I also teach a few classes each week to keep me connected to our program, families, and teachers. It's important to stay positive, have high energy, and be coachable. We're constantly helping each other and learning, so our program is top-notch. Customer service is vital, and I'm constantly listening to parents to make sure they get every penny they pay for. For the teachers, it's important to be a great listener, problem solver and role model.

You need to be an organized, self-motivated and flexible person to run your own business. Even though we have a corporate office, where we send our enrollment numbers and which charges us a monthly fee, I report to myself. I'm able to make my own schedule. Working with parents and children can be challenging at times, but it is extremely rewarding. Watching children gain new skills and get stronger is a thrill.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is making my own schedule. I'm able to work around my family's needs. This can also be difficult because there are times I have to work unexpectedly; but since I'm the owner, I don't have a choice. Seeing your business do well, though, makes you feel proud and makes the challenges easier.

Job Tips: If you want to work with children, taking classes on child development is important. You have to love children and be great with customer service. It's important to be self-motivated, flexible, dependable, organized and a good role model to run your own business. You'll also need to take business classes in finance, customer service, and marketing.

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