“I read a fabulous book about guerilla marketing. It was all about how to get clients without spending a lot of money,” she explains. “I didn’t have a large marketing budget. But as the first assisted stretching studio, I needed to educate people in a fun, appealing way.”
So, for her first campaign, Wise ordered a Gumby costume from Amazon and paid a college student to pass out flyers while stretching in the ensemble. From there, Wise’s grassroots effort took off running. Literally.
“Later on, we did a campaign with runners. We stretched them once per week and jotted down their progress. And, sure enough, they increased their marathon speed after stretching with us.”
If you ask Wise, starting a business without seed money is hard—but it’s far from impossible. “If I can do it with $500, you can do it too,” she says. “There’s nothing that can stop you from being the person you want to be—except yourself. Don’t listen to people who say you can’t do it.”
One-by-one, studios began to reopen. Instead of focusing on the challenges of reopening, Wise and her team focused on the experience. The key is to make the experience better—even during a pandemic.
“We want people to feel safe and comfortable. We recently launched a line of essential oils. Since we reopened, everyone wears masks—so we offer our clients pieces of cotton with their favorite essential oil to place in their masks while stretching,” explains Wise.
Focusing on the experience worked wonders. Kika Stretch Studios reached the same numbers they hit in 2019—before the pandemic made its unwelcome debut. Several franchisees even saw their best numbers yet during that time. A new location in California even opened for private outdoor sessions amid the pandemic (and will open more permanently in the spring).
“Now we can honestly say we’re pandemic-proof. Our one-on-one package model held strong and prevented us from canceling a ton of memberships,” says Wise.
This content was originally published here.