We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Lori Price a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Lori, appreciate you joining us today. Parents play a huge role in our development as youngsters and sometimes that impact follows us into adulthood and into our lives and careers. Looking back, what’s something you think you parents did right?
Many parents may have parting words they say as their children leave the house for school or to hang out with friends or even when they are dropping them off at camp or college. When I was growing up, any time I was leaving the house, my mother said, “Be nice.” She might have started with something like be careful or be safe, but be nice was always the last thing she said to me. If I’m honest, I might have rolled my eyes from time to time upon hearing it. I thought to myself “Why would I have to be reminded to be nice? Doesn’t that just happen?” As I got older, I learned that it doesn’t. For much of life, we live transactionally, moving from one thing or place to the next without processing others in our environment. While most of us are not outright mean to others, we’re typically not intentionally nice to those with whom we interact. Grabbing coffee from the barista or ordering food from a server without looking at their face. Walking down a street with our heads turned toward phones in our hand. Stepping into waiting areas without noticing those in the room. I make an effort not to do these things in great part because my mother drilled into me an understanding of the need for us to really see others, value them and give them the respect that comes with kindness. Of course there are days when I’m just as transactional as the next person, but I have learned that kindness can go a long way.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I conjured up the nerve to walk into Jazzercise Lake Highlands on May 3, 2017. For nearly a year before then, I Googled and re-Googled “dance fitness.” The location on Northwest Highway kept coming up in the search results. I bookmarked the page on my laptop and visited the website numerous times to look at the schedule, read about the class formats and check out the music playlist featured on the Jazzercise website. Still, I was nervous about walking into a boutique fitness center. I was a former runner who was overweight with no cardiovascular endurance and completely stressed out. On the morning of the day I went to my first class, I looked in the mirror and thought, “No more.” After that first class, I went back every day that week. I did the same thing the next week and the week after and so one. Before long, I created a routine of attending Jazzercise classes six days a week. A month went by. Then two months. Three months. Six months. The routine had taken root. I planned my days around classes. I went from dancing at the back of the room to the second row, just feet away from the stage. Along the way, I lost 18 pounds and got incredibly strong from the strength work that’s included in every class. And just like that, Jazzercise became my thing. A year to the day of that first class, I team taught my first Jazzercise class as a certified instructor. On March 1, 2021, I became the owner of Jazzercise Lake Highlands. My vision is for every person who tries Jazzercise to fall in love with it the way I did.
Founded in 1969, Jazzercise is the original dance party workout that blends dance, cardio and resistance training to develop fun and effective fitness routines set to today’s music. Jazzercise, Inc. is an international company with more than 8,500 franchisees teaching more than 32,000 classes a week in 25 countries.
Jazzercise Lake Highlands, located at 10675 E. Northwest Highway, is a franchise of Jazzercise, Inc., that provides a welcoming, non-intimidating environment for people to participate in the effective total-body fitness program that Jazzercise has developed. Jazzercise Lake Highlands is ranked by Jazzercise, Inc. as one of its top 20 premier centers in the United States. I am most proud of the loyal and kind fitness community we’ve created. Our members are the best and they make each person who walks through our doors feel as if they are being welcomed home for the first time.
We’d love to hear about how you keep in touch with clients.
A key practice we do at Jazzercise Lake Highlands with our members and customers is sending postcards. Yes, old school, handwritten, in-the-land-mail postcards. Our members probably receive five or six postcards from us each month, because all of our FitPros (the term we use for our instructors) write and send them people who attend their classes every day. The postcards might be for someone’s birthday or anniversary with us, but in most cases, they are to express gratitude to people for choosing us as their fitness community. One example of the impact these postcards make? I still have every single postcard I received as a member before I became a Jazzercise FitPro.
Let’s move on to buying businesses – can you talk to us about your experience with business acquisitions?
I purchased Jazzercise Lake Highlands in 2021 from its previous owner, who was also my mentor. The process as a good one, but certainly had its moments of being harried, hectic and uncertain. This was especially the case since I purchased the business in the middle of a pandemic. Despite the public health crisis, I felt good buying the business, because of the iconic brand that is Jazzercise and because I went into the process with my eyes wide open. My tips to someone else buying a business would be: – Be ok having candid conversations with the person you are buying from and asking for as much information about the business as possible. The seller should be ok with you shadowing them and asking questions throughout the process.
– Do financial due diligence and don’t skimp on the cost of hiring a CPA for this step. CPAs can see things in numbers and help you make predictions based on the trends and patterns they see in the revenue and profits of the business.
– Write a business plan, even if you’re not using it to get funding or capital. Putting your plans and vision on paper helps you understand the business you’re buying and the market you’re entering.
– Hire a great business lawyer and be willing to be vulnerable with them. If you don’t know something or understand something about the transaction, ask questions.
– Take your time. The previous owner and I started talking about the transaction two years before the sale happened. That time was well spent by me learning, listening, watching and, in our special case, seeing how resilient the business was even in a pandemic.
- Website: https://www.jazzercise.com/location/jazzercise-lake-highlands
- Instagram: @jazzerciselakehighlands
- Facebook: @jazzerciselakehighlands
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aboutloriprice/
Photos: Sarah Anna Hansen Hair: Carlos Andre Gray Brows: Erica Estrada at Muse Wax Studio