Prestige Fitness of Highlands County
“We chose to launch this type of business because my business partner and my board of directors are really passionate about fitness and we wanted to provide a different alternative to the fitness industry here in the Highlands County area, by doing something that’s locally owned and operated, that’s non-corporate and that was also going to serve the millennial market,” Derek Pierce, owner of Prestige Fitness in Sebring, said.
While Prestige Fitness, a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week gym that offers personal training and hydro massage, is open now in Sebring, it didn’t happen without its challenges. In fact, Pierce considers getting the doors open the biggest success so far.
“We had a lot of setbacks with the opening of this business,” he said. “We took over this building after Hurricane Irma and we had to totally rebuild this building from the ground up so the major accomplishment was actually getting the doors open and being able to serve the community and we’re really proud of that.”
Pierce also acknowledges that it couldn’t have been done without the assistance of the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, located at South Florida State College, in Avon Park. Business consultant, Michael Noel, met with Pierce in preparation for opening to ensure all the boxes were checked in order to legally launch the business.
Since opening the doors in December 2018, Prestige Fitness has added 15 personal training clients to its list.
Moving forward, Pierce is working with Noel regarding marketing strategies on a shoestring budget, as well as how to emphasis social media and utilize clients to help grow the business.
“As we grow our business, while working with Florida SBDC at USF, we anticipate an ongoing working relationship with that organization,” Pierce said. “As we grow and run into new challenges we’re going to have somebody there that’s already been through those challenges who’s going to help us get through that with the least amount of drama and to go forward to be able to expand our business in a confident sort of way.”
Pierce added that having the Florida SBDC at USF as a partner simplifies the process of starting a business and makes the whole journey “much less scary.”
“It’s gonna help you sleep at night, because you’re gonna be able to organize your thoughts and really focus on your business and the details of your business and know that somebody’s got your back when you run into those difficult moments.”