When a pandemic hits, Jennifer Lau hits back harder.
As co-owner of Fit Squad Training – a Toronto-based personal and group training gym – Jennifer and her team were met with a major pivot this year. We caught up with her to find out how they made lemonade, plus how Jennifer has used her drive and resilience to lead Fit Squad into Phase 3.
How did you get started in fitness?
I was an athlete growing up so fitness was always part of my life. After studying Fashion Design and working in that industry for several years, I found my way to fitness full-time. First coaching groups, then focusing on personal training before completing a diploma in Holistic Nutrition.
Tell us how COVID-19 has changed your business.
We opened the doors to our brand new facility last August and were open for just over 6 months before the shutdown. We quickly pivoted to virtual training offerings in order to service our community. From one-on-one personal training, Zoom classes and IG Live workouts, it has brought our Fit Squad family closer together. This new extension of our business has made us better coaches and allowed us to really hone in on developing great training products.
What has been the best surprise in how people have shown up for you or your business during this time?
Our community has been absolutely incredible in supporting us through this time. Many of them continued their memberships at the beginning to help us get through the shutdown. They continued to show up time after time to ensure we were able to reach our re-opening date.
During the lockdown, our community really stepped up as we ran several fundraisers to support frontline workers, Black Lives Matter, and the Save the Health and Wellness Coalition.
How are you managing the re-opening of Fit Squad Training as we move into Phase 3?
We take every challenge as an opportunity for growth. We have navigated through capacity limitations and the “new normal” in order to provide a new and improved product for our community. For example, our group classes are smaller to provide a better training experience and ensure our clients continue to receive a premium quality coaching experience.
Let’s get a little more personal. What does ambition mean to you?
Ambition means staying on course to achieve a goal while being adaptable.
Tell me about parts of your personality, skills, or approach that has helped you in your career.
I can attribute my drive and resilience to helping me in my career. Being coachable and humble has allowed me to continue to grow both personally and professionally.
What’s the one piece of advice that changed everything for you?
Learning when to walk away has been game-changing. Often we get married to an idea and it can be difficult to separate emotions when making business decisions. But learning how to has made being a business owner much more successful.
What is the easiest thing people can do to support your business right now?
We offer a variety of different small group training programs suitable for all levels. It’s a great way to see what we’re about, train with some amazing and well-experienced coaches, and check out our amazing community!