10 Questions, Shoot!
What did you dream of being as a kid?
Horses were my life for most of my childhood and I dreamed of somehow making that my life but as I got older I was more interested in being part of the medical profession. Owning and operating a women’s fitness center never once popped into my head as a child.
How does your personality play into your business?
I love things organized, and the mistake many owners make in the fitness business is to rely just on the workout component. This business is a strong mix of fitness, service and managing details.
At what moment did you decide to open a business?
I was working out in a local club that came up for sale. I loved the idea of helping women be successful. At that time, and even today, there is nowhere on the Cape except here where women can get real information, guidance and inspiration about what it takes to lead a healthy, fit life.
What inspired you?
My father and mother were people interested in life. My mother travelled the world several times and my father was a person who loved to create things. My father was secretly excited that I wanted to be in business but he wanted me to be successful on my own. They were my inspiration to get my own company started.
Describe the biggest challenge of owning a business in the town of Barnstable?
There is simply a lot of competition here. At one count, we had 17 competitors within our market segment. Standing out, and actually growing our business to the highest number of members we have ever had, says a lot about what the women on the Cape think about our concept.
Describe the best thing about owning a business in the town of Barnstable?
The women here “get it,” meaning that they are aware enough and sophisticated enough to understand that fitness is for life. Our clients have had a lot of real life experience and can tell the difference between what we do and offer and what the rest of the competitors sell.
What is one thing you would never change about your business?
I have always believed that the core of our business is to provide a safe haven for women seeking change in their lives. If I own the business for another hour or another decade that will never change.
What is your business’ greatest asset?
We have two worth mentioning. First is our business concept. We are the only club in the state that pays you to come to the gym. Come more often and you pay less; slip away and you pay more.
The second advantage we have is that my husband Thomas Plummer is recognized as the foremost business expert in the world on fitness industry and that he constantly challenges me to keep things growing, reinvent myself and to stay present in the business. Since I had this business before we met, he stays out of it except to answer questions or offer ideas as needed, but he always asks about how things are going, which is enough to keep me focused on what is important and striving to post some good numbers just for bragging rights.
What is your favorite spot in town?
Probably Mashpee Commons. It has great people watching and a few good places to have a glass of wine.
What’s one thing the community should know about you?
You may not agree with me on everything but know that I always try and do the right thing.
Susan began Woman's Workout Company in 1986. Learn more about her gym at http://thewomansworkoutcompany.com