SCORE

By Joleen Small

 

More and more people are learning how to take care of their bodies and well-being, but they may need a little coaching to get started or stay motivated. Tarsha Gibbons helps her clients on their health and wellness journey with her company Gibbons Family Fitness. For the past seven years, Tarsha and her team of fitness and health instructors teach clients about fitness and nutrition and healthy cooking, and offer group coaching sessions and personal training. Her clients include organizations such as the NYC Department of Health, WorkWell NYC, municipal employees, various faith-based and community groups, and other corporations.

Tarsha got her start in the wellness industry when she quit her career of twelve years as a corrections officer to take care of her infant son. She had a friend who already owned a business in the wellness space and started helping out. There she got much valuable experience, and within three years started her own small business.

Although she learned most of the details needed to run a fitness enterprise while working for her friend, there were other aspects with which she needed assistance. “I needed help from attorneys to learn how to put good contracts together so that you’re not owing people or getting sued. I needed to know how to get insurance, and how to keep the books and keep records of mileage and things like that,” Tarsha explains.

 

Coaching the Coach: How SCORE Westchester Helped

Tarsha learned about SCORE through her relationship with the Small Business Administration and called SCORE’s Westchester office a couple of times with questions relating to the tax and legal portions of her business. From there she decided to start a long-term relationship with a dedicated mentor. Tarsha was paired with Anne Kasdin who is an expert in digital marketing with SCORE Westchester.

“She really made me think like a company and not just an individual that does fitness or has a website,” Tarsha says of her mentor. Tarsha credits Anne with helping her stay focused and giving her assignments that helped her move her business forward. For instance, Tarsha needed to update her website and in the process learned the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it’s used to make sure a potential client can find her web page while searching online.

“The amount of direct and targeted help that I got from Anne, I am sure I could have saved a whole lot of money and frustration if I had worked with her from the beginning,” says Tarsha.

Tarsha’s business is thriving and has even managed to stay in operation without a hitch throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  She credits SCORE Westchester for all the help that they have given her, so much so that she is telling every entrepreneur she meets about its services. “If they knew about it, I think they would have a better chance of being successful and maybe avoiding some common pitfalls of new businesses.”

Gibbons Family Fitness