If Ideal Fitness Solutions is today a business in good physical shape, this is due to its owner: Margaret Perez.
When in 2010 Margaret Perez opened her own company, Ideal Fitness Solutions, Inc., she made it somewhat forced by the loss of her job within the fitness industry, where she had worked since 1987 and as much for her passion as a women entrepreneur.
“I was lucky because I had worked with two of the world-leading fitness equipment manufacturers, Life Fitness and Technogym USA as well as for the Bally Total Fitness chain and I played an instrumental role in the expansion of the World Gym franchise here in Chicago”, says the graduate in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“So when I was out of work due to the economic crisis, I asked myself: ‘ what will I now do with all this information and experience I had gained and with the clients that continue to seek my help?” I’ve done just about everything except for being a personal trainer she recalls.” Ms. Perez and her staff at Ideal Fitness Solutions bring a personal approach to their clients to help create, update and maintain fitness facilities. “We work within a variety of markets which include academic, multi-unit residential, hotels, corporate wellness, municipalities, and personal training studios.
“We are a supplier with a variety of solutions that offer products like fitness equipment and fitness accessories and athletic flooring as well as services ranging from consultation and layout design, delivery, installation and training to preventative maintenance and repairs.
“Our consultative approach with our customers is what sets us apart”, she stressed. IFS residential customers include OneEleven, a luxurious 60-story tower at Wacker and Clark facing the Chicago River; and Lincoln Park 2550, the first luxurious skyscraper across from Lincoln Park and overlooking Lake Michigan. UNO charter schools and Instituto del Progresso Latino also thicken the client list. “We help our customers to upgrade their fitness facilities to attract more residents, students, employees or members. We like to position ourselves as an extension of their business to help provide them with attractive fitness solutions for their clients,” says Perez. “We also offer training on how to maximize the use of their fitness equipment to help reduce any intimidation,” she adds. Since Perez, a native of Chicago, opened Ideal Fitness Solutions, the fitness sector had a great recovery nationwide.
Only in 2012, the sector reported 21 thousand 800 million dollars in revenue, according to the leading organization of the IHRSA bouquet, or International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. That represents a substantial increase over the 20 thousand billion dollars reported in 2010.
“My company is unique. When I started there were very few women or minorities in key positions. I applied everything I learned from my mentors to help grow my company”, said Perez “The first two years have been the most difficult, but being involved in many programs like the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business program has helped.” Ideal Fitness Solutions is a 100 percent woman-owned company and is a Minority Business Enterprise with the City of Chicago, State of Illinois and Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council. Ms. Perez has also involved with organizations like the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association for example, who have assisted her with contracting opportunities. “We are continuing to grow the number of customers we serve each year and we hope to continue to hire more employees because the future looks promising.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the number of jobs within the fitness sector increase by more than 23 percent over the next nine years.
Experts concur with this prognosis based on how companies and large corporations encourage employees to offer memberships in health clubs.
Thus, currently, six of every 10 Americans make exercise often in a gym, according to Physical Activity Council Topline Report, considered the authority reports of physical fitness nationwide. However, African American and Latino minorities recorded a disproportionately higher incidence of diabetes than the white population, according to the Department of health and human services from us.
As a result, MS Perez has not remained idle. “In the past, I have focused on providing good condition used fitness equipment at a fraction of the cost of new equipment to schools like Instituto Progresso del Latino and Eric Solorio Academy High School to help create a positive environment within some of Chicago’s largely populated Hispanic Communities.” “I grew up in the Little Village neighborhood and this is an issue that is close to my heart since most city schools lack space and the budget for good quality fitness facilities like those found in most suburbs.”NN (Published on Sep 5, 2014)