Jeremy Jacobs of FLOAT, a four tank facility in San Antonio, TX, joins the gang this week to celebrate their one year anniversary! They just hired a new employee to fill an administrative/customer service role at the facility, and Jeremy is doing this mostly from memory! He definitely has plans to use the training notes as a foundation for an operations manual. Their local public radio station regularly promotes a throwback movie night, and FLOAT is sponsoring a showing of Altered States at the nearby theater! With a background in sales he enjoys taking every opportunity to actually speak with the public about what floating is, providing an opportunity to open a dialog and truly inform. He shares with us the early days of opening FLOAT, being incredibly fortunate to have Kevin Johnson at Zero Gravity Institute in Austin, TX just a phone call away and no problem sourcing funding and labor skills. All that luck was countered by having a terrible real estate broker whose priority was to weasel extra commission out of every angle while finding their facility location. This cost them thousands extra, as well as unnecessarily delaying their buildout over a year, but about three years of perseverance paid off in the end! They wound up with an enviable lease arrangement on a property that suits them well, but they were only about 6 weeks short of reaching their goal of becoming the first float center in the city. There have been some unfriendly/undercutting statements and actions made by other float centers in the area, but that hasn’t stopped collaborative interactions from occurring, too. Jeremy’s passion for providing high quality float experiences and connecting with his community keeps him on track and is truly inspiring! [Read more…] about Competition & Delays with guest host Jeremy Jacob
Learn more about the Float Collective in this week’s episode with their original American liaison, Dan Larsen, who is also the owner and operator of OlyFloat in Olympia, WA and the founder of his own ecovillage. You might recognize Dan from one of his roles within the collective as moderator for their Facebook group, from which he’s made an effort to devote less time to as of late – allowing himself the opportunity to find boredom again! He and the gang do a pretty good job of providing a clear distinction between the Float Collective and the Float Tank Association. Whereas the FTA aims to fill the ongoing role as protector of the industry, geared towards float tank regulations and maintenance, the Float Collective aims to be a catalyst and efficiency machine for the industry, by focusing on individual projects as needs arise with marketing, resources, and turning visions into reality. A lot of folks in the float community feel that the FTA needs to be more organized and focused, and Dan touches on this topic, reminding float centers to take their survey to help them better serve our needs. He also encourages those who aren’t already part of the Float Collective Facebook group to request access. It’s not only a perfect place to feel supported and uplifted in your journey, but it also acts as a fairly effective database for answers to questions that arise along the way. Float Collective will be joining us on the podcast every month for an update on projects they take on! Keep an eye out for which episode they are featured in the show notes. [Read more…] about Discover the Float Collective with Dan Larsen
Portland will soon see a fourth dedicated float facility open it’s doors in the Northeast side of town. Dana Highfill is the founder of the soon to be center, Float North, and this week shares the details of this journey. Dana has become a successful massage therapist over the course of her career, but heard the calling to join the float industry back in 2011 after floating for the first time. We learn about the steps that have been made along to way and what obstacles are being faced, as well as, what unique elements are helping the process move along. Float On’s apprenticeship program laid the groundwork for understanding what goes into opening a float center, including the behemoth amount of energy it requires. This realization created a bit of initial hesitation. There have been other snags along the way with securing a location, getting general contractor bids, and procuring the financial means to pay for it all, but the passion and determination are ever present. Asking questions and staying connecting with the surrounding float community has surely played a big role in keeping that fire stoked. Staying local in a fairly saturated market outweighed the potential benefit to breaking ground as the first float center in outlying suburbs; this will come in handy when build out is started; making it much easier for Dana to pop over any keep an eye on the details of construction as it comes along. Even with the Float Shoppe and Enso Float being right across the river, Float North aims to have its own flavor with the core intention to be a comfortable space where people can simply exist and share. [Read more…] about Starting a Float Center with Dana Highfill
Michelle McArthur of Daydream Social Media located in Vancouver, BC joins us this week to share some insights into social media marketing specifically for float centers. She got her start co-owning a social media business with her sister in Calgary, AB. Then, like many of us, she had dreams of opening her own float center after some profound floating experiences. After relocating to Vancouver and gaining some experience working at float centers in the area, she instead discovered that there is a need in the industry for her established skills. Delving into Facebook marketing in particular, she shares with us some of her sage advice. For the best foundation, she recommends developing your original branding, organic content, and having specific goals for ad campaigns. Embracing and promoting your own unique brand is something Michelle strongly encourages small businesses to do, and the gang explores how employee written blogs are a great way to source that unique content for float centers. Also, with images in marketing, we get an excellent reminder that pictures of people are great because people love people. Video is quickly becoming the most consumed format of media, and a helpful suggestion when promoting written blog content is to make a short video that highlights points elaborated in the blog. Above all, Michelle drives home the point that pacing yourself and focusing on quality is always the best approach with marketing.
The opportunity to explore this topic further in real-time with a group of your peers is just around the corner! Join us for the upcoming Virtual Roundtable Discussion on September 27th by signing up here! [Read more…] about Social Media with Michelle McArthur
We all feel a bit like Lewis and Clark at times, mapping out otherwise uncharted territory as we navigate the world of float center operation, but wouldn’t it be nice if we had access to some sort of handbook? Or a wise mentor that we could call up anytime, day or night? Well that’s pretty much of what the Float Collective, a largely Canadian not-for-profit organization, offers – a continually growing, members only, verified and diverse community of fellow float professionals. The only price you pay to join is a bit of time, the screening process is understandably a bit backed up! In this week’s episode, we tear into the first half of the recording from the Soul of the Industry discussion, hosted by the Float Collective. You’ll learn more about who they are, what they do, and why they do it – and what they’re talking about when they say the ‘soul’ of the float industry. This is an open discussion that naturally flows from various people’s perspectives, who are working to identify what’s at the root of common, persistent problems that float centers face. There’s a very productive conversation about why educating our communities on floating presents itself as such a challenge, and how we can better approach that. Slides from the discussion are below! [Read more…] about Soul Of The Industry Part 1 (Float Conference Workshop)