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Budgeting while building your side hustle: 4 Tips from the Founders of The Yard Fort Lauderdale

Nov 12, 2021    |    Tropical Financial Credit Union

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Ever wonder how you can build your side hustle and still have money left over? Kaylei Ibarra and Sharon Reid are doing just that. Kaylei is a full-time mom, full-time fitness trainer, full-time spin instructor, and Get Lit Ambassador. Sharon is a former film producer, former swimmer, full-time coach, full-time Fitness Trainer, Lulu Lemon Ambassador, and full-time Spenga Fort Lauderdale/Anti-Gravity Fitness CT Instructor. Together, they are the founders of The Yard, Fort Lauderdale, a fitness boot camp by women for women - outdoor pop-up workouts guaranteed to shake it up!

While working full-time, Kaylei and Sharon saw a need to create a space to help women de-stress outdoors during Covid. Gyms can be intimidating. Women need a space where they feel welcomed and can build community. The Yard FTL is open to all women, no matter their shape, size, or orientation. Kaylei and Sharon wanted to create an inclusive atmosphere. The classes are designed to have fun without judgment and have catchy titles like Rump Shaker, Milk Shake, Wake and Shake, and Buns and Guns.

Kaylei and Sharon share how they did it with the Get Beyond Money hosts. Here are their top 4 tips for budgeting while building your side hustle.


Tip 1: Determine what sets your side hustle apart from the competition

Kaylei and Sharon wanted to "Shake it up” by using an outdoor land space and verifying each workout. No equipment needed. The spaces are very accessible. The Yard FTL emphasizes classes being inclusive and affordable for those who can’t afford a gym membership.

These ladies found a Zen green-style space for their pop-up. Attendees can enjoy a view of downtown Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale Beach, creating a relaxing mind space for working out. This type of atmosphere encourages self-care mentally and physically. In addition, all workouts are music-based.

Tip 2: There will be waves and ripples when opening up a business

For the founders of The Yard FTL, at times, the waves and ripples were intense. Kaylei and Sharon are in a saturated market. In Miami and Fort Lauderdale, it is always “hot-girl summer” season. Standing out from other workouts and finding community is the basis on which the business was built. The Yard FTL opened in October 2020 while in the middle of the pandemic. Having pop-up workouts outdoors means having to maneuver the weather and pivot where needed. Sometimes they would record a workout and post to Instagram if they were not able to physically meet.

Tip 3: Determine how to target your marketing effort

According to Kaylei and Sharon, you need to plan your marketing at least 3 months in advance. Networking and being out in the community is essential to making your business grow. Instagram is an excellent platform for promotion. Meeting people and building your community is vital to your business’s survival. Wearing your swag helps promote your business, too. Kaylei and Sharon suggest thinking of creative ways to get your name and your brand out there. Meet and greet people - be present in the community and create relationships. You need to make time to make it work. You need to be organized, planned, and dedicated.

Tip 4: Figure out Finances

When Kaylei and Sharon started The Yard FTL, they started on a shoestring budget. Luckily for them, there was no overhead. They could keep costs low, use word of mouth for promotion and eventually bring in sponsors to help purchase whatever equipment they used. They surveyed members to see what types of workouts they wanted. The Yard FTL provides free parking by using their connections.

What are their secrets for success?

The lovely ladies of The Yard FTL suggest that you remain patient. Your side hustle may not succeed right away. Trust and believe in what you are doing. Get to know your community, your market, and your competition. Have stellar customer service. Continue relationships outside of the business, support people and the community. Your business needs balance. Modifications help make everyone feel included. The attendees of The Yard FTL can consistently expect lots of dancing and a place to be their authentic selves. As business owners, Kaylei and Sharon understand that when you are uncomfortable with your business, that’s when the change happens.

Some gems of wisdom from the ladies of The Yard FTL

Spend your money on marketing and getting people in the door. It will be money well spent. Get merch, the right equipment, and know your community. When it comes to marketing, do your research and understand the cost.

Attendees can often enjoy a local Farmer’s Market after the workout. Bathrooms, security, and lockers are provided to keep the ladies safe. Learn more about The Yard FTL by following @TheYardFTL on IG and Facebook. You can also follow the ladies on the ‘Gram: Kaylei at @Kayleidee and Sharon at @Urbanstatic.

Ready to budget to build your side hustle?

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