Cool Commerce: Cindy R. Graf
This week’s sheBOOMer is Cindy R. Graf, Owner-Operator of N2 Cryotherapy in Billings, Montana. Cryotherapy is a booming health trend that uses particularly low temperatures for therapeutic benefit. It proves to be more advantageous than your traditional ice bath. Cindy is a pioneer in the industry and is using social media to help educate and grow!
How long have you had your business?
July 6 2016 will be one year at our brick-and-mortar store. I heard about cryotherapy in January of 2014, and actually started putting the business in to motion in January of 2015. I did about a year of research before making the leap into business.
Why did you decide to start your business?
I brought cryotherapy to Billings, MT for two reasons. I want to help people manage chronic pain to increase their quality of life, and, as I am competitive in nature, I want our Billings sports teams to win!
Cryotherapy is a relatively new field. How do you educate customers and prospects about it?
The whole body cryotherapy experience is relatively new in the United States, but has been used for over 30 years in Europe. It started in Japan for Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1978. It came to the US in 2010, and has been slowly growing in popularity, mostly due to star power of one sort or another. People are seeing the service become more mainstream every week due use by professional athletes and Hollywood’s elite. It has also been featured in in various cable and TV dramas, reality shows and daytime talk shows.
On the local scene I am speaking with many groups and service organizations, and teaming up with individual athletes, gyms, and businesses to promote the service.
Where do most of your customers come from? What’s the role of social media?
Billings is a “word of mouth” town, as is most of Montana. We send out information and referral cards with each new first time freezer, and encourage sharing their experience with others.
Starting a new business with a service that is not widely known takes perseverance. Educating the public about cryotherapy has been propelled by our embrace of technology and social media. The Cryotherapy session needs to be seen by people for them to understand the concept, so I incorporated videos into my social media.
In fact, this strategy has changed my business! The best decision I have made for this business is to film video of my service to show potential clients how it works. Many people are very apprehensive about the cold. There are many questions and misconceptions about this new, innovative, natural service. Along with local testimonials and key community members’ help, I am able to educate people about the service with video
What advice would you give to other women business owners?
If you have a dream for a business, get up and get going! Do the prep work like a business plan. If you don’t know how to get started, contact those in your area who do such as your local SBA (Small Business Association). Surround yourself with key people and mentors. Invest in yourself, stay positive and don’t let anything, especially fear, stop you from reaching your goals.
What has been your proudest moment?
The proudest moments are when my chronic pain clients realize, after the longest search for pain relief, they found something that works. Also very proud of my athletes. Many of them train hard for hours, and with a 3 minute cryotherapy session for recovery we are seeing many “wins” in their columns.
With her warm heart for helping athletes and others and her cool social media skills, Cindy is well on her way to achieving her business dreams! Go Team Cryo!