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The Best Investment a Small Business Owner Can Make

By Marsha Friedman

May 30, 2014 ( newswire) Our company culture has always been health-conscious – maybe because I've developed so many natural health marketing plans over the years. I've found that when you make healthy choices easily available and make them fun, people get interested.

So our office supplies include jumbo jars of vitamin C and Echinacea in the kitchen. We've had afternoon juicing pick-me-ups and our staff took on a 10-day “fast” challenge – a truly bond-building experience of nutritious algae shakes and supplements.

But it wasn't until one of our clients, Dr. Brett Osborn, came to visit that I got the idea for offering the staff free memberships to the new, state-of-the-art Florida Hospital Health & Wellness Center just down the street. It's a beautiful, 50,000-square-foot facility with Technogym equipment, an aquatic center, exercise physiologists – the works.

Sure, lots of corporations have gyms right in their buildings, but for a business like mine with less than 25 people, that's just not practical. When we first moved into what seemed like our spacious new digs two years ago, we turned one of the offices into a little workout room. But that didn't last long. My 24-year-old business has been growing a lot in recent years and we've had to tear down walls to make room for everyone.

Then Dr. Osborn visited the office. He came to discuss the book promotion for “Get Serious: A Neurosurgeon's Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness.” He's a neurosurgeon, obviously, but he's also a certified anti-aging specialist and body builder.

Dr. Osborn spoke about the role weight training plays in reducing inflammation – the source of so many ills – and said building muscle is the absolute best disease prevention. We had a great time picking his brain about exercise, physiology, nutrition, etc., and he gave us fascinating answers. I noticed nearly everyone on our staff was intently engaged.

It got me thinking: I really care about our team. When they're happy and healthy, I feel good. I also know how much better my husband and I have felt since we started our gym program, and I knew my staff could experience the same thing. So I offered free monthly memberships to the wellness center to anyone who wanted one.

Everyone signed up.

They've all been taking the opportunity to get away from their desks during the day and they come back upbeat and energized. That, of course, is great for everything we do – from client relations to creativity to communications among co-workers.

Best yet, they're all getting fit and, as Dr. Osborn says, that's the best disease preventative there is.

Is there any better investment small business owners can make than the health of their staff?

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 24-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI P.R. (, a top public relations firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to businesses, professional firms, entertainers and authors. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and can be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI's PR Insider. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

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