Wednesday, May 31, 2017

HATSA Guam Raises the Bar in Wellness and Fitness

By: Denise Mendiola
Senior Business Advisor/WIB Program Coordinator
(Guam SBDC)

After years living and working in Las Vegas, Inarajan native, Ray Chargualaf Jr. decided to pack up his growing family and move back home. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology, a Master’s Degree in Sports Education and Leadership and business ownership experience, it was only natural that Ray would eventually start his own business on Guam. Ray observed that there was a huge need to help people who were not meeting their fitness and wellness goals. He saw a specific niche that he believed was not available and knew that with his experience as a professional trainer, he could bring value to the community.  This was the beginning of HATSA Guam: Helping.All.Types.Sizes.Ages.  

When going into business, it is always best to use your strengths and do something you know.  Ray has lectured Fortune 500 companies on wellness and worked for some of the most well respected physical trainers in Las Vegas.  He quickly had a following of loyal clients and his reputation as an effective trainer spread.  One of his biggest career highlights was training multiple contestants on NBC’s Biggest Loser.  With all of this experience under his belt, Ray felt confident that he could provide a unique service after identifying his target market on Guam. Ray sought the assistance Denise Mendiola, Senior Business Advisor, at the Guam Small Business Development Center. “The SBDC helped me become more organized and structured with a sense of direction. It's a service I would recommend to those that need business advice.” 

While some may find business start-up daunting, Ray found the process fairly simple. “Because of my previous business experience, the licensing and permitting was not a difficult process. I used whatever cash I had to start up which wasn't much. I wanted to prove my model worked before I committed to the business long term. I had no intention of ever getting a loan because starting with debt is not the best way to become successful.”  With every new business comes challenges. Ray soon realized that the biggest challenge he faced starting up was convincing his customers that they didn’t need infrastructure, equipment, or amenities to provide his service.  “Many people need to see tangible items to know where exactly their money is being spent and I can understand that, but we were out to provide an experience. After only 2 weeks, we expanded our customers by 300%.”

Business ownership means there will be risks and rewards.  Ray shared that his most memorable triumph in the start-up process was introducing his corporate wellness program with Bank of Guam. After Ray announced the launch of his new business, the bank reached out to him after only 2 days to start an account. From there business grew to 4 more new corporate accounts. 

Ray Chargualaf has a clear vision for HATSA Guam. “Our short term plan is to launch our second phase to our program within the next couple weeks to provide a full service commodity. Our long term plan is to have a permanent infrastructure to house all of our services to our customers. My advice to others looking to start their own business is to not be afraid to take risk. Be confident and trust the process.” For more information on HÃ…TSA Guam, visit their FaceBook page: or e-mail