David Jordan is a personal trainer and director of The Fitting Rooms – an exclusive, high-spec gym in London Bridge offering personal and group training. Personal training caters for the specific needs of the client, and this ethos permeates every aspect of The Fitting Rooms. Here, David gives us his top 5 tips to get your start-up in good shape.
1. Create a business plan
“I’ve had many people ask me for advice and I’ve always told them to write a proper business plan. If your plan has not had some real thought put into it, you’ll really struggle.”
“To help secure funding and to map out your future plans, a business plan is really important. I’d recommend www.entrepreneur.com as a great tool for this. I’ve had many people ask me for advice and I’ve always sent them to this site to write their business plan. If your plan has not had some real thought put into it, you’ll really struggle.
A good business plan will also help you to keep control of your finances. As a family-owned small business, we just had to be so careful what to spend the limited funds on. We needed to market hard, but not just throw money down the drain. We needed a high spec finish to the gym and changing room design, but at the same time leave enough money to hit our break-even point.”
2. Find your USP
“With so many gyms around, The Fitting Rooms had to both provide a great service but also sought to do things differently to stand out from the crowd. We purposely chose a ‘pay as you go’ model without tying people into contracts, so we provide a service which people chose to come back to. We also developed a highly effective Shared Personal Training Model which allows people access to London’s top trainers at a fraction of the price.”
3. Put your clients first
“We take great satisfaction from our clients: watching how they progress and achieve things that they thought were only achievable by professional athletes never gets old.”
“Personal training is all about the clients. Because everybody is an individual, their personal needs in terms of regimes and nutrition have to be individually tailored too. We’re also very proud that we know all of our clients by name regardless of who they train with. It’s quite common to have clients turn up an hour early and sit and chat with staff in reception until it’s time for their session. That kind of care and attention leads to customer loyalty and great testimonials. We take great satisfaction from our clients: watching how they progress and achieve things that they thought were only achievable by professional athletes never gets old.”
4. Become an authority in what you do
“The Fitting Rooms does more than personal training. Our blog provides useful information about nutrition, health and lifestyle. I’d say this is essential to the business. You need to position yourself as an expert and a blog is a great way to show people that you know what you are talking about. Personal Training is becoming more and more holistic and you need to show that you understand lifestyle and nutrition on top of just training.”
5. Go for it!
“There’s nothing like the thrill of running your own business but most people hide behind the fear and never go for it. Trust me everyone gets scared, you just have to learn how to use it as fuel to keep on pushing through.
“There’s nothing like the thrill of running your own business, but most people hide behind the fear and never go for it. Everyone gets scared, you just have to learn how to use it as fuel to keep on pushing through. But don’t be reckless. Know your numbers and know what you have to achieve to make it a viable business!”
David Jordan on Dot London
“We’re very proud to be part of such a diverse and liberal city and felt that Dot London went well with our brand ethos. I think Londoners have a real sense of belonging so they associate more with businesses they know are local to the city.”