Hello, I hope you’ve had a fabulous weekend, I can’t believe that Monday has come around so quickly; there was a lot going on at Jennifer Hamley HQ last week and and I guess time does fly when we are having fun!
I’m thrilled to have another inspirational business woman to introduce you to this week. Meet Steph Roberts, a lady that has used focus, planning and determination to create a successful and growing business in a very short period of time. Steph is the co-founder of Origym; offering cost effective personal trainer courses in the UK. Founded on the principle of elevating the calibre of personal trainers entering the fitness industry through innovative learning methods, she makes sure to support students from the point of enrolment through to employment and beyond. Her business was founded in 2014 and is growing fast; I know there is a lot to learn from this lady.
Hello Steph, it’s fabulous to have you here, how are you today?
I am very well thank you albeit a little wind swept on this incredibly windy February morning.
The joys of the UK weather, right? It’s a great time to be inside putting plans together for the year though I always think. You’ve achieved so much in such a short time with Origym, what’s next for you, any exciting challenges ahead?
Lots of exciting plans ahead for 2017. We are opening our new training centre in London in the summer, which will mean that we can run full time fitness courses for our students out of that venue as well as a brand new e-learning platform launching for our online personal trainer course students to access, which has some really cool new features to make their learning experience even better. In addition we are developing some new online personal training software for those looking to have top quality training and health advice online that they can then utilise in their own gym, which is great, as it allows us to reach all corners of the globe.
Lastly we are now been backed by the government loan scheme, which will mean that students can get their fitness courses funded by the government enabling them to make a smooth transition from where they are now to the fitness sector without parting with thousands of pounds of their hard earned money.
Wow, you’ve got a lot going on! I love that you have so many offerings to suit different customer types and a lot of positive moves to grow the business. How different is the business now from what you envisioned when you first started out?
The business is very much on track to what I originally planned it to be. I wanted to run not just my own training provider but own my own premises, again cutting costs off my bottom line and giving me the freedom to run courses without restriction from the venue owners. We have opened two thus far and will be opening a third in London this summer. Although the outcome is looking very similar to what I originally planned, the methods and strategies of actually getting there has changed quite a bit. We have had to adapt to the market as it has evolved, some sales and marketing strategies did not work as well as I had wanted and as new ideas pop up, we have to prioritise different areas to what I originally intended.
Having a focus., a goal to reach and a clear vision of what that looks like is so important. To have the skill to be flexible about what it will take to get there, to move on from what isn’t working and action something else is invaluable. What do you consider to be the most important quality in business owners, entrepreneurs and business women?
I believe and it staggers me the volume of people that seem to lack it. When I founded Origym I saw an opportunity to provide a training provider that was half the price of most of the competition, but still focused on quality service, which was lacking in this sector. For me this gap in the market was clear and once I did the maths on input versus output and strategised how to market effectively I then just took action from there. Over complicating things is when you know when you are in trouble.
I’m with you there, Steph. I can honestly say that the only times I really struggle with my business is when I over complicate things and lose trust in my gut instinct.
Additionally you have to know your strengths and work well within them. For areas that are fundamental, yet not within my skill range, I would ensure I had top quality, reliable staff around me to supplement and excel the business in areas where I would need it. Some people say you should work on your weaknesses, however within business, time is precious and there is always an expert within a certain domain. The skill is identifying the right expert to become part of your team and place trust in them to get on with tasks in hand.
Understanding your business as a series of processes and then creating a simple operational solution for each process such as sales, marketing, fulfilment, finance etc you start to create a very structured business model that works.
A fantastic point. It’s so easy to think that we need to do everything ourselves in the beginning. Often making the mistake of thinking it will save money, not realising what our own time is worth. Speaking of money, how long were you in business for yourself before you moved into profit?
Honestly, virtually straight away. With our industry and how we set-up, there are not massive outlays that you might find with tech or website based companies, where they can have huge burn rates. I made back my initial investment back within three months of starting and we have re-invested quite a lot back into the company to improve our services, hiring of staff, quality of resources and new venues for example.
That is very impressive Steph. Your research, planning and focus really paid off – some excellent points for us all to focus on. I wish you and Origym all the success for the future and look forward to seeing where the business will take you next. Thank you for joining me, I look forward to seeing you on Thursday to find out ‘What’s in Your Handbag?’
Steph’s journey can be followed across social media on with these links here
Be sure to say hi, and join her on her as she grows this fabulous business. If you, or anyone you know wants to build your own business as a personal trainer – definitely get in touch! Steph has very kindly offered our readers a huge 20% off any Origym personal trainer course (and remember that you can get government help with the cost in the UK too) – just let her know that you got to know her here on the Jennifer Hamley blog.
Until next time, have a fabulous week and keep doing amazing things in your own career,