What inspired you to start a business?
I run a marketing company and have been working for several residential fitness bootcamps for years, helping them from launch phase onwards.
Having been on many bootcamps myself, I am passionate as much about the mental transformations they facilitate as the physical changes I had seen.
These mindset changes seemed to be especially powerful in women facing big challenges or upheavals in their personal lives or who were stuck in that cycle of self-loathing and criticism about their weight. Our relationship with food and our bodies is not always a positive one and that can spill over into all aspects of our lives.
I wanted to simply get more people to think about bootcamps not just for weight loss but for getting stronger emotionally. To find the support, skills and indeed courage to change their own limiting beliefs and replace that internal nitpicking voice with an empowering one.
There was no central agency to help make researching and choosing between over 50 bootcamps simple and quick. So I set up www.bootcampdeals.co.uk
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
I love that feeling that that everything is possible, the ability to continually improve and watch something grow. The challenge is to operate on the business as much as in it, and remembering to reward myself for successes and learn from the failures. Both are important to keep the balance.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures?
What happens today gets dealt with today, and move on from it tomorrow. Not everything goes right, that’s for sure. Hindsight is a stick you can easily beat yourself with. So it’s important to keep everything in perspective, learning and then starting every day without carrying “baggage, just enthusiasm.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
I’m currently changing the financial and marketing model for the business and how it operates with member bootcamps. This is both a risk and an opportunity. Sometimes we’re guilty of trying to shoehorn growth into the structure we originally set up and that’s not always the best solution. As the market and customers change, the business model has to be flexible (as well as the business owner!) and that means investing.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
I’ve had many mentors and coaches for all my businesses and each has provided personal support as well as business advice. When there is trust and respect, those times you when you want to hear a yes but they are saying no, or suggesting a rethink, are crucial. I try to build time into my schedule to read or listen to podcasts too. I love those lightbulb moments of clarity!
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
You must give in order to receive! I’ve found that some of the contacts I made networking that stretch back decades are only just making a difference (to both of us) today. There is not always an immediate return so look on it a as a long term strategy.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
I try to do a review every 6 months and look at the business as an outside consultant would. Where is the growth opportunity, where are the barriers to growth and how can everything be made more efficient and robust first, before we grow further.
I’m looking for ways to improve (for the customer experience), deliver more for less (to myself and partners) and financially (of course) how to cross-sell, upsell and resell. This business is niche and effective. We aren’t planning world domination but one of the spin-offs from it might!
What does the future hold for you?
The business is going to expand to cover worldwide bootcamps and possibly other “softer” fitness retreats.
Personally as a marketeer and entrepreneur, I’m always creating new product ideas. I would like to do more in the fitness sector, for women particularly, and promoting that link between exercise and psychological empowerment.