Tim West, the Managing Director of 12RND has been involved in a number of successful fitness businesses, whether it be launching them himself or investing into their growth and development.
Tim began 12RND Fitness after identifying a gap in the market for a form of fitness that was sports-oriented, which allowed members to work in a group-fitness setting and focus on skill-development for motivation, where the physical transformations were a secondary benefit.
Once the concept was clearly defined by its boxing point of difference, Danny Green, four-time world boxing champion and professional acquaintance of Tim’s, quickly got involved to promote the brand on a national platform.
Dynamic Business had the opportunity to interview Tim about his success, and we are able to share his success story and why 12RND is expanding to international markets now. There is also some great advice from Tim for people looking to start a business.
Whether you are in the health & fitness industry or not, there’s something great to learn for all business owners from 12RND’s story.
What do you think are the main reasons why 12RND has been so successful since its launch?
12RND’s success is attributed to a variety of factors, but most significantly it’s our unique concept and focus on convenience; we developed something that was starkly different to competitors.
Boxing is one of our greatest differentiators, our workouts offer the opportunity to “train like a fighter” without ever getting hit or stepping into a ring. The beauty of boxing as a sport, is that the basic skills are easy to learn but hard to perfect. This means new members with no boxing background can learn the basics quickly, but offers a long-term (life-long) progression, which keeps our members engaged and motivated. Our coaches are also heavily integrated into the workout, there are one to two trainers on the floor at all times, and they are trained to monitor progress and continually challenge their members, which speeds up results and develops stronger and more meaningful relationships, which in turn drives the club community.
We offer our 12RND’ers the ultimate convenience through our no class schedule structure which we refer to as “no fixed class times”, we operate on a boxing timer (traffic light system) that allows members to start their workout anytime. Green light indicates a new round starting, amber means 30 seconds to go, red means 30 seconds rest – you start as soon as you get the “Green light”.
What has made you sure that now is a good time to expand into other international markets?
Since we began franchising, the majority of our growth has been driven through advocacy with most of our initial clubs being opened by members or friends of members; they loved the product so much that they wanted to get involved. These days we even have staff members opening their own clubs, in addition to the growing number of enquiries we receive weekly from word of mouth and growing brand awareness.
There is an evident growing trend of boxing for fitness worldwide which has been a major contributing factor to increasing demand and interest in concepts like 12RND for both prospective members and franchisees. We have always recognised the opportunity to bring 12RND to the global market, but only seriously committed to the expansion upon increasing enquiries internationally for franchise opportunities. With the maturity of our internal systems and key staff recruitment we are now able to facilitate the international growth.
Was it easy or difficult to attract the first initial customers/clients? How did you stand out in a saturated market?
The uniqueness of our concept, the results members get from the training and enjoyability of the workout has made building the 12RND community a very organic process. When we opened our first club in Brisbane, we focused on securing a great location with high visibility and foot traffic and focused on exceeding members expectations and delivering great value. The first walk-in who tried the workout loved it, recruited their friends and by the end of the first 5 months we had a waiting list. People were sold from their first experience and became loyal 12RND’ers – 25 out of the 100 first members are still members today (including the first walk in, Darren!).
We stand out in a saturated market by having a clear identity and key points of difference. In 12RND’s case, this is our boxing element, coach support and no fixed class times. I identified a gap in the market for a fitness offering that was sports-oriented and allowed members to workout in a group environment. Our belief is that when you’re focusing on skill-development you are distracted from the exercise which makes your workout more enjoyable, when you enjoy the workout you are more likely to attend, and the more regularly you attend the better your results will be. This formula provides a sense of achievement from both the skill acquisition and the physical transformations.
Through years of experience in the fitness industry and analysis of the competitive landscape, I assessed what the major movers were offering and developed a concept that incorporated or built upon what they were doing well, then strategically addressed areas which I felt were presenting limitations or barriers.
What advice would you give to others looking to open a new business, and perhaps those who are hesitant to do so?
I would encourage anyone looking to launch a new businesses to fully immerse themselves in the industry they are looking to enter, and thoroughly understand the existing competitors and the needs of the customer. I’d suggest to start with the consumer experience with existing competitors and look for pain points, then assess whether or not there is a business case that can be developed that solves those issues. I would also say to be aware that no matter how thorough they are with their research, or how experienced they are in the industry, they must be flexible enough to adapt their concept quickly after they launch because, to quote Steve Banks, “no business plan survives first contact with the customer”.