Former HR Manager, James Trenerry turned a $40,000 debt into a successful KX Pilates franchise enterprise, generating a revenue stream of $2.5 million. Here are his tips for business success.
- Define your vision
A clear vision and strategy is essential to reach your goal
This sets the tone for your business direction, objectives, and is the key driver when making decisions. Ensure your idea resonates well with others and you believe in it. This will equip you with the tools and support to reach your goal.
It doesn’t have to be a big idea – look for a gap that solves problems or helps people. My passion was fitness and my vision was to provide a great workout through quality service that cultivates people in a rewarding career.
If you’re unsure, ask what sparks your passion. Once you have mastered this skill, look for an opportunity to commercialise and make a living out of it.
2. Educate clients
Educating clients through strategic marketing is clever problem solving
Education and leveraging opportunities to market areas of your business is key. Never assume your clients have all the answers.
The best way to find out exactly what they want is to simply listen. Often, you will find there is a basic need for assistance, in your field. Listen to what customers are saying, or not saying? What can you provide to bridge this gap?
For example, our team is often asked: “is KX good for muscle tone?” I see an opportunity to leverage this and further educate, by responding “Yes, KX is, but did you know it’s also great for building muscular endurance, coordination and cardiovascular health.” Seek out ways to deliver on requests, while educating clients on other business areas.
3. Internal systems are vital
Building a framework of internal systems is a valuable asset
The real value of a business is how well it’s run internally. When developing processes, write down everything you do, including the steps it took to complete the task. Find patterns in the way you work; determine if these can be replicated efficiently. If you find a better way, update your systems and communicate it.
A high-quality system will focus on the day-to-day management of your operations. My systems manage everything from start to finish, from maintenance to guidelines when hiring staff, as well as adding value to our customer experience, by outlining clear processes internally, such as responding to complaints and seeking feedback, to assist with client retention.
4. Hiring is key
Build a team of likeminded professionals who fill gaps you cannot
You don’t have all the answers to make a long-lasting impact on your own. Find gaps in your expertise and hire people who can fill them.
Hiring in line with culture and brand is important. Hire desirable personalities, and build skills in those who align with your vision and add diversity to your group.
I have offered roles well in advance of start dates, welcoming staff to the team early, inviting them to events and offering employee benefits. This way they can hit the ground running with a wealth of knowledge.
5. Give back to your network
You are nothing without the people who help you fulfill your vision and goals
Giving back to employees is essential. Find out their goals and help to achieve them. This goes beyond providing a workplace that focuses on training and development, rewards, recognition and succession. It’s a different reinvestment. I try to get to know my staff and take note of their coffee orders, courses they would like to do, brand names, or favourite colours, when it’s time to order flowers – it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture, but it should be meaningful. Staff retention is vital for business success.
For networks and community, ask what you can do to thank them for their support. Our team gives back by providing exposure for our networks and collaboration opportunities; such as creating linkages in share purpose. Ask yourself how you can add value, outside of your primary service? Use this to show your appreciation.
6. Finally, keep moving forward
Growth is scary, but it’s inevitable for sustainability and longevity
Part of your evolution might be further education, creating new roles for your employees through delegation, starting a new challenge like opening a new site or business entirely, branching out to use your skills to help others or diversification into other revenue streams like property or shares.
No matter what direction you take, if you’re not enjoying it, move on.
James left his corporate life as an Origin Energy Business Partner to pursue a career in the fitness industry and is now a successful franchise owner of three KX Pilates Studios in Adelaide.