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Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneurs: Q&A with Tim West
Tim West, Director and Co-founder of 12 RND Fitness Pty Ltd
Fri 13 December 2019 - 7:42 amEntrepreneur | Featured
Tim West, Director and Co-founder of 12RND Fitness, has been named as one of Dynamic Business’s Top10 Dynamic Entrepreneurs.
Tim has a background in Health Science and worked as a personal trainer until 2014, where he saw an opportunity in the market to provide a sports-based form of fitness such as boxing to the public.
Upon opening a concept store to test his service, 12RND Fitness became immediately successful, filling capacity in just six months, despite zero brand awareness.
Since the first 12RND Fitness franchise opened in Brisbane in 2016, they have grown to operate in 80 other locations, making them one of the largest boxing providers of all time, and by far the fastest growing.
With strong and consistent growth in Australia, 12RND Fitness has begun moving into international markets such as Singapore and New Zealand.
The business has attracted high-profile profile athletes including female boxer Taylah Robertson, Brisbane Bandits star, Logan Wade, and Collingwood AFL Players, Taylor Adams and Levi Greenwood.
1. Toowong is an interesting location to open the first concept store, can you tell us a bit more about the reasons behind this choice?
The initial goal was to find a suitable location in a competitive market within the Brisbane area for the concept store, which ended up being Toowong, Brisbane. We did this to ensure it would perform well against competitors, and I was looking to either succeed or fail fast. There were only a few suburbs in Brisbane that had at least one representative of every fitness mode present from CrossFit to Hot Yoga, and Toowong was one of them. Fitness is a competitive industry and so I actively sought them out to test the model – if it succeeded then I didn’t need to worry about competitors opening near my clubs.
Following the success of Toowong, we opened a second company-owned store in Milton, a neighbouring suburb, to test proximity between clubs and also to test size because Milton was a significantly smaller space. Essentially, we were testing assumptions that we couldn’t expect a future franchisee to test themselves, before commencing franchising, deciding how large/close territories could be and the ideal club size. Up until its recent relocation, Toowong was our largest club and Milton remains our smallest.
2. Are there aspects of being an entrepreneur that have taken you by surprise?
The constant learning. Whenever I think that I know something to be a definitive fact or truth, I read, hear or talk to someone who shares a different perspective and I realise how little I really know or how much there is still to learn.
3. What are your tips for knowing when to expand the business?
In the really early stages, it is hard to be absolutely sure when it’s the right time to expand, but there are certain things you can look out for to get a better understanding of whether or not you’re ready.
The first thing to consider is whether or not you’re getting a repeatable result. This can be as simple as making sales and retaining those customers, members or users long enough to make a profit. However, if you are, to ensure that the results you’re experiencing are stemming from the success of the product, it’s best to test if the same result can be replicated by your staff and/or at more than one location. Otherwise, the data may be skewed as a result of another variable – instead of the product, there could be something unique about the location or your ability/personality that is getting these results.
Once you feel confident in your product, before you initiate the steps towards growth, you need to ensure you have sufficient systems in place to enable scale. These systems can be manual initially, but need to be able to be automated as you grow. They need to allow you to extend whatever is getting your business results beyond you.
4. Since establishing 12RND Fitness, what was the most rewarding moment for you?
Starting franchising in 2016 was a great moment, it was the first time I realised someone could see the potential and would actually buy into the product, but it’s continued to be followed by other great moments. Later that same year, our first interstate clubs opened in NSW and VIC, and in the first 24 months we’d hit 50 clubs. Then this year, we had our first international sales for Singapore and New Zealand.
5. Congratulations on achieving the international sales! Are there any tips to other entrepreneurs about how to go about this?
I think it is the same principle for all opportunities whether they are domestic or international. We didn’t look for international opportunities specifically, we just made sure we were in a position to take advantage of all opportunities regardless of where they came from and eventually when we did receive international interest, we were ready. To expand on the foothold in each country, we know it is absolutely critical that the first clubs are successful, as this success will lead to more opportunities in that same area – this is a major focus for us.
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