Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stu Gatherum, Founder of T2 Fitness, located in Swindon, Oxon, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We certify people to work in the fitness industry. We work with people looking to enter the field for their first job or if they are looking for a career change. We also work with other companies that offer similar services. With business-to-business, we offer bespoke online education content for them to use in their delivery.
Tell us about yourself
I have worked in the fitness industry for over 22 years at this point. I have walked the gym floor, been a PT, taught group exercise classes, run my own PT business, and worked on the education side.
I launched T2 Fitness in 2011 with a view to offering learners a central community where they could gain their qualifications as well as join a network of like-minded fitness professionals in order to develop their careers with real guidance and support. We launched a second business, T2 Awards, in the past few years, which aims to offer the same kind of support to other education academies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the scaling of our business into different markets has been an enormous accomplishment. We pride ourselves on offering the highest standards of education in our market in the UK, and I firmly believe we will achieve that. In the time we have been operating, we have worked in multiple different countries also, and the standards have always exceeded expectations, so I am immensely proud of that. T2 has always operated under the consideration that 'good enough isn't good enough."
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I would say that the understanding that everything rests on your shoulders would be one of the areas that are most difficult to become comfortable with. No one is going to do the work for you, and that can be daunting at times because, ultimately, it all lies on the shoulders of the CEO.
I deal with this kind of environment pretty well, but it is a lot to get used to, particularly early on. And no one is immune to feeling pressure from time to time. I network well and surround myself with a great team which helps immeasurably.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have a focus on what you want to do, on who your audience is, and what you can offer them. You need to know your offering inside-out in order to be able to sell it effectively.
- Be flexible in your approach. We have had to reassess how we offer things to deal with an ever-changing marketplace, and it is this adaptability that helps with success.
- Focus on you! In a business sense, it is easy to become caught up with what your competitors are doing. Ultimately, while this might mold your thinking, it isn't something you can control.
- Focus on you! If you, personally, are not in a good headspace, it is hard to make the right decisions and run your business with clarity of mind. I make sure I have mentorship, guidance, and counseling to ensure I am operating to the best of my abilities. I try to take breaks from work, step out of the office, etc. This makes me better at what I do because it means that work isn't ALL I do...
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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