Why I Opened My Own Gym - Interview with Josh Waters

Tuesday 1st May 2018


What made you want to get into business for yourself?

I’ve never actually worked for anyone else before. I already had my own businesses in import/export and distribution plus I was playing golf professionally but I decided that I wanted something that had a more regular income.  

Why did you choose a gym?

My previous roles weren’t always reliable income and with golf I was susceptible to injuries so I decided to look into a business that was more regular. I attended the BFA exhibition and got chatting with lots of different companies including fast food and fitness franchises. I really liked the idea of the gym concept with small teams, a cashless business, the direct debit income, becoming part of a franchise and the support you receive.

What made you choose énergie?

I researched every single gym franchise opportunity but then I met the head office team and it felt like a family. I agree with the énergie model, the investment costs were good, some of the head office team played a big part in it as well.

What is the best part of owning your own club?

The best part is every day people knock of the door and say thank you for changing their life. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. I get to interact with people every day and bring affordable health and fitness to Erith. I am very proud of owning this club and what we offer to the community around us.

Would you consider a second or third site? What are your future aspirations?

I am absolutely considering doing a second or third site and in fact I am actively looking for my second site. For me it’s all about the feasibility and making sure my numbers work for me.

How long have you been operating now?

We’ve been open for 15 months now.

How long did it take you to achieve your five-year business plan?

We hit our original five-year business plan within our first month and have since re-forecasted it a couple of times.

How long after opening the doors were you in profit?

From day one – myself and the team worked hard at our pre-sale as we knew we only had one chance to get off to a good start.

How successful are you compared to what you thought you would be?

My aspirations were to be the most profitable club in the network, and from what I understand I think we are there or thereabouts, but I am very driven and know we can always do better.

How many members do you have? Where do you want the membership to get to?

We are currently on 3102 but our aim is to get to 3500.

Do you know what your highest turnover has been in a single month?

Just shy of 63K.

What would you put your success down to?

Having a fantastic manager, commitment, sticking to the processes, understanding the business and appreciating that it is your business that you are driving forward. You need to put some ‘sweat equity’ into the business. Doing the simple things well but understanding there are brand standards for a reason. Also, leads drive the business forward so if you aren’t actively out driving the leads process, your business won’t move forward.

Best advice you’ve been given?

If you personally go out and get one more lead every single day, that will result in a few extra sales which all add up.  We aren’t doing anything extra special, but I hired well and I put the effort in myself as it’s my business. Stick to the basics and the business plan – focus on the lead generation, spend time on the gym floor with the members and be proud to be a part of what you have helped create.