“If you are not happy with a situation, it is possible to make a change”
Linn quit her job as a personal trainer at a big training center because she was not happy with the terms. She started her own gym across the street from her previous employer where her including training environment has become a huge success. She encourages more people to make changes if they are not happy with their current situation.
Who are you? Tell me about your background
My name is Linn, I am 23 years old and I started “Gym 1540” two years ago. I have worked as a personal trainer (PT) since I was 16 years old and fell in love with the industry quickly. After that it escalated and became my own training center.
Why did you want to start your own gym?
After having worked for big training centers for many years, I got the urge to do things differently. I saw what worked and what did not, and I wanted to test my own ideas. That was when I started Gym1540.
How did you manage to start your own business? Tell me about the process from an idea to an actual gym
After 5 years in the industry, I resigned, was not happy with the terms and how PTs worked. When you work as a trainer, the distribution is uneven; you sell a product, and the center is left with a large sum and you a small sum. At that time, the distribution was 70/30, so as a coach I was left with 30% of what I sold for. I was not happy with that, so I quit and started for myself, a gym across the street from my previous employer. The gym was a small garage of 200 square meters, we could not afford a door, an entrance card, floors or really anything. We had to use the little we had, but I was lucky to have a couple of my previous customers join me, and I got an investor who believed in me. My former employer struggled a bit after I quit because I was the sales manager and a personal coach, but they still operate today so we are good competitors. Within one year we had too many customers for our small space, so we had to expand and opened a larger gym.
How did you get so many customers? What is your secret?
We have created an including training environment where our customers always have someone to train with at our gym. It is easy to resign a membership, but it is not so easy to resign and a group of friends. We have fewer customers than the big chains and our membership is slightly more expensive. This way our customers get more personal follow-up than they maybe would at a regular center.
Why did you sign up for this course? What was your motivation?
I thought why not! I am a self-taught entrepreneur; extra knowledge is only positive. This course is a great opportunity for me to increase my level of knowledge about entrepreneurship and business development.
How did the Corona-situation affect your gym?
We had just opened our new 100sqm premises and had to close the gym after only 11 days in our new space. Our customers were given the opportunity to either freeze their membership since we could not deliver the product, or they could participate in our arranged outdoor training where we kept distance. We also rented out all our fitness equipment from the premises to our members, so they could train at home during Corona.
It seems like you are good at changing status quo if it does not feel right, have you always been like this?
I think I have been this way always, and as you get older you become more aware of it; if you are not happy with a situation, it is possible to make a change. Willingness to change is something I look for when I hire people at my gym. I think it is important to solve tasks and grow.
What do you think of the course so far?
I have learned a lot, it is a great course! It is well laid out and structured. We have been introduced to several different business models, and I am excited to try out some of them at Gym1540.
Do you recommend the course, if so, for who?
Absolutely! I recommend the course to anyone with a business idea who wants to start something. The course gives you great tools that can help you dare take the step and start your own business. Learning about innovation, entrepreneurship and business development is also great for those who work in well established companies, because you become aware of the processes around you and start to think about how they can be improved.