My Small Rural Business: Workout Wagga
According to the ABS, regional businesses account for over 800,000 businesses. As part of our Regional Heroes campaign, we're profiling some of these incredible small business owners, like Workout Wagga, to see what makes them (and their towns) tick!
What is the name of your business?
What is your website, Instagram and Facebook?
When did you start your small biz?
Workout has been operating 37 years. My wife Dayna and myself took over in April 2010
Why did you start it?
I started working for the old owner after school when I was 17/18 years old. I loved it. I moved away and completed my university studies, and held various other jobs in accounting and business banking, but never really enjoyed those. At 24, I realised the only job I ever liked doing was the gym… So we approached the owner (my old boss) and started discussions about buying the business… and the next thing you know… We were business owners!
Is it the only biz of its kind in your area?
No. There is a lot of competition in our area – more so recently. There is a lot of 24 hour gyms and franchise gyms out there now. We take pride that we are not 24 hour, and that we are one of only a few independent operators out there now
What do you love most about living where you live?
I grew up in Wagga so I know a lot about the town, the community and I know a lot of the people. It’s a great town, has everything that we need, and I always say to people that it’s only 10 minutes anywhere in Wagga (after living in Melbourne where I was commuting 60 minutes each way to work). There is also a good range of fitness trails and roads to train on if you’re into running or riding bikes.
How would you describe your client base?
We have general public. At Workout we don’t do bodybuilders, and we don’t do the show-pony type people. We have a lot of families, seniors, and just general people who want to live a healthy lifestyle. We are a great facility for people who have never been to a gym before as once they pop their head through the door, they don’t feel intimidated – we have women, men, old, young, fit, unfit etc etc. No Fuss, no bells and whistles, just good clientele, good staff and a great atmosphere.
Who/what do you consider your biggest competitor?
In Wagga we have many competitors in our industry. Most clubs these days are franchise organisations. There aren’t many independent gyms in Wagga left now – or in our industry as a whole. So I biggest competitor is the big chains, and the 24/7 operations. The rise of small specialised studios is on the increase too. Things such as Yoga Studios, Pilates Studios, Boxing Studios – they do a smaller more specialised operation, but just take small amounts of the market with them.
How do most of your clients find you? Ie via website, word of mouth etc
Word of mouth is still big in Wagga. We get a lot of referrals from existing members, health practitioners etc. We have a good strong online game happening at the moment (website/facebook/instagram). Everything we do online though is for our branding. We don’t really do sales online or specials online, it’s more just to do with keeping relevant and in front of people consistently.
Do you network with other small biz in your area?
We do. We have corporate packages available to employees from different organisations (banks/real estates etc). And we also do a lot with different sporting clubs – we try and be involved someway with different sports – basketball, cricket, AFL, Rugby League, Netball. We try and help sponsor some teams, and in return they will sometimes bring their teams in for different classes, or we help with pre-season and stuff like that.
Who is your greatest support?
For business guidance or advice, it’s always been my Dad. He’s been a successful businessman for many many years, and it’s always great to have him by my side when tough decisions need to be made, some guidance, or even for general business advice – he’s always there!
As for support in the actual business – my wife Dayna. She’s also the face of the company, a great role model to members, and a great high energy person to have around day-to-day. We work as a team and know that when one of us gets down, or needs a bit of help, we’re always working together.
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