Firming up a business model for the future

by Staff Reporter

Patricia Rooney

HEALTH & Fitness Together recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary, so The Gazette decided to call to the studio at No 8, Appian Way, Ranelagh to ask owner Carl Cautley the secret of his success.
He said: “I came from an advertising and marketing background but always wanted to open my own fitness business, so I studied fitness at University of Limerick and received my NCEF qualification.
“With that under my belt, I researched the sector and felt that a private personal training situation would appeal to the type of client I wanted to attract.”
Originally an American franchise, Fitness Together opened its doors in April, 2006, and offered one-to-one personal training in separate training suites – a unique idea which appealed to the large number of clients who did not want to train in a gym, and who required privacy and discretion.
Carl said that one of the most appealing factors to clients was the fact that they could relax and work out in the knowledge that they would be training in the best possible way for their ability, and there would be no errors in the way they were using the various machines and weights, thus ensuring the optimum use of their time.
I asked Carl how the recession had affected Health & Fitness Together’s operations, and he outlined what he did to counteract its effects.
“As with all businesses, the recession obviously impacted us, in that we had to pare back our business model to the minimum, cutting our costs without harming the exclusive nature of the Health & Fitness Together experience.”
It is a testament to the appeal Health & Fitness Together holds with its clients that it managed to survive and actually come out at the end a better experience, now offering even more diversity in personal training sessions.
As time went on, and having built up a lot of goodwill and trust with clients, Carl decided to break away from the franchise operation in America.

“We found that the original premises in Rathmines had become too small to enable any form of expansion so, with that in mind, I set about looking for a bigger premises.”
Now based at Appian Way, Ranelagh has been its home for the past three years ago and the business has since gone from strength-to-strength, with three separate training suites and a wider variety of options for its clients.
I asked Carl to outline the way in which Health & Fitness Together has changed from the original model.
He said: “Initially, we offered one-to-one personal training sessions in two dedicated suites, but now we have a lot more options.
“One-to-one personal training is still our core business, and we have three separate training suites, but we also offer much more variety – two-to-one personal training, small group training, sports massage and physical therapy, nutrition advice and food intolerance testing.”
I couldn’t finish talking to Carl without asking about his future plans for Health & Fitness Together.
Carl replied: “It goes without saying that I always tried to source the best possible trainers who would give clients the utmost quality experience, and help them to achieve their fitness and well-being goals – to this day, that has not changed.
“I would like to ensure Health & Fitness Together’s continued growth by helping people as successfully over the next ten years as we have over the past ten years. It has been such a great business experience.”
I left the Health & Fitness Together building feeling very optimistic, and with the firm intention of making an appointment for myself in the very near future.

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