Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Guest post from Kate Burles of Exercise Easy

We asked you a while ago to email us with suggestions for guest editing the blog. We asked for interesting pieces about your independent businesses and this is our first guest blog from Kate Burles who runs Exercise Easy, an outdoor fitness and personal training business:

"In my experience setting up your own business is a bit like that comparison of a snowball as it gathers pace.  I started Exercise Easy just over five years ago. I probably broke every rule in the book when I started.  All I had, other than my qualifications, was enthusiasm  and a desire to run a personal training and fitness instructors business.  When I look back I went into it completely blind with no money and no business plan and no idea either really.  I literally left my office job one day and started as a PT the next.

I had three clients lined up and a little admin work to supplement my fitness business. Then about a week after I left my permanent job I was lucky enough to get a break and was asked to train a group on behalf of Zita Alves of Zest Bootcamp. Zita basically took a bit of a punt on a rather green around the ears instructor, but it paid off for both of us and I was off and running. Ha! No pun intended.

As my personal training business grew in Bath I wanted to develop my fitness sessions as well. I felt there was a gap in the market for a high intensity Saturday morning session. I wanted to stay on the Bear Flat side of the city so I applied to Beechen Cliff School to use the sports hall from 0830 to 0930.  Initially, it was quite a small group but over the past year it has grown considerably, as has the intensity of the class, but then it was never meant to be for beginners.  I am always amazed so many people are prepared to get up early to be pretty well ‘beasted’ for an hour and then turn up again the next week to do the same.

The Saturday class has been a real turning point for me, as the obvious next step was to set up my own week day sessions, which I launched at the start of this year. I run these from the small playing field at the top of Entry Hill. Initially I drew on people who I already knew from around the Bath area, but Entry Hill really is the perfect spot, as it is very visible from the road.  I have gained a fair number of clients who have just walked passed at the right time and we are making friends all the time with dog walkers and passers by – yes honestly!

For me, Bath has been a good place to start a business.  It’s a small and compact city which makes it a little easier for a new business to get going; you can draw clients from all sides of the City and once words starts to get around its that old snow ball again - work just builds from there.  Within Bath there is a lot of competition for work.  I have come across quite a lot of other personal trainers and fitness instructors, but on the whole everyone is supportive and helpful and we all seem to be able to exist along side each other. I trained with Body Development on Windsor Bridge for a number of years and learned a tremendous amount from the owners, Tom and Karen Crudgington. I not only learned how to be an effective PT and instructor, I also saw my own  fitness levels go through the roof. Recently, however, I have started training with Cross Fit Bath and that is bringing another dimension to both my training and to my classes.  Again, the instructors are very generous with their technique help and advice and let’s face it we can always learn from others in the business.

All in all Bath has been pretty good to me so far. It has given me a living that I love, introduced me to a number of excellent professionals who are helping me on my own fitness journey as well as in business, and enabled me to make some fabulously supportive friends and clients. I couldn’t ask for much more from a city."

Friday, 22 May 2015

Awards entries are...OPEN!

After much planning and chatting and general merriment we are delighted to announce that entries for the first ever Independent Bath Awards are now open!

To see details on how to enter CLICK HERE and there is more information about our judges on the Judges Page.

Watch this space for more info on the award ceremony itself but for now save the 16 Septemeber in your diaries.

We would really love as many businesses as possible to enter themselves so please do spread the word. Once you have entered your business you can tell everyone on twitter by using this nifty little LINK

Entries close on 19 July so get entering!