Greg Gleeson and his business partner Kerrie worked together running a Health and Wellbeing program for Year 11 and 12 students at a local college in Port Macquarie. When funding changed, the program had to finish up. How could they continue living a healthy lifestyle and promoting their beliefs to the local community? They decided to follow their passion and go out on their own.
Greg had no real business experience and looked into the NEIS program with ETC (Enterprise and Training Company) in Coffs Harbour, to help him make a start and set some goals.
“NEIS training was fantastic. The financial information was really important to me. We had to think about the details and how the business would run. That’s crucial for someone with no business training. I was really thankful for the mentoring too. Having someone I could contact to bounce ideas off was really helpful.”
The business was named Organic Fitness and started in a modestly-sized gym. Greg and Kerrie’s enthusiasm and dedication paid off and the clientele grew. They soon needed more space and moved into bigger premises in Karungi Circuit. This was a crucial step; with upfront costs of $20,000 and increased rent, they needed to be confident in their financial plan.
Greg explains that they needed to adapt, “A few changes had to be made, but we evolved from that. We had a model that we knew worked, so we just had to fit it into this new place. It all worked out great in the end. We now run classes every day and we can fit double the amount of people. We have a fantastic customer base.”
Organic Fitness has been up and running for six years. Moving to a larger space provided the opportunity to grow and diversify. Specialist wellbeing services are provided by other practitioners onsite, making Organic Fitness a holistic hub. As well as providing fitness training, there is kinesiology, coaching, massage therapy and an infrared sauna. They also run an Organic Cafe and grocery store nearby, selling certified organic and biodynamic meats, free-range eggs and other produce supplied by local growers and farmers.
When you have a great environment and a loyal clientele it’s easy to get up and come to work each day. We will give Greg the last word with a business tip: “Trust your own instincts and back yourself.”
Do you have a great business idea? Take the first step to becoming self-employed with free NEIS training. Use the postcode search tool to locate your nearest NEIS provider for a chat.