Five gyms before they turn 30
15 Dec. 2014
Trent and Kathy Hornsby currently own two Plus Fitness clubs, and they hope to own five before their 30th birthdays.
The pair sought to be self-employed and take control of their future, so a franchise investment seemed like the right choice.
They also wanted a business that would work with their lifestyles – and despite neither having a background in the fitness industry, Plus Fitness ticked all of the boxes.
“Our fitness industry experience was limited to being gym users ourselves – my wife had an administration background and I was a tradesman.
“It was incredibly important for us to have a strong support network if we were going to push forward with this venture. Given we had no experience we decided it would be a smart business decision to set up a franchise,” Trent explains.
SO WHAT’S THE SUPPORT BEEN LIKE?
“We truly believe our businesses wouldn't be operating as successfully as they are if we didn't have the ongoing support and training from Plus Fitness.
“The training makes life so much easier, there is only so much you can figure out for yourself or how far being efficient will get you. It also made it really smooth with the recruitment of staff,” says Trent.
Trent and Kathy entered the property market at a young age, which enabled them to fund their initial franchise investment.
“Having these [property] investments gave us the leverage that we needed for a business loan. We had quite strict budgeting and heavily over compensated for our expenses in the beginning,” he adds.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
The husband and wife team conducted a wealth of research into different franchises, and Trent explains Plus Fitness really stood out.
“They were the fastest growing 24/7 franchise in the market and more importantly they are Australian owned.
“All of our dealings with the head office were incredibly positive. Even in the early stages of simply enquiring we felt the staff went above and beyond to help us. They made us feel really comfortable from the get go and we got really good vibes from Plus Fitness.”
FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE
Trent says working with his wife is great, and the pair has clearly defined roles. “We have both established our own strengths and weaknesses and use this to our full advantage – it allows us to effectively manage our businesses.
“It is so beneficial to be able to share the workload with a like-minded person. We're on the same page with managing our clubs but also the broader spectrum of where we want our businesses to be."
Trent admits learning to juggle home and work commitments was a bit of a struggle in the beginning. “You’re investing so much into this new venture – not just financially but physically and emotionally. Everybody wants to be successful so you pour everything you have into being the best you can.
“In our first year we had no staff, so we were doing all of the man hours ourselves while trying to manage and market the business. This is where the support from head office was almost a life line for us.”
Now that they have established two clubs – one in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon and the other in Kellyville, their day-to-day is less hectic.
“Being able to take a step back from the daily running of our businesses has helped us to create that much needed balance. You quickly learn to be incredibly time efficient,” Trent says.
Trent and Kathy hope to open additional clubs, and he says their business goals are simple. “We want to have five clubs by the time we are 30 years old, then we'll stop...maybe.
“We want our businesses to be running smoothly and successfully, and we want to have reliable staff who care about the service we provide as much as we do,” he says.
They’ve also got a number of personal goals. “We want to start thinking about having a family. We still want to be actively involved in our gyms, and we will be – there is so much flexibility and room to move with this business model,” adds Trent.