May 2021: Growing fast with new partnerships and products

It’s been another busy month here at Inspace and the growth continues (quicker than we planned, but that’s the way we like it!). The learning continues too, as do the realities and pressures of running your own business, but we’re cracking on and making great progress every day.

We’ve struck up some amazing partnerships recently. Each one them has come from contacts we’ve built up over the years – real friendships we’ve invested in and nurtured.

Inspace Fitness

We Train Limitless

We’ve established a global partnership deal with We Train Limitless who manufacture and supply the Limitless Free Trainer, Limitless Challenger, and several other products. The first thing I did a few months back was buy one for myself! Do I like it, and can we sell it? The simple answer to that, is yes! It’s a great piece of kit with a huge variety of exercise functions. It’s small, compact and allows me to work out at home and do most of my strength work as well as some funky HIIT sessions. Even the twins can use it (with a little spot from Dad!) Great product, great partnership and really looking forward to seeing where we can take this.

Inspace Fitness Free Trainer

The 55

I’ve known Chris Leare, the inventor of The 55 (previously Battlebag) for quite a few years. His product has undergone 7 years of graft and development to find its home and real purpose. It really is a ‘hoofing’ (military slang!) bit of kit – a versatile training bag that’s progressive and regressive and allows you to train anywhere, in group sessions, PT sessions, or just at home in your garden. Top quality and proudly made in the UK. This bag will be used by the UK armed forces for testing and general training and we’re going to help them move it around the world, utilising our networks both in retail and commercially.

Steve Coleman

We’re really excited about our new partnership with Steve Coleman, celebrity trainer and all-round great guy. I’ve worked with Steve on projects for a few years now and have always wanted to create a real partnership with him that benefits us both – we get his knowledge and wisdom, and he gets paid! Steve is promoting all our retail products and is helping us with our social media content provision.

Working alongside our PR and marketing team at Holdens and our new internal Marketing and Retail Sales manager Sasha Burford, Steve will be driving sales of The 55, Limitless and all our other exclusive products to the retail market. On top of this, he’ll be doing in-house training for our commercial clients and helping us with product development. Some of Steve’s clients include Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Declan Donnelly and Ben Shephard. His six-week body transformations are amazing. I’m 10 days into one now and feeling motivated (and a bit peckish!).

This is what Inspace is built on – partnerships that benefit everyone and give our customers best value and great products.

2021 is about carrying on the build process. The pipeline for 2022 is a bit daunting, so it’s a good job the bank manager likes us!

See you all soon,
Ben

We are still here!! And the doors are about to open.

Another month has passed, and we are still fighting fit. I was half expecting us to be scraping and scratching around to keep our heads above water and having lengthy discussions with each other about ploughing more money into the pot to keep us afloat. Fortunately, that’s not been the case! Not to say I ever for one minute doubted our idea or our capacity to deliver this project.

We have been building the network, the equipment portfolio, and signing new contracts with new manufacturers of products which we will be bringing to the party very soon, as well as some exciting launches and intro’s coming later in the month. I am truly excited!

One of the most exciting new partnerships we have is with a good friend and an amazing guy in his field. Steve Coleman is an incredible PT who has an incredible celebrity client base. He is also a nice guy (working on his banter!). We always said we would not work with people we didn’t like (irrelevant of the money involved) and he is an example of that. He’s an extremely talented trainer, shares great content and has some great connections. This is going to be a great partnership for both of us.

We have also managed to do some nice installs over the last month and have another couple of great sites we are delivering in April. Its amazing to know that people are putting their trust in us to deliver which we will carry on doing over the coming weeks, months, and years and I have absolutely no problem at all with that! You reap what you sow. It’s amazing to see people out there who consistently don’t deliver and yet people still go back for more… Let that never be us!

Challenges over the last month have been plenty and frustrating. Who knew someone would try and drive down the Suez Canal sideways!? Who knew Brexit would mean trying to get anything in and out of Europe would be like trying to find Phills wallet in a bar! And who knew juggling four bank accounts in three different currencies would be tricky! Still loving every minute of it though. We thought we would just be driving around selling stuff!!

Our inspiration for this business and journey remains strong and our passion is growing by the day. We decided recently that we could either continue to do the organic, relatively safe route (not that it has felt safe for the first few months by any stretch!), or we could go on the offensive! I am not one for sitting and waiting for someone to try and take you down. Its evident we are starting to make some amazing inroads and are already sat on some very big projects for 2022. We are going for it now. We must be doing something right as people are now talking about Inspace.

We are going over the top and running up the beach! In the words of my good friend Brian Wood MC – “Keep Attacking”! We will (obviously trying to frantically avoid all the incoming!).

We are recruiting across the UK for regional managers starting in the Midlands. We are ordering containers faster than we ever imagined and we are forecasting way into next year already. Go big or go home. Squeaky bum time!

Finally, I would like to wish all our industry friends, partners and even those we don’t like so much, all the very best for the coming months.

Most of all I would like to thank my business partner for keeping his head most of the time (apart from when he has a massive fall out with his sat nav or when his spell check lets him down in an email!). For someone who was described once as “A salesman and not a businessman!” (in possibly one of the most condescending discussions I have ever been a part of!) You have done OK Phil!

It’s been a very difficult 12 months for everyone, but let’s get back on it. Play nice and see you all very soon.

We’re hiring! Regional Sales Executive – Midlands Region

Position: Regional Sales Executive – Midlands

Hours: Full-time (and a bit extra!)

Salary: £DOE + Commission + Benefits

Location: The Midlands, UK

Inspace Fitness is a brand born from dreams, aspirations, and a desire to change the fitness industry, for the better. We create amazing gyms and provide quality equipment and great service to our clients globally.

We’re a positive bunch with a fun, modern outlook and we’re keen to grow a team of loyal, hardworking, likeminded people. And you could be one of them!

Our team is at the forefront of our success. Always has been, always will be. Everyone we take on this journey becomes one of the Inspace Fitness family. One team with one goal; to deliver an incredible fitness equipment range, reliably and efficiently, and never stop caring about our clients.

This is an exciting time for Inspace Fitness. Following a string of new client wins and unexpected fast growth in these tough times, we need an incredible regional sales executive to join the team. A highly motivated individual, who has a passion for fitness and the fitness industry, loves working with people and wants to join us on this incredible journey. A team player with a positive outlook on life and a desire to deliver to the highest standards.

At Inspace Fitness, we challenge, support and inspire one another to make every working day as fun and fulfilling as possible, whilst delivering exceptional service to our clients.

How are we going to do this? By attracting the very best people. And that’s where you come in,,,

What we’re looking for…

We want an exceptional Regional Sales Executive to join us in the Midlands.

A world class salesperson with amazing people skills (and a sense of humour)

Someone with a passion for fitness. You’re going to need to love your job!

An individual who really understands fitness.

An exceptional communicator with an amazing ability to network and deliver sales.

Industry experience is preferable, but not completely necessary.

Day to day, you’ll be responsible for generating leads within your area – covering your region and getting the brand and our product portfolio to as many people as you can in a positive and professional manner.

You’ll be building a new network of people within the fitness Industry or utilising the one you already have to help us grow. You’ll need a solid understanding of social media to help us use it to grow the brand and business. You’ll report directly to the sales Director who will encourage, lead and support you to hit all your targets. If you hit targets, you’ll make great money!

A big part of what we do is working collaboratively, with our clients and with one another, so it’s important that you enjoy getting stuck in. Our goal is to improve our clients’ experiences and ultimately improve their members’ journeys.

You’ll be a key and trusted member of our team, working directly with the leadership team to help grow and fulfil our strategic vision.

Oh, and we want someone who’s confident and charismatic, without the ego!

What you’ll need…

  • A strong CV.
  • A solid knowledge of Fitness and the global fitness industry. We are what we sell. If you don’t like fitness, this isn’t the role for you.
  • A passion for thinking outside the box and being creative. You’ll need to be able to sketch basic gym layouts for example (not watercolours, just sketches!).
  • A full driving licence and you’ll need to enjoy driving. The Midlands are pretty big.
  • Passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.
  • Experience using CRM systems and managing customer interactions.
  • Sales experience is preferred. We can put this to the test! If you’re a performer in this industry already, your track record will speak for itself. And we’ll probably know you!
  • A drive to innovate, break moulds and do things differently to help Inspace Fitness become a truly recognisable, respected global fitness brand.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills. Writing tender bids and delivering client presentations will be a daily occurrence.
  • You’ll need to be a positive influence on your fellow staff members and inspire and motivate the team to want to do better.
  • Be able to travel on occasions for trade shows and events. We are going Global!

What you’ll get out of it…

Development and wellbeing

As a people-focused business, we take our staff’s wellbeing very seriously. In fact, it’s our top priority. That’s because we’re only as good as the individuals on our team. We want you to be completely content in your roles so that you feel happy and fulfilled to perform your best.

Entitlements and benefits

  • Competitive Salary Package
  • 20 days annual leave, plus bank holidays
  • Attractive Commission Package
  • Car allowance (You need to have a car)
  • Company Mobile phone and laptop
  • Personal development
  • Training and shadowing for the job role
  • Regular personal development reviews
  • Workplace pension scheme
  • Birthday lie-in
  • Early Finish on a Friday
  • Christmas lunch and party

*No recruitment companies please*

Its time to get outdoors, in space… (See what I did there?)

The announcement that gyms will be reopening soon means that the fitness and leisure industry could be about to wake up from its Covid hibernation.

With this in mind, we’ve been having a think about what the world might look like. Will the gyms bounce right back, and members pick up where they left off? Will there be some nervousness around going into gyms, even though the data shows that we as an industry are pretty safe and have taken every measure possible to protect staff and members?

The answer is that we don’t really know for certain. Nobody does! What we can do is prepare, adapt and make some predictions as to how the landscape might shift and how trends might develop…

The Great (British) Outdoors

I have a feeling that timing will be important as we navigate the next few months. Gyms will reopen as the weather warms up. We will be well into Spring and I’m pretty sure we’ll all want to get out and enjoy some air. We, not only a nation, but as a global population, have been locked up for quite some time. Too much screen time, too much homeschooling and way too much time indoors.

Gyms will inevitably bounce back but this may take a little while. My view is that owners and trainers will be looking outside the box and mitigating the worries and concerns of their members and clients by taking them outdoors. Not entirely, as the physical gym space will still be important, but in some format or another. Especially whilst social distancing is still a thing. Gyms that used to hold 100 users will be down to around half maybe. Operators do not want and should not want to just give up on the other 50%. So, what can they do? Let us use outdoor spaces if we are fortunate enough to have them. Unused car parks, patches of grassland, gravel beds and AstroTurf areas. Any areas that are open, full of fresh air and safe.

And before we hear cries of, ‘What about the Rain?’ or ‘But it’s way too cold in the UK!’ There are ways around this. The situation Just needs a bit more thought and a little more money. We love to find excuses not to do things. Let’s be proactive and come up with solutions!

Flexible fitness solutions

Our partnerships give us access to a vast number of very clever pieces of kit that can be used outdoors. Some requiring significant investment and some not so much.

This sounds crazy coming from someone whose business survives on selling fitness equipment, but the best piece of kit you can invest in for outdoor use is a pair of trainers, nobody can deny that! In fact, for any type of health and weight loss benefit, just get your kit on and get moving. Ultimately, that’s what we want for our customers.

This mantra of getting people moving is exactly why we need to, ‘go outdoors’. Common sense tells us that there will be less access to gym spaces in the early stages of restrictions lifting. We need to encourage our industry to grow outside and rally the population to come with us. Safely, of course!

Here are a few equipment ideas for the commercial and home user to get outdoors:

Container Gym solutions

Container Gym solutions

A solid, stable and semi-permanent solution that is configurable in a number of ways. Multiple containers can create a great training space – two or more containers with a cover spanning the void create an outdoor/indoor gym, whilst modified containers allow you to train inside or outside them. The options are endless.

Our partner Beaverfit has recently brought the ‘Shred Shed’ to the market. A small, compact solution that requires very little space and is incredibly versatile. It’s effectively a gym in a box with an incredible amount of functionality and storage to boot. Use it in your garden, outside your club or in your school or university. It’s also relatively low-cost for such a clever unit.

Outdoor functional training rigs

Most of us have a rig indoors in our gym now. But we don’t see too many outdoor rigs. Is it the British weather? Maybe, but we have seen a big growth in outdoor rigs in Germany with one of our partners. The weather’s not too different there, is it?

This Summer may be the time to invest in an outdoor rig. These things last for years and are amazing for small and large group PT sessions. Structured classes are easy to run on rigs and again you can fashion any design that comes into your head. Less expensive standard options ae available alongside totally bespoke projects to fit your requirements. They also cost less than you might think. Definitely worth researching.

Outdoor racks

Outdoor racks

All of our training racks are suitable for outdoor use. Most people don’t have a big enough garage or house to fit a fully commercial rack, so why not get an outdoor solution? It could be temporary for the Summer or a permanent addition. If you have a small, flat area outside in your garden you could incorporate a canopy to create a small weights area that could fit an outdoor rack perfectly. Our racks range from folding racks to garage racks and basic outdoor half racks, to fully commercial Elite Racks. We’ve got something for all budgets and needs.

Original Beaverfit TG

Original Beaverfit TGB

The Tactical Gym Box was designed for the military and is heavily used by the military, with both indoor and outdoor functionality. Storage, heave bar, rack, step box – It’s all there. Compact and easy to build and dismantle, It’s a great product that has stood the test of time with the forces worldwide. Now it’s yours to have in the commercial and home-use gym market. And very affordable too.

Whatever the world decides for us this year, we as an industry need to be ready. We need to adapt, stay safe and work around the problems we face. I for one don’t want to see another lock down!

Let’s focus on solutions and drive our industry, and society, forward together.

One month of Inspace…and a glimmer of hope on the horizon

Inspace Fitness is officially just over a month old!

It feels like a good time to reflect and look forward, especially with the recent government announcements on the lifting of the lockdown in the following weeks and months.

We still have a long, twisting road ahead of us but it’s given us a date to aim for and there’s an excitement around getting back up and open. We’re an industry of active, sociable people who don’t like being boxed up. The last 12 months have been tough for all of us, especially those who have lost loved ones. It puts things into a clear perspective and makes gym closures pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme.

I’m by no means expecting everything to go back to normal straight away. Buyers will be in the same boat as suppliers and we’re all trying to be clever and think creatively with our cash.

This thing is still a massive unknown. I can foresee months of uncertainty within our market and some really long exchanges in terms of kit purchasing. We completely understand that. For anyone that’s ready and wants to make the move on upgrading and buying new kit, I would like to think of us as an honest and trusted advisor. If it’s not 100% the right time for you, then we are happy to wait until it is and support you where we can.

For Inspace Fitness, the announcement has brought a newfound energy and optimism. We were already fired up and have managed to maintain this throughout the lockdowns, but nothing will beat getting back out there, talking to real customers and giving our eyes a break from the laptop.

So, what have I learned since we started this journey? Plenty!

Listen, Learn & Grow

Firstly – the importance of listening. Everyone has an opinion. Take the golden nuggets from what you can. Politely park the bits you don’t like but don’t dismiss them entirely. Learn constantly. This has been an immensely steep learning curve which I am sure will only get steeper.

Who would have thought I would enjoy doing accountancy jobs? There is something satisfying about being in a situation where you are responsible for the entire outcome.

In previous jobs working on CRM systems and inputting data was like pulling teeth – I hated it! I wanted to go out and meet people, speak to them, work with them and earn some money! Now the dark wizard systems and databases are making some sense. Our internal systems are built and we’re ready to deliver.

Trust Your Team

What you build and how you perform dictates what comes out the other end. If I want to have a lazy day, I can! I love it when Phill calls me up and says, “Mate, I need to do something with the kids today!” My response is and will always be, “Go on then. You don’t need to ask me!” It’s this trust and mutual respect that has got us to where we are.

We’ve also built some amazing partnerships along the way. Our relationships with our factories are in great shape. Our suppliers are always paid on time and usually early. We look after others and they will hopefully look after us.

Adapt, Invest, Succeed

We’ve changed course at least a thousand times on this journey. We’ve not taken the easy route. “It takes balls to start up a new company during these crazy COVID times” they said. It would have taken an even bigger set not to do it in my mind.

We’ve spent money on things people said we could have done for a quarter of the price. We did it because we had a goal and a vision. We knew exactly what we wanted to create. In order to get to the start line and make things look like they needed to, we had to make the commitment and invest. Every penny we make is being pumped straight back in.

Finding that work/life balance

It’s important to pause and appreciate what you have in life, beyond work. Yes, these are strange times, but life in general is good. Have I ever worked so hard? NO! Have I ever smiled so much? NO! Is it hard? YES! Will it be worth it? Yes. I’m confident of that.

I live in a happy house full of craziness and laughter. The boys are growing up fast. My eldest is 18 this week. Where did that time go? I love my wife more than ever. She’s been unbelievably supportive. “Hi Wife!. I’m giving up this comfortable sales job to set up my own business during a global pandemic!”…“OK babe!”

My twins were on a Teams call the other day with their classmates and the teacher was asking what they had been doing. She got to Dylan and rather than tell her about the hideous amount of Xbox he had been playing and the fun he had been having with his brother, he said, “My Dads been building a new business and one day, it will be mine!”. The teacher laughed (as did I in the background!), but you know what…that’s what it’s all for. It’s amazing that he’s taking all of this in with the crazy stuff that’s going on. It was quite a special moment.

Let’s hope we can start to get back to some sort of normality soon. The fact that we are and have been trading and are still standing is an amazing start to our Inspace journey. Some great deals are being closed and some great new customers and friends are trusting us and buying into the Inspace dream.

Our team is motivated and ready to get going again. Warm up the cars, clock up the miles, and start spreading the word!

Here’s to the next few months. One hopeful step at a time.

Stay safe everyone.