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.