Posted by Richard Gorham, Senior Associate
Launching a boutique gym studio in a challenging economic environment was a brave decision, Arron explains why…
Aaron Collins-Tomas, owner of TONIQ has been working as a personal trainer in and around Bath for over twelve years. Formerly the lead trainer at prestigious members’ club and hotel Babington House and now running his own boutique gym studio TONIQ Life in the Apthorpe Centre, he is a familiar face to many in the city.
Launching a boutique gym studio in a challenging economic environment was a brave decision, Arron explains why:
“TONIQ Life is a concept and project I am very passionate about and seeing the new studio come to life over these last few months has been extremely exciting. This is going to be so much more than just another gym. TONIQ Life is about a dedicated, healthier way of living; one that doesn’t just make you look good, but feel good too”.
Identifying a gap in the leisure market, Arron saw the need for a more accessible, community based and enjoyable type of fitness. TONIQis about creating a community of people of all fitness abilities and backgrounds and providing them with a quality training experience that delivers the results of personal training at a fraction of the cost.
Given the challenges facing the leisure sector, Arron added:
“The decision to start up a new group fitness gym in Bath was a fairly simple one. With my experience in the industry and already owning a small gym in Bath I was ready to expand. The UK market has shown huge growth in the leisure sector and there was little competition to this kind of training in Bath. However, the reality of doing this was not quite so simple. The lack of decent sized commercial spaces and the huge rent and rates of them made it extremely difficult. Couple that with the lack of support from banks lending to businesses of my size and in my sector, I struggled to make my dream a reality. I was lucky enough to find some fantastic private investors who supported me in my dream and have allowed me to build the amazing facility we have today”.
Taking residence at 5 Green Park, Arron and his team carried out an extensive refurbishment of the property which now boasts modern male and female changing facilities, including showers and vanity stations and a 1,200 sq ft purpose built, state of the art gym, designed specifically to provide the people of Bath with the best possible option when it comes to class exercise.
TONIQ offer six high energy workouts a day Monday to – Friday with two trainers in each class providing the most effective and balanced workout in the City. Having only recently opened clients are already seeing massive improvements in not only the way they look but in the way they feel. TONIQ is fast making a name for itself as the coolest, most fun and effective workout in the City and boasts the best trainers, equipment and sound systems. Fitness classes are increasingly a social experience, and the setting plays a very important role. Toniq’s tailored group sessions in a high-end environment reflect this wider trend and are a natural fit for the City. Class-led fitness communities are thriving across the UK, having arrived from the USA and Australia.
The future of fitness sees increasing numbers of people working out in a group format. There are multiple benefits to community group exercise, including:
- increased stamina and performance
- better attendance
- boosted moods and improved well being
- better results than those who choose to only attend a standard gym.
Many employers are starting to take a pro-active stance with their employees’ mental and physical well being. To support this TONIQ provides fantastic corporate packages to fit the majority of employee benefit structures. TONIQ is also able to offer one off or regular private workshops as team building, celebratory events, corporate hospitality and more. The workshops could be a TONIQ Sweat or stronger class, mindfulness, yoga, meditation or Gi Gong.
Moving forward the aim for TONIQ is to work closely with other businesses to improve the health and wellbeing for as many people as possible in the City. They have started offering free meditation sessions to their members as well as discounted yoga on top of a standard offering.
Top business tips for start-ups
- Build a business plan that considers the market, geographical area, customer base, start-up and overhead costs.
- Set realistic financial projections with best-case, middle-case and worse-case scenarios
- Consider outsourcing professional skills for negotiating lease space, setting up financial planning and record keeping to lawyers and/or accountants.
- Build the right financial foundation, in the case of businesses in Arron’s sector avoid membership offerings that don’t allow you to predict future revenues.
- Track your finances and learn to budget to measure your performance and ensure you are on track with your business plans and projections.
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