Business Owner Spotlight - Fitstop Labrador
Maddy comes from an elite sporting background competing in motorsport, so with such a physically demanding sport requiring huge amounts of training and a flexible schedule, it made sense that Maddi was attracted to Fitstop. But more than ‘sense’ and the ability to elevate her training to support her sport, she fell in love with the opportunities within Fitstop’s business model and that her passions, experience and desired lifestyle could come together and add value professionally and personally.
Maddy is known to live and breathe all things Fitstop - she has a genuine interest in her members, she uses her passionate attitude to inspire her staff and is known to jump into multiple Fitstop sessions per week to really get amongst her community! Maddy always shouts the Fitstop difference from the rooftops and this passion shines through in every aspect of her business and life; we’re really fortunate to have Maddy in the Fitstop family and hope you feel inspired by her Fitstop journey!
1. What is your background outside of owning your own Fitstop?
Outside of Fitstop I am on the path to a professional career in motorsport. I have been racing since I was 9 years old, I started out in karting and in 2019 made the step up to car racing. I did 2 years of Super3 and am now racing in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series with Earl Bamber Motorsport Team Porsche New Zealand. In non-Covid times this means I spend a lot of time racing and travelling both around Australia and internationally.
2. What motivated you to take the next step and open your own fitness franchise?
In 2019 I moved from New Zealand to Australia to pursue a career in Motorsport. I decided to do my Cert III and Cert IV in Fitness so that I could improve my own training. I did a 10 week face to face course and I absolutely fell in love with being a Trainer. I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to open a gym of my own one day, so I applied to Bond University to study Health Science and Business so that I could improve my knowledge and learn the skills required to run a gym. After discussing this with my Dad who is very successful in business we decided that I would learn more by doing rather than studying. I pitched him the idea of buying a gym, we looked around at big box gyms and I quickly decided that it wasn’t personal enough for me so I wanted to go into group fitness.
I wanted to be part of my member’s journey and change their lives, I wanted people to fall in love with training and being healthy, I want to create a safe and inviting community where it doesn’t matter if you’re a full time athlete or you have never stepped foot in a gym before, you can come in, feel welcome and have any awesome workout. I really wanted to remove the idea that going to the gym is a chore and instead turn it into the best part of someone's day.
3. What attracted you to Fitstop over other functional fitness franchises?
I actually decided that I wanted to own a gym before I had even heard of Fitstop. I went and trained at many different gyms to see what was best. My first session at Fitstop was their cardio-based session - a Long-List to be exact. I absolutely loved it, it was simple but incredibly challenging, there were no random exercises and I loved the vibe. To this day, Long List is still my favourite session. I then went home and did some more research about the training style and about Peter Hull, being an Athlete myself (and specifically a Motorsport Athlete), I loved his story and his purpose behind Fitstop. I found it the best all round group fitness training in Australia.
Fitstop has an amazing balance between strength and cardio that allows you to stay consistent, prevents injuries and gives great performance and aesthetic results. I then had to look into the business side of Fitstop, being completely new to being both a business owner and a trainer I knew that I was going to need a lot of support. I found Fitstop offered the most support over all of the franchises I spoke with. I was amazed at how personable it was and how we got to be directly involved with HQ so it quickly became an easy choice. Since opening Fitstop Labrador I have not once felt like I was on my own.
4. How have you found the support from Fitstop and how does this contribute to your overall success?
Fitstop are incredibly supportive, I have not heard of another franchise network where individual franchisees are so connected and supportive. I have ongoing support from other business owners as well as HQ. Being so new to being a business owner and a trainer this has played a massive role in the success of my business. Having the ability to ask a question and get an answer the same day is amazing.
5. When taking this step with Fitstop, what were the most important things you needed out of a fitness franchise?
Well firstly, it really helps not having to worry about programming the workouts or spending time worrying if they are going to be good enough, as they are always epic. But in terms of the business side of things, I needed guidance about how to gain and retain members - I did not know much about marketing or member retention but have learnt a lot from other Fitstop business owners and the Fitstop HQ team. Ongoing support was a big one as the fitness industry is an ever growing and changing environment so it was important to me that the franchise did not just set me up and send me on my way - Fitstop has definitely alleviated this fear!
6. How does Fitstop compliment your dream lifestyle?
Fitstop allows me to work closely within my business but also have the freedom to go away racing and enjoy the lifestyle of living on the Gold Coast. I am able to be in the gym every day either training, coaching or working in the backend but I can also spend a few hours at the beach or go away racing at any time I need.
7. How does Fitstop support your training as a professional athlete?
Since training at Fitstop I am the fittest and strongest I have ever been. Being able to have my training planned out for me and knowing that it will be enough for me as an athlete is such a weight off my shoulders. I no longer have to spend hours planning out my training as I know Fitstop’s programming is all that I need. Also just knowing that when racing opportunities come up such as a 6 hour endurance race or racing two categories in one weekend, it means I can say yes to those opportunities without having to wonder if I will be fit enough or strong enough to go the distance.
8. What is your team dynamic and how do you think this has contributed to your success?
I have an awesome team where each team member has a different skillset. This allows us to cover as many aspects as possible - whilst also ensuring lots of unique and genuine connections with our members. Having a variety of trainers means that every member feels they belong. As a team we all get on really well, we have weekly meetings where we touch base and chat about our week. I like to create a professional but fun team environment, as I think it is important that the trainers enjoy their work because that means they will bring more energy and more high-vibes to their sessions which transfers onto the members.
9. How many hours would you spend on the business - is your time spent on anything else professionally?
I do a 3-4 hour coaching block 5 days per week and then spend another 4 or so hours working in the backend of my business each day. It is not always structured hours as it depends what needs to be done and when. This allows me to spend time training and working on my racing whether that be visiting the workshop, watching footage or on the simulator.
10. What does your future with Fitstop look like?
I have the most amazing community at my gym and I am excited to continue on with them in the coming years. I am focusing on growing my membership base and impacting more lives so that in the future I can open another Fitstop.
11. How has Fitstop changed your life?
Fitstop has given me an incredible community here in Australia, I have met so many amazing and inspirational people. Fitstop has taught me to dream bigger and that I can always aim for more. It has also given me the ability to change peoples lives - having my members come up to me and tell me about how the Fitstop difference has changed their lives really is the reason I do this.
We love welcoming business owners from all walks of life as it really strengthens the collective difference we can all make with the Fitstop brand. Maddy is a perfect representation of our incredible business owners who really connect with Fitstop’s performance-based training as it benefits their professional life, creates financial freedom and in Maddy’s case, integrates seamlessly with her participation in elite sport.
We cannot wait to see all the success the future brings for Maddy and her continued impact she makes at Fitstop Labrador and within the broader Fitstop community!
If you are interested in hearing more about the difference of the Fitstop model, download our info pack at fitstop.com/franchise.