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PEOPLE PROFILE ian davey


A qualifi ed PT, Davey’s background is in the world of corporate recovery, where he has spent 22 years. He recently acquired his fi rst health club, now operated as The Gym


How long have you worked in the fi tness industry? This time I’ve been in the industry for just under a year. In my youth, prior to embarking on my corporate recovery career, I spent a year working in the gym at my local YMCA.


You’re a qualifi ed PT, but never worked as one before now – why? Keeping fi t has been my hobby and a source of relaxation for many years. When I took the Personal Trainer course, it was purely to enable me to get the most out of my own training. At the time, my career in corporate recovery was going well.


How did the acquisition of The Gym come about? I had let a number of people know I was interested in acquiring a fi tness facility. One of my contacts phoned me out of the blue and explained that a gym in Chippenham had just gone into administration and would I be interested? I went to see it and thought it had real potential; I was then given three days to make my mind up. So it was a leap of faith, as I had very little


time to study the information provided to me, most of which was in any case very old.


Which comes fi rst at the moment – gym or corporate recovery? Obviously I wouldn’t wish to upset my turnaround clients, so the pragmatic approach would be to say they both have had equal priority. However, the reality was that more of my


time was spent dealing with the gym in 2010 than my turnaround business. But I now have an excellent staff team at the gym, and procedures have been implemented – together with a new computer system –which will mean I can deal with more things remotely. This should enable me to concentrate on building my turnaround business back up, in addition to looking out for new exciting opportunities in 2011.


february 2011 © cybertrek 2011


What is your typical day-to-day? Thankfully my job doesn’t tend to involve too much routine. I normally spend three days a week at the gym – even though I’m the owner and have an excellent team around me, I do try to get involved in most aspects of the business. I have been known to clean and to fi x things! Sadly, for at least one day a week, I’m


offi ce-bound, dealing with the fi nances and general administration of the company. I try to spend at least one evening working on the gym fl oor, meeting my members and doing the occasional induction. But I leave the personal training to my excellent staff, who are much more qualifi ed and capable than me at delivering this! When I’m at home, one routine I really


enjoy is to start the day with a run. I’m very lucky in that I live close to the sea in Poole – I can’t think of a better start to the day than running by the water.


What motivates you? I’m always on the look-out for opportunities and another acquisition would be a real possibility. I’m still looking at other gyms and fi tness-related companies on the market and I really feel the industry in general has a great future.


What do you think is the biggest weakness of the fi tness industry? As a ‘new kid on the block’, I’m not sure I’m suitably qualifi ed to answer this one. However, prior to acquiring my club, I looked at a number of other gyms that were up for sale. One thing that was obvious among the operators I saw was the lack of proactive marketing. For most of them, marketing consisted of simply leaving the door open and the lights on in the hope that people would walk in. A number of gym owners I saw told me their membership number was x but they were certain it could be y, and I thought: “Well why don’t you get out there and make it y? Then you could ask for a lot more money for your business!”


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