Case study: F1rst Class Fitness

F1rst Class Fitness is a boutique personal training studio located in the Brisbane CBD, owned and managed by Gemma Cuskelly. What started as a small studio in 2012 is now the largest dedicated personal training studio in the Brisbane CBD, offering no-contract gym memberships, group fitness workouts or one-on-one training tailored to the individual. The business treats its customers as part of a community, helping support, guide and motivate them to reach their fitness goals.

The fitness and personal training industry is burgeoning, with plenty of competition. As F1rst Class Fitness grew, Gemma Cuskelly knew she needed to manage that growth carefully, future-proofing the business and preparing it for long-term operations.

For Gemma Cuskelly, this meant partnering with a business adviser that could fill a role beyond that of traditional accounting. 

Gemma Cuskelly said, “I needed someone who could guide the business growth and grow with us. I knew RSM Australia offered the type of business advice that I needed, and Nicholas Gregory came highly recommended.”

Improving processes to drive goals

As a first step, RSM reviewed F1rst Class Fitness’s processes and streamlined the business utilising cloud functionality to automate those processes.

Nicholas Gregory, senior manager, business advisory, RSM Australia, said, “We took over the administration side of the business, giving Gemma time to focus on managing and growing the business. We complete F1rst Class Fitness’s Business Activity Statements, and prepare quarterly management reports and monthly cash flow analysis. We then meet with Gemma regularly to discuss how the business is tracking against its goals, and we develop and implement plans to help the business achieve its goals.”

F1rst Class Fitness has experienced steady growth over the past four years and is now looking at expanding to a second CBD location.

Gemma Cuskelly said, “One of our business goals is to continue to grow through expansion. In June 2016, we will open our second, larger gym space which will include Brisbane’s first altitude training environment. This one will have a slightly different concept while building on the strong brand values we have established. This was made possible because of the teamwork between RSM and F1rst Class Fitness: without RSM’s help we wouldn’t have been able to expand so soon.”

Strong professional networks have been essential to the business’s growth.

Gemma Cuskelly said, “My advice to others starting a business is to get professional advice and set up appropriate business structures to support your growth. This means completing a business plan, then constantly revising it and making provisions for growth. By delegating the day-to-day accounting tasks to RSM, and relying on the team’s professional advice, I was able to work on my business strategically, rather than working in my business.”