“I hate going to the gym.”
It’s not the kind of admission you expect to hear from the owner of three fitness franchises, but Liz Nable’s ability to relate could be the very reason for her success. The Business Chicks Power Player was the first franchisee to bring the Xtend Barre brand to Australia, after trying her first barre class in New York seven years ago.
“I’m not someone who enjoys going to a big gym. I always saw it as something to tick off, but I loved barre,” says Liz.
“It was the first exercise class I did after the birth of my first baby, and I loved the way it made me feel. I hate going to the gym, so I knew that if I liked it, then it’s going to work in Australia.”
The gamble paid off. Liz now owns three Xtend Barre studios, has developed a range of ballet-inspired activewear, NABLE and has her eye on expansion. But being the first Xtend Barre franchisee in Australia hasn’t been without its challenges.
At the time, Liz was freelancing as a journalist in New York, while husband Adam was working in investment banking. At 30 weeks pregnant with baby number two, she pushed for the young family to move back to Australia. Neither had experience running a business and the move hit them financially, but it only propelled them to work harder.
“It was 2011, and everyone was telling us not to do it. People were losing their jobs or being made redundant.”
“We just had to make it work; we had no other choice.”
We talked to Liz about how the husband and wife duo deal with competition, cut-through in a now saturated market, and what being a Power Player means for her business.
New exercise and fitness gyms are #trending right now, how do you keep Xtend Barre top of mind for people?
Xtend Barre is such a dynamic workout, it’s really unlike any other workout on the planet. That’s a big call but it’s true!
I’ve tried every barre brand on the market, and Xtend Barre is truly original in that it combines elements of Pilates and ballet, layered in with cardio, coordination, balance, strength, conditioning, and flexibility. It’s a full body workout and one that never gets easy or repetitive, and that’s what sets us apart in a crowded fitness market.
Keeping Xtend Barre on people’s minds is a combination of the right marketing, social media strategy and visibility to our potential customers but it’s also largely working within our studios to get our clients incredible results. There’s nothing like the power of word-of-mouth recommendations to get people talking about your brand and for us, that’s a large portion of the clients who come through our doors, from people who’ve been told about it from others.
Once we have them in class, the rest is easy…it’s not hard to get addicted to the energy of a group workout, a great playlist, an excellent instructor and a stunning studio environment to workout in. The secret to a successful regular exercise regime and a healthy mind and body is to find something you love. Because when you find something you love, you want to do it often and when you do it often you get amazing results. That “something” for our clients is Xtend Barre! You’ll NEVER go back to a big gym again!
How do you deal with competitors?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about having my own business, it’s that it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, competition is everywhere, and it’s inevitable. Even if you’re first to market (which we were), the competition is coming, you can be sure of that, so you can’t rest on your laurels, ever.
In my experience, I do feel it’s important to keep you’re finger on the pulse and know who your competitors are and what they’re up to, but I don’t let the competition dictate my business. I can only control so much, and that’s making sure the workouts we offer are the best in the market, our instructors are highly qualified and deliver an incredible class every time and that our customer service is second to none. If we can continue to deliver those three things 100% of the time, then I don’t really care what my competition is doing.
Why is it important for entrepreneurs to exercise?
Working up a sweat is just good for your mindset. Period. Forget about all the health benefits and the 1,000 plus other reasons why exercising is good for your body, it’s just a great chance every day to do something for yourself and not think about work for an hour.
Being an entrepreneur is stressful. It consumes you 24/7 and being in a constant state of stress is not good for your mind or your body. My motivation to exercise now is far more about the outlet for my mind than it is about looking good in a bikini. Yes, the aesthetics of exercising to look good is a great perk, but your sanity is more important.
Working out is an opportunity to do your body a favour by challenging yourself and having a good sweat, exercising also releases hormones (endorphins) that make you feel good. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment after exercise and it’s just a really positive way to set up your day (or finish your day if your a night time person).
Exercise is also proven to help you sleep better and make better food choices. It improves your mood and makes you more efficient at work. As an entrepreneur, exercise (even if it’s just a brisk daily walk) should be like your secret weapon to success.
What has being a Power Player meant for your business?
Being in the Power Players program has been a great outlet for me as an entrepreneur, to be a part of a community of like-minded women, who are ambitious, smart and understand the world I live in every day. Running your own business can often be lonely. For a long time, I felt like I was operating in a bubble with no one to turn to for answers to the quite complex questions and issues that arise in business, especially as you grow and scale your company. There’s no handbook for that.
I often thought “how good would it be to bring together a bunch of super smart people who could be my advisory board whenever I had a problem”…and then abracadabra, the Power Players program came along. The cherry on top is that we’ve all become great friends. The way the program is structured has allowed us to get to know each other in great depth fairly quickly, so we are there for each other in business but also in our personal lives too.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining up to be a Power Player?
I would say go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you’re serious about being an entrepreneur and taking your business to the next level, this is a program that can accelerate your journey there.
A good leader will seek the wisdom of others. After all, no (wo)man is an island!
CONNECT WITH LIZ HERE.