In this Q&A series I will aim to talk to people from different backgrounds about the role accounting has played in their career development or business practice. This post is with my friend Daniel Amato: fitness man, awesome man.
Daniel and I met as teenagers working a casual job at the Cheesecake Shop (which is when I developed my long term relationship with cake, a portent of why we connected years later).
He is a family man, regular blood donor, excellent motivator, and all round stand-up guy, which is why he has so kindly taken some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for The Final AcCountdown.
Daniel works in the fitness industry as a group trainer (an excellent one – in my opinion!) and runs his business from two locations in Perth’s eastern suburbs. Obviously the decision to start your own business can be a little daunting for anyone, especially trying to navigate the set up if your experience is in the actual service or product you’re offering rather than business itself. I was interested to talk to Daniel because he operates under a franchise business model and wanted to explore how a franchise model assists in business development.
AP: Tell me a little bit about your background a why you decided to enter the fitness industry.
DA: I have been active from a young age, going through my teenage years I was very focused on entering Uni for a business degree, I didn’t end up enjoy the studying and being indoors a lot so I took to personal training as I enjoy the environment of helping others, being outdoors and staying fit and healthy. I came to Step into Life 5 years ago after moving around in different positions and with the knowledge we were expecting twin girls, this prompted me to take the next step into running a business in the fitness industry.
AP: Because a franchise can offer a tried and tested business model, did you seek any support from an accountant or financial adviser before you decided to start the business? Or did you find the franchise had the tools and support available to make the process quite autonomous?
DA: Yes, to both questions, Step into Life did supply a great business model but it was also very encouraging in seeking advice from our accountant. We did go to our Accountant with the model and all the information Step into Life was providing, our accountant seemed to be very pleased with the model.
AP: One of the benefits of being part of a franchise means you’re supported by technology, in this case, a client management system assists with reporting and administration. Does the reporting also give you indicators of financial performance?
DA: Yes, it does have some financial performance indicators not as much as going through our accounting software with profit and loss in mind. The Client Management System we have in place more focuses on the admin and performance indicators that lead to the financial success. Overall it supplies us with our turnovers, some losses due to holidays, the merchandise sales incomes, royalties payable etc.
AP: How does this help you make business decisions?
It gives us stepping stones into using an accounting software package, we currently use MYOB. We also have employed a bookkeeper to assist us with our accounting needs and better understand the demands a business has with reporting to the ATO.
AP: You operate in two locations now. Did accounting data help you make the decision to expand the business? Or, did you seek recommendations or support from an accountant in making the decision to expand?
DA: Yes, we did use basic accounting data to initially assess if operating 2 franchises is a viable option. We still had to figure out if we were able and willing to take on the challenge of 2 franchises but we needed to finalize purchasing the second location through our due diligence of the accounting data of the potential and our original business.
“There are many chances we get to experience the joy the members have with transformations, first runs, personal bests and knowing the excited came from their hard work in the sessions we provide is rewarding.”
AP: What is the best part of your business?
DA: The most rewarding most of our business is seeing members change their approach to having and leading a healthy, active and fitter lifestyle. There are many chances we get to experience the joy the members have with transformations, first runs, personal bests and knowing the excited came from their hard work in the sessions we provide is rewarding.
AP: Do you have any advice for people starting out in the fitness industry? Aside from not opening up in Bassendean or Swan View 🙂
DA: Hahaha yes no competitors in these areas preferably. No kidding, for those getting in the fitness industry, my advice is to first explore what options there are, find what you like, what doesn’t work well for you and follow your pathway. Helping the community become that little bit healthier and more active is the end game but we all have a different style and way we can go about it, none really incorrect just another option. Good luck!
If you’re based in Perth’s eastern suburbs and want to find out about Daniel’s services, check out his Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/StepintoLifeBassendean & https://www.facebook.com/StepintoLifeSwanView