Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Dan Alenaddaf from Gym And Fitness.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Gym & Fitness, or GAF as we like to call ourselves, provides an extensive range of high quality gym equipment backed with the best service and advice from our helpful and knowledgeable team. We provide our customers with unrivalled value for money, through increased price transparency, vertical integration and the best customer experience in the country — we promise. At GAF, we range the world's best fitness brands, making us very in-tune with our customers and their needs. This keeps us up-to-date with trends and allows us to be market leaders.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
I understand the process of getting a product designed, developed all the way through to point of sale. So now that we have the knowledge, experience and infrastructure in space, bringing new products to market is getting easier.
We have secured distribution right for the FreeForm USA Cardio range of treadmills which we are confident will fuel future growth - everyone wants an easier way to jog! We see growth in our online channel too. We are currently in the process of overhauling our website and streamlining the shopping experience for our customers. In the non-digital world we have also been expanding the number of brick and mortar stores we have to take customer experience to the next level, with our sixth store due to come on board shortly.
Currently we are fuelling growth, although we are certainly open to other forms of financing in the near future.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
One of the biggest challenges we face is dealing with our rapid growth. It has been difficult to know what to do from a financial/cash flow aspect. It's the eternal question of spending cash to make cash. Finding a correct pricing strategy will always be a challenge due to the markets we operate in. Generating competitive online and in-store expenses has its benefits and its drawbacks. As with every business, another challenge is finding the correct team to lead the GAF way. We know our strongest asset is our team. Every single team member's commitment to the brand and their role is key in our success.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We differentiate our business through the three Ps: People, Process and Product. We have spent over a decade hiring, training and keeping the right people in our team happy and healthy. This coupled with our unique, quality products and processes in place means that we are able to actively compete in our market.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
The boring answer is Google Apps, we couldn't go a day without it. But I'll make it more exciting and say Boomerang for Gmail. Not sure how any busy person keeps their communications orgamised without it. It helps remind me to follow up emails or tasks as well as allowing me to focus on priorities.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
I recently came across a quote from Victor Kiam which I relate a lot to being an entrepreneur and starting a new business: "Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward". It's OK to make mistakes, learn from them and keep pushing forward. There will be plenty of roadblocks in the journey to success, just keep moving forward no matter what the challenge is that you are facing or mistakes made along the way.
Another one of the favourites is the whole glass half empty or half full debate…. my favourite answer is "who gives a sh*t, drink it and fill it up again!"
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