Forward Thinkers – Small Companies, Big Ideas.
Welcome to the first of our weekly blogs – Forward Thinkers.

Each week we will hunt the world for stories that shine a light on the weird, wacky, and most inventive small business owners who are leading the charge on new ways to run, grow or even start a small business.

In this week’s episode we focus on lockdown, and how one gym owner has utilised some interesting ways to keep the doors open, so to speak.

Lockdown hit us all pretty hard, but for small gym owners it was and still is, extra devastating.

Rising costs, landlords still charging property rents, bills need to be paid, and just like the hospitality industry, gyms do really need you to come into their premises to work. Or do they?

Joe Kelly owner and JKK Fitness in Hertfordshire, has shown how through hard work and creativity any business can adapt and not only survive but thrive.

During the first lockdown, he knew like many online was the only way forward, so started a YouTube Channel offering online training programs, but he didn’t stop there and try to compete with the hundreds of other fitness channels, he also provided an equipment rental service to his members….Genius, not only are you providing a great platform that keeps you connected to your members, but you are also bringing in a revenue stream from all those assets you have just sitting around unused.

JJK Gym Kitchen
Joe didn’t just stop there as most of us would probably do, instead through some clever use of government bounce back scheme, used the lockdown period as an ideal opportunity to refurbish his studio and allowing him to open up an outdoor space and a brand new gym kitchen, which I’m not sure if there was some kind of mystic future telling going on here, meant that when lockdown 2.0 happened, meant Joe was able to increase his offerings to provide nutritional takeaway meals for his patrons and provide socially distanced personal training programs outside.

I think we can all agree here that Joe really has shown all of us that with hard work and a positive attitude, even lockdown can still be an opportunity.