I have decided to run a series of businesses who have grown and thrived since the Earthquakes that hit Canterbury. So sit back relax and enjoy our first Post Quake Productivity Champion.
Cate Grace - Leap2it
On the 3 September 2010, her car was written off and Cate Grace was working full time as an employee and running her Personal Training Business “LEAP2IT” part time and was about to go full time with Leap2it. She had resigned from her safe Job and was getting ready to launch full time with Leap2it on the 24 September.
When the quake struck on the 4 September 2010, Cates plans did not change; in fact it heightened her desire to go it alone. Her full time job gave her contact and insight into the plight of the resident of the eastern suburbs of Bexley, Linwood and New Brighton. She invited families to participate in an Open Day at CBD gym she was using on the Saturday following the 4 September quake, it was a great success and stress buster.
The Boxing day earthquake was a little closer to home for Cate, the epicenter being less than a Kilometer from her home, however she was again determined to make her business bigger and better despite Mother Nature doing her best to make life for Cantabrians difficult.
Then came February 22, 2011 a day that will never be forgotten in the heart and mind of Cate Grace. She was attending a lunch meeting and preparing to head into the CBD when the Earthquake struck.
It was very evident soon after that things would not be the same for Leap2It for a long time, one obvious change being the CBD Gym that Cate and her clients called home was now in the Red Zone, and it would be over 6 weeks before access was possible.
CBD Gym entrance 8 weeks post 22/2/11
Instead of advising her clients that the gym was not available, Cate contacted her clients and asked them what they wanted and needed. This was pivotal in Leap2It gaining a significant market growth in the period following the February Earthquake.
Armed with the needs and wants of her clients Cate began searching for an alternative Gym where her one on one clients could come with ease, as well as a venue for her Circuit clients and also fun and accessible outdoor venues.
What is different about Leap2It is the people Cate works with. Her perfect client is someone who is struggling with Chronic Illness; her aim is to get people LEAPING off the couch and moving regardless of their Physical Condition. Often a challenging group to work with, however the positive steps forward Cate saw following the Earthquake was reinforcing her faith in the strength of her clients.
When Cate began Leap2it her goals for her business were to work with people suffering chronic health conditions in a gym environment and to have a maximum of 20x1 hour sessions per week. Cate had this goal in mind and it was determined by Cate’s own condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis, which she believed precluded her from maintaining more than 20 hours of One to One training of clients. She was soon to learn that her limitations were all imagined and she was capable of so much more.
Following the September earthquake Cate began to see a change in her goals and began to see a shift toward working with families, youth and partners as well as her existing clients.
The February quake stepped her up a notch as well, this saw an increase in corporate clients, Outdoor training, utilizing an alternative Gym for clients not wanting to return to the Red Zone.
How did Cate manage the changes to her business in such a short and tumultuous time?
She became more productive through the use of systems and tools. Some of the things Cate is doing differently include:
· Using an Action Station Desk Planner – To plan and schedule her weeks ahead of time.
· Increased time and diary management
· Improved costing and invoicing systems
· No discounts or reductions in fees.
· Increase her Social Media presence with Facebook and twitter
These changes have directly resulted in a 240% increase in turnover in the business.
Another significant turning point for Cate and Leap2it was applying a true element of marketing to her business. She went direct to her clients and asked what they needed following their traumatic experiences. She found out what was going to keep them coming back and changed her service delivery to meet those needs. Cate is focusing on a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She combines lifestyle, exercise, alone time & positivity into an achievable and fun plan for her clients and their families. Being healthy and happy is a team effort and Cate encourages everyone from children, partners, family, neighbours and friends to support and train together. Her motto since the earthquakes is never never give up. "If you want it, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse. A year from now, you'll be glad you started today!”
Business pre September sessions were up to 15 1-1 sessions per week, now Cate is growing steadily with up to 35 varied sessions a week including Leap2it 1-1 personal training, Leap2it Buddy sessions, Leap4it Group Circuits & SMaRT Corporate group sessions.
This has resulted in her now working from over 6 different locations:
1) Form Fitness Gym in Beckenham
2) Circuits in the Alpine room at Clip & Climb
5) Waimakariri and Selwyn Operation Suburbs as she takes Leap2it on the road to homes and local parks
6) Corporate Client Offices
Operation Suburbs - perfect place to work
Embracing the changes, adapting to opportunites, talking to her clients, increasing her productivity through systems and challenging her own beliefs have all added up to one exciting and successful business growing and leaping forward in Post-Quake Christchurch. It can be done and Cate Grace’s business Leap2it is a great inspiration to businesses throughout New Zealand to keep your vision and dreams alive, no matter what.