F360 Hub 'Caring fitness for mind and body' is a fitness, health and well-being company operating in West Sussex. We are experts who specialise in managing mental wellness through exercise sessions and workshops. These are developed in response to our customers asking for help to manage fatigue, stress and tension, so that they can achieve feelings of being calmer, more content and happier within themselves, and their lives.
Name: Norma Pearson and Claire Taylor
Business: F360 Hub
Norma – in a similar vein to Keith Floyd drinking wine while cooking, I eat cheesy puffballs while I am cooking or while I am watching ‘The Great British Bake Off’
Claire - buying new items of gym kit and having to secrete them around the house to hide them from my husband – shhhhh!
Tell us about how your business dream came to light and how it evolved into reality.
Our business dream coming to light felt like a moment of magic!
In the Spring of 2018, we were simply friends having morning coffee on sun soaked decking at the gym. We were planning our training for the 52 mile London to Brighton bike ride, and deciding on a local charity.
We talked through the issues that were most affecting those around us including people that did not have a regular exercise routine and those that did. People told us that their pain points were fatigue, tension, sleeping problems, feeling tearful or stressed. We were both aware of the challenges presented by very busy lives, the feeling of being overwhelmed, and the pressure that we put on ourselves to keep going.
We started to talk about the importance of mental wellness, how exercise can make people feel better and more able to cope with life. We spent a long time discussing the medicinal benefits of exercise and also how hard starting or coming back to exercise is if you are feeling low.
Through this we realised that were both passionate about the health of the mind being as important as the health of the body for overall well-being. We felt that this was a gap in the market that was not being fulfilled by leisure centres and gyms.
This was the moment of magic… the moment when we decided to launch F360 Hub ‘Caring fitness for mind and body’. Based on research for mental wellness, we decided to launch ‘Stretch and Relax’, ‘My Kind of Yoga’ and Pilates sessions into the community, schools and business to help people feel happier and healthier.
From this moment, there was no stopping us! We selected Coastal West Sussex Minds based in Worthing as our charity for the bike ride because the funds are for local services.
Within 2 weeks we had decided on and registered our business name, set up the website, been accepted onto a 6 month business hot house programme for start-up companies run by the University of Chichester, booked our first venues, programmed in our Continuous Professional Development for fitness instruction for the year and we began advertising! We were both really excited and very committed to the cause.
Starting and running your own business can be tough at times, how did you overcome these
wobbles and not throw in the towel/bib?
In short, because we have each other. Our partnership is very strong. We have different ways of thinking, different life experiences, skill areas and journeys with fitness. This means that we are a perfect balance. One of us can see the answer to the other one’s challenge or obstacle which is the value of having two different minds on the business. We also have a great deal of fun, love having coffee together and anything we can’t work out over a hot drink we take into the studio and exercise our way to the answer. The creative thinking that comes to us in the heat of exercise still amazes us.
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
We love the freedom that we have on the direction of the business based on what our customers are telling us that they need. We are constantly researching and developing our services to be in line with what our customers are asking for and what they say they need help with. For example some customers ask for help into exercise where they are new to yoga or Pilates, help into a routine or to simply feel less fatigued or less tense. By helping customers to feel better in this way makes us feel as though we are adding incredible value to their lives which is where the reward lies for us.
Other than VAT returns, share those tasks that you try to avoid at all costs & how you motivate yourself to get them done.
Fortunately we have different, what Claire calls, ‘ugly frog’ tasks. For Norma, these are writing long documents and public speaking. For Claire these are spreadsheets and having to work on a computer. Claire is happy to do Norma’s ugly frogs and Norma loves spreadsheets and computer work. We generally have portfolios within the business that build to our strengths, while also developing other areas for business resilience.
If there are joint ugly frogs we will book a coffee meeting in and work together to get the tasks done, but there will generally be a food treat to follow!
How have you maximised the potential of working with babytodd and it’s members?
Sarah O’Connell is a fantastic inspiration for us. Sarah has offered great business advice, afforded us an opportunity to reach out to a network of men, women and young people that may benefit from our services, and has developed her business in a way that is teaching us new things every day. Thank you Sarah.
What plans do you have for your personal, family and business growth? How do you
manage to get the balance right?
Norma’s plans for growth include increasing the number of hours that she is working for F360 Hub rather than leisure centres and to have a better work life balance.
Claire’s plans for growth include developing her knowledge, skills and understanding of running a business as this is an area that is new to her, and very exciting.
Together, our plans are to develop the three strands of the business across local communities, schools and businesses, where we want to inspire people to build an exercise routine to hit the ‘pause button’ and take a moment or two out to re-balance themselves.
Getting the balance right is still ‘work in progress’. Our challenge is that the business does not feel like work because we both love exercise and physical activity. So we often end up working very long hours but we don’t really feel as though we are working because we love what we do so much. We are aware of the need for balance and are open to advice!
Key goal for 2019
To have a shared base by December 2019 for us to work from and grow our business even further
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