Earlier in 2013, the Herald paid Anytime Leisure's Jonny Curley a visit to find out how he has made the transition from full time tennis coach to Sales Director of the successful Anytime Leisure group.
During the interview, Jonny explains how he joined colleagues Paul Bodger and Josh Bicknell to form Anytime Leisure and how it has gone from strength to strength over the past two years. The article is available in full on the Herald Scotland website.
"Why did you take the plunge and start Anytime Leisure?
I needed to work for myself. I got to a stage where the natural step was to be my own boss (together with Paul and Josh my business partners). This has been the best decision I have ever made.
What were you doing before you took the plunge?
From leaving university with a degree in building management I had a career coaching tennis, which was an absolute pleasure but made no money and got extremely cold.
My average day was nine hours on a tennis court with under-fives classes, school classes of 30 kids, adult beginners, performance kids and team squads and then hours of organising and developing the club, Thorn Park Tennis Club in Bearsden. A great player is someone that loves playing, is willing to learn and work really hard and has dedicated parents.
Coaching tennis after playing at a high level as a kid was a dream job that I put absolutely everything into.
The job needs to be as much on court as off court. Developing the right environment for a club to flourish is as important as being able to improve the individual skills of a pupil.
What I learned from this was marketing, brand promotion and sales skills (as you are constantly selling the club, your products and your coaching, customer service skills).
You are running your own business so being able to understand the financial aspect of running a firm is another key skill that I learned.
I did get coach of the year from Tennis Scotland in 2003 before I moved into the construction of tennis courts where I became involved in the sales and business development side.
Then I became sales director with a fitness equipment supplier based in Scotland for five years which then in turn took me briefly back into sports surfacing. I then moved into a sales director role for a large company supplying UK-wide.
Three years this January I joined as the third member of the Anytime Leisure Team.
How did you raise the start-up funding?
Josh and Paul had started up two gyms as Time Fitness and this together with some excellent support from some of our suppliers allowed us to become established.
We have managed to completely self-fund the growth of the business without borrowings.
What was your biggest break?
Winning the Nuffield contract to refit the Royal Bank of Scotland gym at Gogarbrun in 2011.
This was worth £250,000 and led to supplying gyms for Google and Sony in London.
What do you most enjoy about running the business?
Seeing the team around me come together. We have a very diverse team with different skill sets and learning how to manage and let them evolve is exciting."
Read the full article in the business section of the Herald Scotland website.