Can you tell us about your background and your business?
My business – Fit22 – delivers face-to-face and online personal training sessions. Health and fitness have always been my passion in life, but when I was in school, the only undergrad degree you could really do in relation to sports was to become a PE teacher. There weren’t as many sporting degrees, such as Sports Science, as options in Scotland back then.
I decided to go down the route of a business degree and graduated in Single Honours Marketing. You just find yourself going with the flow and before you know it, you’re in your corporate attire and heels for the next 22 years... until Covid hit.
Lockdown, at first, felt like a nice break, away from the constant trips for work as I’ve spent the last nine years in a sales role travelling the length and breadth of the UK. I decided with no travelling, I’d retrain and get my personal training qualification. After completing all the theory, exams and coursework, I had to wait until we were allowed back into gyms to sit and pass my practicals.
And that’s me, I was ready to plan out my dream, of course also relying on plenty of commercial and business experience in my career to date.
What inspired you to take the leap?
The plan was to venture into this as a side hustle but after my dad passed away suddenly in September last year, and the new hybrid ways of working – the motivation and opportunity came at the same time. I spent a good bit of time considering how I wanted to fulfil my career and losing my dad was a massive reminder of how life really is so short, but also how our health cannot be taken for granted.
Covid also really hurt personal trainers, and many of them had to train to do something else. The opposite was true for me, I worked every day from home so it allowed me to think more about what I would prefer to do with the rest of my career. There's now the opportunity for more online personal training as people bought equipment for working out at home.
It gave me the confidence that I could use my knowledge and time to help people in their lives because sometimes it’s difficult to self-motivate or know what to do with the equipment to get a balanced and healthier life.
I also have clients that want to work out with me in person and for that, I've got a private gym at home. I'd already acquired seven local clients that came to work out with me before I’d even officially launched. That's why I thought I better get the business banking sorted out sooner rather than later!
Lynne Hall, founder of Fit22, with a client
So how did you hear about Mettle?
One of the first recommendations after qualifying as a PT by my mentor was to find a business banking partner. Naturally, I had a chat with my own bank and I had a meeting with an adviser but I also wanted to do some shopping around.
After some online comparisons, I was actually recommended Mettle by a business associate who also uses it. He recommended Mettle because of all the support the online system gives, like automating expenses and tracking the hours spent on clients.
I had a look and I loved the brand. Everything looked self-explanatory and it's been painless to set up. I've started getting clients to pay into my Mettle account already. The next step is to go and see my accountant so he can explain how a limited company works and how I can take the earnings.
What were the biggest challenges you had when you decided you wanted to do this?
My nerves! For 22 years I've been working in corporate businesses, with structure and career advancement. I've really always wanted to be my own boss for as long as I can remember, I kind of knew that was my destiny, I just didn't have the guts.
I realised that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life working in a corporate role that I didn’t enjoy. I think the fact that I got to travel so much for my role, masked how much I wasn’t interested in what I was selling.
I also struggled with a lack of knowledge, especially around finances and managing business accounts. But I realised I always work best when I learn on the job, so understanding how to run a limited company would be fine once I was doing it practically, and Mettle can help me with this.
Another challenge was the mindset change of going from this successful corporate career to not having a set salary. How am I going to pay my mortgage? How am I going to pay my bills? So even though I never worried if I could make a difference in people’s lives, I had every confidence in myself for that, but not knowing an exact salary every month, pension and holidays were certainly a concern. It was coming right out of my comfort zone.
What has been the most rewarding bit about starting your own business?
The client's success. It’s not just about weight loss. It’s about the confidence that they’ve built. It’s amazing to see! For example, one of my clients attended a christening this weekend and she was just glowing. She was wearing a dress she never would have worn before, her confidence has grown so much.
I will never get the fulfilment in a corporate role the way I do when I change people’s lives for the better. I can help them on their journey and provide information and training to make them stronger, happier and more confident to go into the rest of life’s challenges.
What does an average day look like at the moment while you’re still working full-time?
At the moment, an average day is getting up early, going for a walk whilst listening to a podcast or, if it’s raining, reading a chapter of a personal development book. I then plan any programmes for that evening’s clients. I’m then working my corporate job from eight to five with my first evening client ready to work out as I put the laptop to sleep!
Once I finish my current job on 30th September, I will have so much more time to concentrate on the business and grow the online training packages I am offering and be free to work from where I want as well as be in charge of all decisions – that really excites me!
Lynne Hall, founder of Fit22
What’s your vision for your company?
I was going to say the main goal is to live a comfortable life, based on what I have earned in the corporate world as a benchmark, but my personal ambition will always take over! I want to help as many people as possible live a little healthier, feel a little better and therefore live a fulfilled and longer life. I’d love to open a couple of private small gyms along the way but I can reach so many people globally with online personalised plans too!
I live in the smallest county in the UK which means I have an opportunity to reach out on a local level. I have a relief coaching role with the local council where I teach circuit classes to cover instructors from time to time so I'm building some awareness for my offering and also the services the council have to offer in fitness.
I’ve purposefully made my brand Fit22 and not ‘Lynne Hall’s Personal Training’, so that there is room for growth. I’m really excited that I can start small but the opportunities are endless, especially in today’s tech-savvy society. My clients and I can be anywhere globally and I’m fully trusting that Mettle will have all the financial support I need to fulfil where this takes Fit22!
You can find out more about Fit22 on the website: www.fit22.co.uk.