Company: Champions Fitness
What they do: Personal training
Revenue: Estimated $140,000
Goals: Client retention and growth, and enhanced training programs
Despite the ailing economy, Ken Hensley is expanding his business.
“It’s always a risk,” says Hensley, the owner of Champions Fitness. “But if you don’t take a shot, you’ll never know. It’ll always be, ‘What if?’ It’s risky, but I have to stay positive and make sure it’s going to work.”
Hensley, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, plans to open a second gym and studio by late summer, perhaps on Highland Road between Interstate 10 and Airline Highway. The location likely would match his current one on Jones Creek Road, which is between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet and employs three personal trainers.
Hensley says his current location is becoming overcrowded as his clientele increases. Based on where many of his clients are coming from, he decided a location convenient to neighborhoods such as Country Club of Louisiana and Santa Maria might be a good fit.
Hensley also is focusing on sustaining, growing and diversifying his client base. He’s taking a value-added approach by offering free sessions to clients who meet weight-loss goals and keep the weight off, as well as those who refer new clients and who buy certain packages.
A personal trainer was recently hired in hopes of attracting more older people who want to get fit, another potential growth area. Other exercise programs for seniors are available, but he believes the one-on-one sessions might be more effective.
“I see some older citizens who don’t have balance and strength,” says Hensley, a bodybuilder who won Mr. Louisiana titles in 2003 and 2007, “so I decided we could help them to eat better, prevent bone loss and get healthier.”
Champions Fitness averages 44 clients, a number Hensley wants to grow to around 100 this year at the current location. When he started the business in 2005 after moving from St. Croix, he had 14 clients.
Hensley’s competitive edge is offering more one-on-one sessions and tailored programs that include nutrition. His trainers exemplify what they teach because inspiration is a major factor in clients achieving goals.
“We are living proof of our work,” he says. “We have a healthy lifestyle.”