After spending two years as the Head Trainer at Bootcamp Pilates in London, in 2010, Aaron Smith returned to Australia to launch his flagship fitness brand KX Pilates. It was about six months after making that decision that he opened his first studio in Malvern, Victoria.
In the last couple of years, the business has experienced rapid growth and is now known as the KX Group, a high performance, boutique fitness company with a range of studio-based offerings like pilates, yoga, barre and cycle, as well as overseas fitness retreats.
To give you an idea of the rapid growth being talked about, KX Group currently owns 17 pilates studios, four barre studios, two yoga studios and one cycle studio. KX’s revenue is also reflective of the hockey stick style growth that you would expect from a company that opens in 24 locations in a short amount of time. Year one was a $240,000 year, followed by $690,000 in year two, then year three revenue almost doubled to $1.2 million, and again in year four with $2.4 million, and in the last financial year, KX Group cracked the $6 million mark in annual revenue.
“The growth has been pretty rapid,” says Smith. “Over the next six months, we’ve got another seven franchises opening so we’re going to be busy and that’s why I needed to get We Love Numbers on board as soon as I could.”
Smith has been hyper focused on growth (both sales and location growth) over the last few years, and says he wasn’t really focusing on the ‘numbers’. As such, he became incredibly behind in many things, which in turn was having an impact on areas of the business that he was not aware of.
“From ATO payments and pretty much all the books, we were massively behind,” says Smith. “There are a few events that happened; one bookkeeper we employed went away overseas and didn’t come back to work for us. Then after that a few bookkeepers changed careers and so we did have a circumstances which led to getting behind but on top of that, the growth was huge.”
Finally Smith ended up making the decision that he was going to go the complete opposite route and do something about it, outsourcing the entire functionality of that part of the business to We Love Numbers. KX Group has been using We Love Numbers’ services for around eight months now and says that it has completely turned everything around. The services provided by We Love Numbers have helped KX Group get on top of everything and provide advice on what should be done to move the business forward.
“The main services we use are the bookkeeping services,” says Smith. “That was obviously what was most beneficial just to get out of trouble, but they’re pretty much a 24-hour, 7-day a week services. Queries get answered very quickly and they’re across all of my businesses.”
“They also really helped me with advice. For example, I’ve just recently sold my first Pilates studio,” says Smith. “It was difficult because I use a lot of the studios we owned to fund the rest of the business growth. So I worked with We Love Numbers to really model out the figures and actually see what the business would be doing if we didn’t have a company studio, if it was a franchise model. They helped me model that completely before we sold the studio, and the price we got was really good so I am really happy with everything that’s happened so far.”
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