Joanna Hutt is a paediatric and sports physiotherapist who taught BODYPUMP™, BODYCOMBAT™ and RPM™ classes before and after work. She’s always been passionate about child development, and when she heard about Les Mills’ youth programming she recognized a fantastic business opportunity.
Check out what she has to say about how she’s built a business providing classes just for kids.
“As a Les Mills instructor I have trust and confidence in LES MILLS™ programs, so when I heard about Les Mills’ new suite of classes for children I was really keen to bring them to life in Malaysia. I had a good look into the existing local market and I could see that there was a huge gap that BORN TO MOVE™ could fill. Soft play areas, kids gyms and dance studios are relatively common here, but until now children’s group exercise that’s evidence-based and created by a well-established fitness brand hasn’t existed, particularly not for the wide age range that BORN TO MOVE spans.
I could see that there was real business potential, but my motivation wasn’t purely business based. I know that the childhood obesity crisis is growing, not just in Malaysia, but worldwide. Something needs to be done, and if I can make even the smallest impact on a number of children’s lives it’s a small step towards a healthier and happier future for the next generation.
Licensing BORN TO MOVE just felt like a no-brainer.
I decided to form a new company and set up a bespoke studio to run classes. I called the business The Energy Source and chose to offer BORN TO MOVE classes for 2 to 16 year olds, along with some other youth programs and a number of adult classes.
The Energy Source is located in a very popular retail and commercial complex which is strategically located in a large international community with several major schools. The studio itself is fitted out to a high standard with a lot of attention to providing a safe and secure environment. To help make the whole experience enjoyable for everyone there’s a separate reception area so that accompanying parents can relax whilst they are waiting and the older children can socialize after classes.
For us commercial success is based on filling the day with well attended classes – so we aim to make best use of the day by recognizing the different time preferences for the different age groups (and their parents). Through well thought out scheduling and a flexible pricing structure we can smooth out some of the demand peaks and troughs.
A lot of effort goes into promoting the classes – we use Facebook and Instagram, the website, expatriate magazines, local communities and word of mouth.
Every week there are around 50 children who get moving with us, and it’s continuing to rise.
The kids love it! They’re always requesting their favorite songs and tracks and many tell me they want to bring their friends with them as it will be 'so much fun' or 'so cool'.
Parents also think the classes are great. Many say BORN TO MOVE enables their kids to express themselves in an exciting and active way without 'knowing they are exercising' and that it’s great for expelling excess energy! Some parents have reported that their child is completely relaxed after the class and are able to focus for longer periods on homework and other activities.