From being a successful engineer to the birth of Blitz Gym, Daryl, the owner of Blitz Gym in SS15, Subang Jaya has come a long way. His journey on starting a gym from scratch to being a successful gym until now is truly inspiring. We managed to have a chat and get to know all about Blitz Gym and Daryl himself.
1. How did you get your idea for the business? What inspired you to start a gym?
Firstly, fitness is my passion. I used to study at Taylors University and at that time, gyms were expensive, you either need to sign a contract or you had to pay a lump sum fee and the monthly rate was above RM100. In other places, there were gyms like pay per entry gyms and smaller, boutique gyms. I needed those kinds of gyms as a student and I couldn’t find one. 10 years later, when I came back, I still didn’t see any pay per entry gyms available. I was quite sick of my job, so I left the job and decided to start the gym.
2. What was your vision or goal upon starting this gym?
My vision for the gym is to be affordable and flexible. The gym has been operating for 6 years, the first 3 years I have never touched my price, just like I just opened. It was RM8 per entry. Judging by the consistent amount of people and a consistent amount of active memberships, I believe I achieved my target to make it affordable and flexible.
3. Could you tell us a brief history of Blitz Gym such as the team involved with the establishment of the gym?
I had no partners, it’s just me. I don’t have any loan. All my funding are from my savings during the time I was working as an engineer. I don’t take any partnership as I wanna make this decision myself. If I have partners or investors, they will ask to show my market research. I don’t have to show anyone anything as long as I believe in it. I was here 10 years ago and people do want to go to the gym but don’t have a chance. Then I just came back and decide, okay, there’s still no gym here, I’ll just do it and I know its gonna work. When you are motivated in doing something, all this research that you are doing, talking to people and all, surely you’ll meet some haters who say things like “oh what if this, what if that, it won’t work”. So it’s just better to not put yourself in that kind of negative situation. If u wanna do something, do it and learn along the way.
4. What are the perks of having your own business?
A lot of people say when you’re working in a company, you have a boss to answer to, but when you’re a business owner, you don’t have a boss, but no that’s not the case. The boss is the customers so whatever the customer complains, we deal with them. So it’s really the same concept.
5. Starting a gym is not an easy task as there are many competitors around.
5a. Define who your competitors are.
Most people think our competitors are big franchises like Celebrity Fitness. Actually, they are not our competitors because they run a different business model – collecting a lump sum of money, providing high-end services such as a sauna and pool. For us, we are just trying to provide the most basic level of workout you can get. We don’t have air conditioning, we have all the necessary equipment for you to do your workouts. We do have showers in our washrooms.
Our competitors are more on the boutique gyms. When I first started, I was the only gym here in SS15, but after maybe 5 years you see many other boutique gyms in Sunway and Subang Jaya. So these are our real competitors, not the big gyms.
5b. What differentiates Blitz Gym from other fitness centres?
What differentiates us compared to them is that first of all we are the pioneer and we have people following us. I believe people decide to open a gym by looking at us. They see, okay this business is actually doable, and they do it. The difference is our way of operating the gym. If you see other gyms, they still like to follow the route of the bigger gyms, as in franchises. They still charge a yearly package fee, they want to make users sign up for a yearly contract. Our gym has never done that. We never charge a registration fee, people can just come in per entry or pay monthly. We like to stick to our concept, which is to keep it affordable and flexible.
6. In terms of marketing, what are the go-to marketing strategies for Blitz Gym?
Our marketing strategy is very simple. If u ask me, I probably spend around RM200 a month as I rely on people walking in, but I mostly spend my money on social media marketing as I find the people that I need to target are students. Not all our clients are students, half are working adults, the other half are students. Certain working adults will drop by. The older age group are more active on Facebook, the younger age group are more active on Instagram.
7. What are the future business plans for Blitz Gym? Do you plan to do this in the long run?
No actually, I plan to let it go. I know the next plan for a gym to grow is to expand. Expanding is not that easy and it’s something I am not committed to doing. Hopefully whoever is taking over next time will expand the brand.
8. What made u take the risk of starting the business?
You have to manage your risks. You don’t put your whole life savings into it. At that time I was still young either 27 or 28, so I know if I fail, I’ll just get another job. I still kept in contact with my bosses and colleagues. Make sure there are back up plans before taking a risk. Don’t put your whole life savings in the basket. If it doesn’t work, find plan B.
9. What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs that are just starting out?
I see a lot of people who are working now, complaining that they are sick of their job and want to start a business. Before they start a business, they talk to people, do market research, customer research. All that I think is not really necessary as this kind of things gives you more doubt and just prevent you from innovating. If you want to do something, just do it, and if it’s not working, fail, go from there, and learn.
If you want to do something, just do it, and if it’s not working, fail, go from there, and learn.
When you do some market research and you think “oh I don’t think there’s a market here let’s not do it” and then you never do it because you won’t get a 100% perfect place or a perfect spot to really think “oh this is a good business idea”. That will never happen, I can assure you that.
What I want to say to the new entrepreneurs is that all that university textbook, it helps but it doesn’t really apply in real life sometimes. So the best way I find is that you just gotta do it and try it out, no matter what. Some people say “oh but I’m gonna waste money” and all that but business is a risk, if you don’t dare to take the risk, you go back to your comfort zone and just work for other people.
10. Lastly, in your opinion, what is your take on the Health & Fitness industry in Malaysia?
There are a lot of opportunities because it’s not something that you can replace with an app. People would want to workout at some point in their lives and consider going to a gym or hiring a personal trainer. You can’t have an app to help you work out, you still need to go to a gym. No robot can replace a personal trainer. You could also branch out to the food industry and clothing industry.
Get started on your fitness journey!
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance and try out this humble gym. A gym that doesn’t require a contract will be your best bet, as well as no registration fees required! It is free and easy – what more could you ask for? You can check out other pay-per-entry gyms in KL as well.
Mon – Thurs: 8.30AM to 2.00AM
Fri – Sat: 8.30AM to 11.30PM
Sun: 9.30AM to 9.30PM
Peak Hour (5pm to 8pm on Mon to Weds): RM12
Non-Peak Hour: RM10 (Ladies – RM7 on Thurs & Fri)
Website: Blitz Gym
Address: No. 1B, Jalan SS15/8A, SS15 47500 Subang Jaya
If you’re looking for digital marketing services, Sterrific Agency offers customized web designs, copywriting as well as SEO services to boost your online presence. Check out our blog for more articles!