Nikki Sibeon started her own business offering fitness classes and personal training sessions for the local community including people with disabilities. Nikki is registered blind and has herself overcome physical barriers to become a fully-qualified personal trainer.
As Nikki herself is aware of the struggles facing disabled people who want to exercise and the confidence issues they may have in using local gyms, she started her inclusive fitness business, I’mpossible Fitness, with the aim to get local people exercising together, including those with disabilities, and make them feel part of the community.
I’mpossible Fitness operates out of rented rooms at venues across Flintshire where Nikki holds her Boot Camp and will soon offer an additional range of exercise classes, including Abs Blast, Legs, Bums and Tums.
What they did
Nikki gained a Level 2 NVQ in Nutrition and Circuit Training and instructing exercising. Since starting the business, she has also undertaken a GP Exercise Referral Course and a Level 3 in Personal Training.
What would they do differently?
Not much as she believes she has a unique competitive advantage. Nikki offers classes within community halls and churches that allow for a variety of people to participate. I’mpossible Fitness offers a wide range of exercises to encourage people with disabilities to take part, while also offering more advanced classes. As Nikki is an exercise referral specialist and has specific knowledge of what she can and can’t do with people with certain disabilities or illnesses, she is able to accept more clients than a standard gym. Nikki herself is registered as blind so understands what fears her clients may have when entering an exercise facility. Having also gone through a weight loss transformation herself, she also has understanding of the challenges that being overweight can bring.
Their proudest moment in business
“One of my proudest moments was when one of my clients told me that a past injury, which had led to a weakness, had actually improved with the exercises that I provided. The client has also lost weight thanks to the fitness classes that she attends.”
Describe the type of support (financial / non-financial) they’ve received from Business Wales / Welsh Government
Nikki approached the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service for help with her start-up. She attended a Starting and Running a Business – Taking the Plunge workshop, as well as a workshop on Tax and Bookkeeping to gain an understanding of the key elements of being self-employed.
Nikki was then supported by a business adviser Anwen Pari Owen, who provided guidance and support with Nikki’s business and financial planning, set-up, pricing, marketing, and tax, amongst others, giving Nikki the confidence in her business idea as well as the knowledge to start up on her own.
Nikki said: "I first started out with a very vague plan as to what I wanted to do and how the end project would look but not necessarily how to get there. Anwen helped me a lot with my business plan and helped me with understanding the steps I needed to take to actually get set up and running."
Nikki’s top tips for anyone else looking to start or grow their own business:
- know your clientele and market to them appropriately
- don’t be afraid to make mistakes
- learn from mistakes
- don’t give up at the first hurdle (there will be many)
- remember why you started on your journey
Business Wales is a free service that provides impartial, independent support and advice to people starting, running and growing a business in Wales, click here to find out more.