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International athlete strikes fitness gold with help from BEF

Leeds-based personal trainer gets off to a flying start thanks to a £12k Start Up loan from BEF.

Tim Abeyie is a former Great Britain sprint champion and current Ghanian International sprinter based in Leeds who specialises in functional fitness, strength and conditioning.

Tim has nearly 20 years’ experience training and competing, and offers his expertise to a growing list of individuals, corporates and elite sports clubs. Tim supports clients to achieve and surpass their general fitness, sport-specific, strength, power or body-image related goals.

“Most people think of fitness as achieving and maintaining an ideal weight or size” he says. “I take a more holistic approach as fitness is not just physical, it’s also about how you feel. Being fit means you feel alive, full of energy and confidence to achieve more. It’s all about inner strength.”

Tim has provided one-to-one fitness coaching since 2015. In early 2019, he decided to complement his one-to-one sessions with online training, an app and ebook. These three new services would allow him to offer his expertise and experience to new clients who were able to follow a dedicated programme at home or in their own gym. With the support of a dedicated agency to launch and maintain a new website and marketing campaigns, he would be able to significantly grow his client base.

“It was difficult to train existing clients and reach out to potential clients who had contacted me. I like to contact a potential client within one hour of them sending an enquiry. There were times when I was just too busy to call a potential client so outsourcing my marketing was the right thing to do.”

Tim needed a small amount of funding to help make this happen. He initially approached his business bank thinking that it was the best place to secure the funding he needed. To his surprise, this was not the case and he was left feeling frustrated by the experience. Following advice from a friend, Tim approached BEF in March 2019. Thanks to a £12,000 Start Up loan delivered by BEF in April 2019, Tim was able to introduce his new online and app-based training and secure the services of a marketing agency.

Having outsourced his marketing, Tim has increased his one-to-one client base while reducing the cost of client acquisition. In addition, he has started to secure corporate clients who want to provide group fitness sessions for their employees.

Keen to build on this success, Tim is currently working to grow his online training programme and tailor his app to deliver speed and power training programmes to elite athletes. The elite level training follows on from his own athletics career and his work with teams such as Bradford Bulls and Leeds Carnegie.

Speaking of his experience with BEF, Tim said: “Julie Micklethwaite really helped me with planning and looking at my business in a broadest sense. She opened my eyes to things I hadn’t thought about and ultimately helped me to secure the money I needed for sustained and profitable growth.”

Tim’s advice for other companies who are seeking to start or grow is: “Know when to delegate. Bring in experts so that you can focus on the things that you are good at. That’s your strength, that’s your business.”

Julie Micklethwaite, Start Up Loans Manager at BEF, said: “Tim is an elite level athlete whose brand of faster, fitter, stronger can make a huge difference to anyone who wishes to be fit for life. His passion, professionalism and down to earth approach enables him to work anyone who wants to improve their physical and mental health in a realistic and sustainable way. That’s why we were happy to support him and celebrate his continued growth.”

For more information on Tim's fitness programmes visit Tim Abeyie Fitness.

Looking for finance to start your own business? Our Start Up loans team is here to help.

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