Julie Crowne – “Hit Rock Bottom… And Came Back Stronger Than Ever Before”
BUSINESS NAME: Active Mum
LOCATION: Rouse Hill, Sydney
BUSINESS MODEL: Pregnancy exercise, mum & bub exercise, pilates, personal training, women’s bootcamp
NPE STATUS: ACADEMY™ Program
Julie grew up in a poor country town with her father, but he taught her she could do anything if she just believed in herself.
Years later, Julie went to university to get an accounting degree, received high distinctions, won the university medal, and landed a job with one of the big five accounting firms in Sydney. But there was one problem.
“I went to Sydney to start working and I hated it. I hated sitting behind a desk. I hated living to someone else’s schedule. I hated the environment.”
Whilst working, she went back to university to study exercise science part-time and eventually quit her accounting job. For several years, Julie taught group exercise classes and personal training in a small gym.
In 2008, Julie became pregnant and couldn’t find any pregnancy programmes and realised there was a gap in the market. She created her own programme called Active Mum, developed a website, made flyers, and started teaching at a community center with just two people.
Active Mum grew quickly and she realised she needed her own facility. But Julie was very risk adverse and nervous about paying rent so she came up with a plan. She got several practitioners to use some of the space and pay her rent, which worked well for the next few years.
Julie became pregnant with her second child in 2012 and decided it was time to take her business to the next level. She found a new studio that cost four times more than her first facility space but thought she could build more consulting rooms to cover the additional rent. Julie rushed ahead and financed the studio with her own money.
Although Julie had practitioners fill up the extra rooms, her class numbers were dropping and she was working long hours with two small children and a marriage in crisis.
When she realised her business was losing $10k per month, she looked for a business coach and found NPE in February 2015. Julie joined the ACADEMY™ Program, but her life suddenly fell apart.
Julie’s marriage ended, and she had two kids to support and a mortgage to pay. Her business was making huge losses and none of the practitioners renewed their lease so she had an additional $8k in rent to pay the lease, which was secured with her family home. Her clients and staff were in uproar at the new systems and contracts she was planning to put into place.
“I had really hit rock bottom. I figured at this time, I can either stand up and fight or give up. I decided to fight. NPE was really the support mechanism that got me through.”
With the help of NPE, Julie created an action plan to get her business and life back on track. In the first six months, she fixed her margins, started putting in systems for trainers and admins, and implemented the AUTO-CLOSER® Sales System. She redid her pricing and put members on 12-month contracts.
Julie’s margins went from 15% to 65%, her average ticket price grew from $190 to $1,976, and her monthly revenue increased from $10k to $25k. Before NPE, Julie was making losses of $10k per month but now she’s making a profit of $5k per month.
Julie’s marriage is now back on track, she has time with the kids, and they just moved to their dream apartment on the beach. She plans to double her income in six months and learn to be a leader so she can step back from the day-to-day operations and focus on building the business.
“Without NPE, I had no idea how to do any of this. I couldn’t even imagine any of this. Before I was just a trainer. I had no idea how to run a business and was thinking, ‘How do I get out of this?’ But now I’m a business owner. My journey is far from over – it’s only really just begun.”