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Bootcamp pioneer just going from strength to strength

Business Month discovers how a Newcastle-based business is thriving on growing demand for ‘back to basics’ outdoor fitness

We all know that exercise can knock pounds off your weight and make you feeling better — and for one local entrepreneur, our growing drive to get outdoors to achieve these goals is starting to reap rewards for his newly started business.

With the support of Invest Northern Ireland’s Go For It programme, athlete Ian Bailey set up NI Bootcamp, Northern Ireland’s first residential weight loss and fitness centre, early last year.

Ian says his dream of running a business in a part of the world he adores was all the drive he needed. So he signed up for the Go For It programme.

Since then, his promise of fun, fat-burning activities, healthy eating tips and motivational support have proved to be a godsend for hundreds of visitors from all parts of the country.

“The programme definitely gave me the confidence to see that I was heading in the right direction.

“I learned that there is a lot of really good advice out there for new business — crucially, it also helped me to focus on the figures by putting together my business plan.

“I reviewed and refined our service and currently offer structured training programmes with professional medical supervision.

“A qualified, experienced pharmacist and nutritionist is also on hand, dispensing good advice to customers. I have also found success with our shorter ‘taster days’ or ‘detox weekends’. These have added significant value to the business.”

Though challenging, Mr Bailey says running his own business has been hugely rewarding. “It’s definitely made a difference to my life,” he said. “There’s more stress and no such thing as a day off. At the same time, it’s a wonderful motivation when you know you have to make things happen yourself.”

Mr Bailey says making the first move to get help has been vital to his company’s success and he calls on others to enlist the help that’s out there. “I would definitely recommend the Go For It programme,” he says.

“For a start, you will get a lot of sound advice – whether you have only just come up with an idea or are already in the process of setting up.

“You really can get all your questions answered. You will also meet lots of others in a similar situation who can share their experiences and advice, giving you the confidence to see your idea through.”

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