Trade shows, bodybuilding, and a $35m business: All in a day for Geoff Jowett

diary-of-an-entrepreneur-Jowlett-200Name: Geoff Jowett

Company: Bodytrim

Location: Sydney, NSW

Geoff Jowett was never the chubby kid in school, in fact, he was the skinny kid, but he’s passionate about helping people lose weight.

Formerly a personal trainer, Jowett launched Bodytrim alongside business partner Alex Sisiolas in January 2008 as an informational tool to help give people dietary and lifestyle information on how to drop the kilos. Since beginning five years ago Bodytrim has grown to have a turnover of $35 million, incorporates multiple products such as video content and snack foods and has worked with over 300,000 customers.

Before starting Bodytrim, Jowett worked in the personal training industry for ten years and co-founded Vision Personal Training, but he lost his love for the fitness industry when he realised it was difficult for someone who needed to lose 40kg or more to do so just through exercise. This inspired him to start the collection of weight loss, healthy eating programs.

The company website boasts it offers “a different approach to weight loss, an easy flexible lifestyle approach”. SmartCompany spoke to Jowett about his daily life, business strategies and healthy living.

Mornings

Jowett is a man with a plan, he’s organised and his mornings follow a set routine.

“I’m big on habits and daily routines. Each morning I’m up at 5.30 and for the first hour I have breakfast and gather my thoughts. I come up with a to-do list for the day and I think about marketing concepts,” he says.

Jowett personally writes all his own advertisements (frequently seen on TV and online) and marketing material and considers his morning brainstorm “the hour of power”.

Following his morning thought session, Jowett, like many go-getters in the health industry, hits the gym.

“I’m in the gym from 7am to 8am every day, as much for mood management and mental health as it is for physical well-being.”

He believes healthy living is crucial for any entrepreneur with a hectic lifestyle and he consequently gave up drinking over a year ago.

“I gave up alcohol 14 months ago because I was drinking too much. So in January 2012 I stopped. For any budding entrepreneur I’d strongly recommend it, giving up booze sharpens your focus,” he says.

Following his workout, he often heads to Channel Seven between 9am and 11.30am where he makes appearances on The Morning Show.

Daily tasks

After Jowett’s TV appearances, he hits the keyboard.

“Next, I’m back home to write member content for Trim Club’s 300,000 members. We currently provide HTML, video and audio content.

“I’m also working on new line extensions for Bodytrim. We now have protein bars, cookies, snack foods and they’re going great. They’ve really grown our revenue as they’ve been really popular in supermarkets,” he says.

Around midday, Jowett ventures into the office for meetings and to work on marketing strategies.

“I’m a bit ADD, I like to work hard at home and then come into the office to meet with my PA and managers and then work on creative stuff like ads, member content, and new product ideas.

“I’ve developed enough structures and processes so I can be quite flexible in my role.”

He says it’s vital for businesses to establish clear business processes and metrics, but the focus should start on sales.

“Process is critical, but I think step one should be to invest time and money in advertising and the product itself. If you’re not making money on the front end, it doesn’t matter about the back end. The majority of effort and energy should be invested into revenue generation and growth.

“Only when we realised I was onto a winner did we work on getting the processes down. Alex and I both put a lot of time into getting the product right. He spends a lot of his time in overseeing the processes and the implementation of systems and all that jazz.

“I realised a few years ago that without establishing the effective systems, processes and well trained people, it’s like a glass ceiling,” he says.

Each day he surveys all the business metrics he possibly can.

“We might have 50 different campaigns running for our products on any different day across all mediums, so we’re gauging all of it every day – sales, marketing – we’re very, very big on detail. For example, we know exactly how many calls we got off a particular ad. We know all the numbers and the ratios and this is instilled across the staff,” he says.

Jowett says without the appropriate metrics, a business is “flying blind”.

“You’ve got to work out what hooks work, what your demographics are, what hooks for what people and what communications channels to use.

“We are incredibly detailed when it comes to the performance and the costs. You couldn’t grow a business to this size and beyond if you weren’t. You’d be throwing money around like it was going out of style,” he says.

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