5 min read
MAK Fitness Changing Lives with the Help of Ezidebit
Dylan Karaitana is constantly reminded of the people that his fitness and sports nutrition business has been able to help over the years, from the amount of regular emails received through to personal thanks from those who have improved their lives through one of MAK Fitness’ training programs or products.
From calorie calculators, nutrition and diet supplements through to 12-week fitness and training programs, Dylan says one of the most rewarding aspects has been that what he and his team have created has been widely used and proven beneficial to so many people.
“I love that our ideas and programs have had an impact on so many,” Dylan says. “Getting feedback from people saying, ‘That’s made my diet so much easier; I’ve lost 15 kilos’, is the most rewarding thing.
“To be able to innovate and help people is very satisfying.”
Dylan cites the example of one of his fitness clients -- a 42-year-old who was severely overweight, reclusive and suffering from social anxiety. Through Dylan’s intervention and program he was able to turn his life around, lose 45 kilograms, improve his health, change his diet and drinking habits, change jobs and have all the social, health and lifestyle benefits of doing so. From only just being able to run a football field after three weeks to running five kilometres in 25-minutes after 12 months, Dylan’s client then went on to run elite Spartan races.
As founder and national sales director of Queensland-based MAK Fitness Dylan says that the business was the very definition of a startup, commencing with no money and little training equipment.
“I started the business straight out of college,” Dylan says. “I was playing professional sport and a heap of the players I was playing with all needed workouts in the off season. We used an old Macedonian Hall which we kitted out with what gear we had and some treadmills so we could do our circuits. Pretty soon, everyone’s mum or sister came past and wanted to join and asked what we charged. We weren't actually charging the players so we decided to collect $10 per session on the proviso that they did it on the days that suited us, which ended up being a Tuesday and Thursday morning.”
That experience eventually led Dylan to using Ezidebit to collect class payments as a direct debit instead of trying to reconcile and chase cash payments or having to have a portable credit card EFTPOS machine constantly on hand.
In 2012 after a break overseas playing professional rugby in Scotland, Dylan returned to Australia and knew that he wanted to take the business to the next level.
“After landing in Brisbane I literally went from door to door with a clipboard describing my system and signing up customers with the promise to lose weight.
“For the first class held in a school car park I had 40 clients registered, many of them parents from the school, local hairdressers or day care mums.They would pay me every time they showed up for a session for the six-week program. By week two, 120 people turned up with the council also arriving to shut us down as the numbers were too great. We then had to split sessions amongst three locations on Brisbane’s south-side to accommodate everyone.”
One of the lessons Dylan learned was not giving away all the diet plans, advice and lesson structure to clients just turning up occasionally. He realised to be scalable he’d need to have a proper registration and payments system in place and this led him to use Ezidebit’s service to collect fees on a periodic basis.
“Ezidebit proved a positive to cash flow straight away and saved so much time in chasing payments and reconciling payments to registrations,” Dylan says.
“Having that side of things sorted allowed us time to do many other things that we probably couldn’t have to grow the business. The integrations between Ezidebit and our systems have been impressive, combined with very reasonable fees and the great service.”
MAK Fitness continued to grow and branch out into nutrition and supplement supplies. Many customers wanted to buy some of the products that Dylan didn’t really have access to, so they decided to open a supplements shop. After a period of only breaking even, Dylan decided to close the shops and shift that part of the business online and introduce their own brands. The online sales have been a runaway success ever since with customers coming from all over Australia, New Zealand and further afield.
The e-commerce side of the business now commands most of Dylan’s time and attention with him also leading a team of designers and developers.
So, does he still run any classes himself?
“I do one class on a Tuesday night in our original location. I get hounded online every single week by clients wanting me to run a class. That Tuesday night class is probably the toughest of the week as I’ve got a full week to prepare for it!”
Selling Australia-wide, MAK Fitness offers a wide range of supplements including proteins, BCAAs/Aminos, pre-workout, creatines, weight management and vitamins and health products. Apparel and training gear can be purchased online and of course, access to their classes and training programs. Visit: www.makfitness.com.au