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Interview with Cathy Albanese from FITT Ladies Bootcamp

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Interview with Cathy Albanese from FITT Ladies Bootcamp

So this is the second of two new initiatives here @bloggertone. We will be highlighting some great businesses & interviewing the people behind them.

Australian-born Cathy Albanese is a fitness instructor and the lady behind Ireland’s FITT Ladies Bootcamp. Bootcamp is for women who are sick and tired of the same old routines, same old classes and lack of energy day after day. Workouts are outside during the summer and weekends & indoors during the winter.

‘FITT Bootcamp is great craic! Rain, hail or shine – we are out there! Forget the gym.‘Aisling Mc, Maynooth

The F.I.T.T. Principle is a set of rules that help you get the most out of your workouts. Frequency: how often you exercise, Intensity: how hard you work during Exercise, Time: how long you exercise & Type: what type of activity you’re doing.

Cathy, Tell me about you and FITT Ladies Bootcamp?

Cathy: I am originally from Melbourne, Australia and moved to Dublin 6 years ago. I previously worked for some major Irish construction companies as plant manager and as purchasing manager. I have always had an interest in the fitness industry and after becoming redundant in 2008, decided to use my experience & qualifications to set up FITT Ladies Bootcamp, which is Ireland’s first women’s only bootcamp. Bootcamp is part of the sunny landscape in Australia and I saw no reason why the concept wouldn’t work for Irish women. Bootcamp has no fancy equipment to learn and our female trainers know what women like and don’t like doing for exercise. After only 9 months, we were delighted to be nominated for the 2010 Irish Enterprise Award.

Start ups usually struggle at least initially, why would say you have been successful in a relatively short amount of time?

Cathy: I never thought it would not work, which is why I believe the business has become successful fast. I believe I am where I am now as an entrepreneur, because I have planned and researched every choice I have made for my business. My experience as a purchasing manager has helped immeasurably!

What business lessons have you’ve learnt along the way & how have they impacted on your decision making?

Cathy: The biggest lesson I have learnt is to be aware of what your competitors are doing or more importantly; not doing and go one better if you can. We ask our clients what they like/dislike about your service and act on what they say. What you might think is a great idea or concept, might not be for someone else! You need to know to not take things personally when taking on board others’ opinions. I have learnt that spending loads of money on advertising and marketing does not always work – if you listen to what your clients are looking for and deliver it, they will come back. It is sometimes better to focus on the clients you already have, than to go looking for new customers.

Where do you see the new opportunities in the fitness sector over the coming years & how do you plan to take advantage?

Cathy: I see the outdoor fitness concept really starting to challenge gyms.  People are realising you don’t need to be in the gym for hours slogging away on the treadmill. I plan to take advantage by spreading the bootcamp concept throughout Ireland and eventually into other European countries. We also intend to start organising residential bootcamps and plan to move into the teen market to help encourage teenage girls to stay fit.

Do you currently use any social media & is it effective for your business?

Cathy: We currently blog, have a Facebook page and use Twitter.  I think social media is a great low-cost way to get your business noticed by an audience you would not otherwise reach -however for my business, word of mouth is and remains king. You need to be careful with how much information you put out, if you bombard people with email, newsletters, tweets, FB messages, text messages etc., they will be discouraged from using your service or buying your products. Decide which social media option works best for you and then learn how to use it well.

Thanks a lot to Cathy for doing the interview & sharing her insights, If you would like to know more about FITT Ladies Bootcamp, she can be contacted @ e: Info[at] or p: (00353)85 102 7399

If you would like to be interviewed & have an opportnity to showcase your business, please e-mail us here @ webmaster[at] using the title “Bloggertone Interviews”.

Thank you for reading


Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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  • Hi Niall, thanks for sharing this interview. The relevant bits for me were (1) keeping an eye on the competition and trying to go one better (2) not taking things personally – suspect we all do that sometimes when our own products/services are being criticised (3) the policy she has to focus on 3 key areas of social media to promote the business.

  • Well done Cathy – what a great success story!!
    You have achieved what a lot of business owners only dream of, I would agree that one HAS to believe in their idea / business, and not listen to the begrudgers, but to listen to the critical customers and learn what the needs are.

    But it’s the self belief that will drive a business to success, Niall thanks for sharing a great interview

  • Barney – I truly believe that those who criticise do not see value in the product or service, so are not the voice to be listening to at that time.

    When our critics become our advocates, that is transformational, so I decided a long time ago (this morning) to become my own advocate rather than my own critic 🙂

  • Number 2 is a very difficult one indeed

  • @Elaine, thanks for reading. Cathy has wonderful self belief, that’s for sure. I love your point about our critics becoming our advocates.
    @Barney, glad there was some bits in there for you.
    @Facundo, been there & bought the t-shirt 🙂

  • Thanks everyone! I am really appreciative of all your comments!
    The article generated alot of interest for my business and really helpful feedback. Thanks Niall!
    @Elaine I have learnt the begruders don’t come back and the critical customers do.
    Look out lads for the mens bootcamp; you will have loads of self belief after a few sessions so watch this space! 😉

  • Anonymous

    Niall:nnThanks for including me at #4 on the list.nnRob

  • My pleasure Rob, great article! Thanks for writing 🙂

  • My pleasure Tommy, that’s some great FB advice!

  • stay tuned. I’ve only scratched the surface…

  • 🙂 That’s what I like to hear

  • Thank you Anita, your book sounds exciting!

  • Glad you found them useful 🙂

  • Hi Frederique, thanks for the great feedback and I’m delighted you are finding these useful.

  • No problem, Thomas! Glad you found some of them useful. By the way, new round up out today: n

  • Thanks Brian – that’s a great point too. And I know your Garden Centre is definitely worth a visit 🙂

  • Thanks Anne – it’s good to know it does work

  • Torihawthorne

    Great post Sian,
    A town near me has seen a run of small businesses closing down, changing hands and changing what they sell. I did some Market Research there for a Client and found over 1/3 of the shops didn’t have en email, let alone an online presence. The responses from many were that they didn’t want to change how they had always done things, it seemed to be a fear. There’s a business idea there, to help local/boutique style shops to get online, show them how easy it is and the benefits.
    Great post, I’d forgotten about ‘fizzy-pop wagons’ 😉

  • Thanks Tori – there’s an idea for you saleswoman extraordanaire 🙂 And fizzy pop wagon – the Corona man delivered Dandelion & Burdock – highlight of my week lol

  • Its sad to hear Sian, but then everything in business is about reacting to the changing trends in the marketplace. In five years time, who knows what will happen – we could be selling on the moon!

    I would just like to say that there are many alternative option, but that having your own website is always a benefit. I also believe that if you are going to compete online, you should make the effort to build a professional looking site. This is especially important for online retail as trust is a deciding factor to whether you purchase or not.

    I agree that Ebay is a great way to start selling.

  • Great advice, Sian! I’d add that local businesses need to work together (Local Heroes is a super template) to become greater than the some of their parts, collaboration is the new competition 🙂    

  • Good idea Niall 

  • Thanks for the suggestion Tina – I completely agree a professional site is definitely worth it

  • Deirdre Wyvern

    I’ve said it elsewhere before but most businesses should have a fairly up-to-date website with the minimum of opening hours and phone number on it, that’s easily navigable by mobile, even if all you have is a Hairdressers or coffee shop, I regularly try to check whether or not somewhere is open when I’m heading for the city centre after work to plan a shopping route.

    Remember, as well, that what people call your shops location may not agree with the physical address of the shop, make sure people can find you, particularly if you have a few locations, how do you tell people how to find the shop? that makes it less impersonal to a browser, they make a personal connection to it, particularly if they’re emigrants.  Listen to customers or ask them how they notice/guide people to the shop.

    Have a history piece on your website, if your shop is old, all the better, if not, why not have a history of the location? Particularly if there was a similar shop and the reason you opened was because you had a personal connection with the site “when I realised that xyz sweet shop that I loved going to closed I had to open something, in respect of my memories of that shop, we make Love-Heart cupcakes (picture), many of our regulars love to share their memories as they pick up the cakes.”  This anchors the shop in people’s psyches.  

  • Thanks for the comment Deirdre – you have some great suggestions

  • I agree that every retailer should have an online shop, but I think the high street is far from doomed. Amazon are opening high street stores, Google is opening a high street store in Dublin, Apple have high street stores. On the face of those big names one could suggest that the opposite is happening – online is coming to a high street near you!

    Where I live in Kilcullen the high street is booming because there are some unique and beautiful shops – a butchers that has it’s own slaughter house and sells the best meat in Ireland, 2 or 3 artisan food shops, a baker, a vegetable shop, a haberdashery, a sweet shop, a boutique florist, a shoe repair shop, a few good eateries, and a saddlery. I can’t see any of those shops being put out of business by online (but I do think they should be online as well).On the other hand for reasons I don’t understand there are many villages in Ireland where you have a butcher that only sells 5 cuts of meat, a load of Spar type shops, a crusty looking coffee shop, and a petrol station. No wonder people go to Tesco or go online.

    Great article – I just think it should look at why the high street is losing out rather than assuming it is because online is inevitably going to dominate because it is intrinsically better – it is not – it is just an alternative or even a complimentary outlet. Crappy online stores will go out of business as fast as crappy offline stores!

    I do have a vested interest –

  • Thanks for your reply. It’s great news to hear the shops in your town are doing so well. Your last suggestion is a good idea for a blog post for you to write – I’d look forward to reading it 🙂

  • Philip O’Rourke

    Thanks Niall. It happens even in my present day life, where clients seldom, at first, reveal the true nature of there visit. 

  • Great post, we clearly must to find out the reason of his objection but sometimes we have to accept a ‘No’ and to go forth. Thanks very much for your post.


  • Great post, we clearly must to find out the reason of his objection but sometimes we have to accept a ‘No’ and to go forth. Thanks very much for your post.


  • Hi Philip,

    Enjoyed the post. If you can’t close the sale it’s always worth finding out why, as worst case you’ll learn from it for the future.  Sometimes a client doesn’t exactly make it easy as although we don’t like to hear a no a lot of people don’t like to say no either – particularly if the reason relates to cost.

  • Philip O’Rourke

    Many thanks for your kind comments and response. While it is true that everybody wants the best possible price they can get, it is also true that, if they are a real potential buyer, they will also want what represents the best possible investment. This is something that need to be established at the earliest stages.

    Whether the answer is ‘No’ or ‘I’ll give you a call sometime’ it still leaves the job unfinished.  I have seen salespeople breath a sigh of relief to hear ‘No’ rather than deal with the stress of closing. Needless to say, they weren’t any of mine 🙂

  • Philip O’Rourke

    I agree, Nicolas. When all possible efforts plus one more have been exhausted, we try and find out from the where we have fallen short. Then we proceed to step 2. 🙂

  • Great first Bloggertone post Philip – well done!
    I love your formula, and concur 100%, and don’t often do it myself.

    And your comment below to Nicholas hits the nail on the head for me:
    “When all possible efforts plus one more have been exhausted…”

    The plus one 🙂

  • Philip O’Rourke

    Many thanks, Elaine. Personally, if the product is fit for purpose, I will always buy from a professional who will stay the course. As long as the potential client has a pulse, a need and the resources to cover it – the game isn’t over 🙂

  • Hi Philip, great post! I think your article is probably especially valuable and insightful for Irish-based readers – we may have a propensity to not want to appear too ‘pushy’, at the risk of ‘scaring someone off’. When really, as you say, the prospect just wants that full reassurance that they are making the right call in sealing the deal. Nice tips.

  • Preparing a sales presentation is not something that can be done on a fly. Often in a complicated sales, you would need information from various divisions within your own organization to take the value your product/service can offer, to response the objections/concerns of the client, and to determine reliability to your sales presentation.

  • Philip O’Rourke

    I concur Simon.I have seen many fail because the one presenting had not completed the fact and product discoveries beforehand. 

  • Philip O’Rourke

    Many thanks for you kind remarks, Anton. It is true what you say. .It is far to often that salespeople fail to gain the respect of a potential client because of timidity. A lack of courage on the part of the salesperson does not inspire trust in the client.

  • Alan Lavender

    Good points. When I did a brief stint with BT in Glasgow in the ’90’s that was similar to their objection handling training for the call centre but with a big difference. Theirs didn’t have that feedback loop of going back in to look for another objection. I also agree with comments about the Irish not wanting to appear too pushy. In business, now is not the time. Finally very interested to see you were in photography previously.

  • What a great post, Helen! Talk about making me see spreadsheets in a new light 🙂

  • Helen – you make me smile. I’ve too many horror stories to share:).  I realized some time ago the necessity to have my formulas checked – and then the input performed by those who love to work on spreadsheets and accounting software.  You have a great talent for this and I applaud you for it – as well as explaining in layman’s terms how to monitor otherwise simple errors.  Thanks.

  • Helen, a super article – thanks for highlighting the vulnerability and volatility of spreadsheets and their users!!
    =20+15*2  – A most common error in spreadsheets is lack of knowledge of simple mathematics. Some would use this simple formula to return an answer of 70, however a spreadsheet will return 50. No amount of auditing/checking will proof something like this.

    I had a client who used Excel for accounting – when moving over to an accounts package, they realised they had not invoiced for 2 contracts!! OK it was only 1000 Euros, but that is a lot of money to be missing out of a small business cash flow!

    Again, thanks for highlighting. Self taught spreadsheet users can be the most dangerous kind, especially when they mentor others!

  • Lewis

     Elaine, I don’t really get your example 🙂 Of course 50 is the right answer to the formula. So that would be an incentive in the use of spreadsheets, or what? 🙂
    We also get LOTS of mistakes with spreadsheets. I mean, mistakes are bound to happen, even with the best of us. Everybody gets distracted or tired sometimes and either you get someone to double check somebody else’s work and someone to triple check that or you have to deal with a margin of error. That said, basic training should be required in every company where Excel or such are largely used (the most of them, actually), which unfortunately doesn’t happen very often.

  • Hi Lewis,
    You are reading the formula one way. Imagine if you wanted to add 20 and 15, and then multiply the result by 2? Basic mathematics and understanding the syntax of a formula would alert us to apply brackets to the aspect of the formula we wish to have calculated together ie. =(20+15)*2 this will return the correct answer of 70. However, if someone does not know or understand these simple principles, they will receive the incorrect result (50) and may not think to check it at all.

    This is such a common yet fundamental issue, I see it in training every day. Precedence in formulae needs to be taught, thankfully this is becoming less of a problem over time. You have hit the nail on the head “basic training should be required in every company…” the very ones to slip through the net are small business owners.

  • Thanks for your illustration and comments Elaine. Maths does indeed let a lot of people down. However, it should be noted almost all of the mistakes I have cited in my article were made in very large organistions by highly trained people. In fact, one of the mistakes was made by a person holding a degree in Maths and Computer Science and who is a trainer at expert level in MS Office Products including Excel.Scary isn’t it?~ Helen

  • Sian – every small business or start up should read this. I see so many businesses who spend a lot of money on different items and don’t collect receipts.

    A lot of great points here and I’ll definitely share this.

    Take care,

  • Samantha Clooney

    Sian, I’ve shared this with every group I’m involved with!! It’s so important for people to see this! I totally agree on the office equipment!! It’s not always the best idea to go for the cheapest!! Oh I learned this the hard way!!!

  • Thanks Samantha – I’m so glad you’ve shared it with people and it will hopefully be a help

  • Thanks Denise for sharing and hope it helps some people. You won’t believe how many people forget to keep receipts. I personally look at them as money – the business expense and the vat back. Like throwing money away.

  • Thanks Elish. I have done a post on keeping accounts “tidy” for the accountant but can’t remember if in TYB or mine. I shall dig it out 🙂

  • I think Sian did one of those blogs somewhere 🙂 I did “Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Books” here last year

  • Nice practical post there Sian – the One-4-all cards are a great way of paying a small tax free bonus, I’d forgotten about that, thank you!
    ~ Helen

  • Here’s the one I did – I also linked to yours, Helen, in my post as it’s really helpful

  • Mary – great point about being timely. Do you have an opinion about going through the small claims court process before going to collections? My experience is collection agencies are in a stronger position if there is a court order.

  • Helen – this review if great. Thanks. Description of the accountancy reasons, particularly for valuation purposes is very helpful. While not an SaaS service, when I provide yearly coaching or business planning service that is paid in full in advance, it gets allocated the same way by my accountant, but I understand better now the “why.”

  • I’ve been thinking about this – I think the answer if yes, Deferred Revenue principle will always apply. The sale itself and the receipt of cash are two separate transactions. Let’s imagine that you paid a subscription for a year in advance to ABC SaaS. After 3 months, ABC goes into liquidation, now you have only received 3 months of service but paid for 12. You would have a claim against the company’s liquidator for non delivery of service for 9 months. The company should have provided for this in the Balance Sheet in the Deferred Revenue account.
    As a customer, it is not advisable to sign such an agreement.If ABC SaaS company provided poor service you would want to have some recourse.
    What a great question Sian! Thanks 🙂

  • You are spot on Warren, the Deferred Revenue principle applies to any business where you get paid in advance for a period of time, not just SaaS companies.

    For example, if you belonged to a Business Coaches Association, and paid them a membership fee for a year, that Association would have to apply the Deferred Revenue principle to your membership.

    I’m delighted that you found the post useful Warren.

    ~ Helen

  • Sian Phillips

    Thanks Helen, that was my thought too and always great to get some good back up 🙂

  • Thanks Niall – yeah the 25% R&D tax credit is a very useful tax break to consider and it’s not just test tubes in a lab type stuff that qualifies. The definition of what constitutes R&D is quiet wide ranging and could very easily apply to a lot of corporate businesses out there! Cheers 🙂

  • These are all excellent insights, Tom. Many thanks for sharing them! Best wishes, Fiona.

  • Cheers Fiona – hopefully it will help to save a few quid for someone. Have a good Xmas break. Chat again soon!

  • Tom,
    A huge welcome from me to TYB, this post is hugely informative and beneficial for all. Some really valid and accessible reliefs and refunds to be had.
    A great post – thanks for the timely share – pity for some, 2 weeks won’t be enough to avail of un-known or forgotten reliefs and claims. I hope people act with haste as you suggest 🙂

  • Thanks Elaine for the welcome – feel like the new kid!! Anyway glad you found the post useful and informative – hopefully it can save someone somewhere a few euros. Happy Christmas to you and hope you have a successful new year! 🙂

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