Q&A with Savannah Candy – the new owner of BODYTEC Dainfern
In honour of Youth Day, we’re featuring one of our youngest studio owners to date. At just 23 years of age, Savannah brings a new energy to BODYTEC Dainfern.
Tell us a bit about yourself (general overview of your history/background)
I am 23 years old and Zimbabwean born – I lived there for a few years before moving to the UK where I completed my schooling up to my A-Levels in which I studied Sport and Psychology. I was involved in many sports while growing up, with my main focus on football (soccer) and trampolining. I also was a FIFA qualified assistant coach for the local under-15’s girls’ football team. In early 2016 I moved to South Africa and filled my time by au pairing before I started my three-year undergraduate degree the following year, studying Sports Science and going on to graduate in December 2019 from Stellenbosch University. I was accepted into Stellenbosch’s postgraduate degree program and achieved my Bachelor of Science Honours in Sports Science, specialising in Performance Sport.
What sparked your entrepreneurial spirit?
I had only ever seen myself being an entrepreneur later on in life after I had gained some work and life experience but when this opportunity arose, coupled with the fact that health and sport is a passion of mine, I jumped at the chance and having this opportunity has pushed me into wanting to achieve my goal much earlier in life.
What type of support does a young entrepreneur need?
Young entrepreneurs definitely would benefit from having financial support – many young entrepreneurs do not have a credit history which can make it difficult to be able to open a new business and cover any start-up costs. I also believe that a young entrepreneur needs a good support system around them to offer guidance and assistance to help make sure that the business can be a huge success.
What training did you get from BODYTEC to prepare you for running your own studio?
For my training with BODYTEC, I spent 10 days at head office and my time was split between spending time in the studio as well as covering the business aspect of BODYTEC. It was great to be able to watch how the experienced trainers interact with the clients and the way they structure their sessions to fit the needs of the members. My time spent on the business side of BODYTEC was also very beneficial and I learnt all the ins and outs of what it takes to run my own studio and how the systems work as well as tips to make sure the business will run to its full potential.
What are some of the limitations/challenges you’ve faced so far as a young business owner?
As a young business owner that doesn’t have a credit history, it has made it very difficult to obtain any financial backing. For me personally, I also didn’t have a lot of knowledge about how to run a business as I was never taught about it in school, which has made some things a bit harder but I luckily have very supportive parents that have helped and guided me and have made owning a BODYTEC studio possible.
How did you learn about BODYTEC?
I learnt about EMS training during my undergraduate studies where we studied the theory behind the training. I knew about BODYTEC as I would often walk past BODYTEC Stellenbosch during my time at university and it caught my attention so I did a bit more research into the company and EMS training which is how I found out more about the business.
What made you decide to become a studio owner?
In the beginning, I was just looking around at job opportunities to figure out what avenue of the fitness industry I wanted to pursue. I was reminded of BODYTEC so sent applications to the studios within my area, to see if they had any openings for me to become a trainer. This is when I was approached and asked if I wanted to purchase BODYTEC Dainfern. Given my enthusiasm for health and fitness and the fact that I had previously studied some of the techniques used by BODYTEC, I saw it as a great opportunity to apply my learning and to expand my experience in life with the excitement of learning how to run a business. I also believe that becoming a studio owner will help me to grow as an individual and push me out of my comfort zone, something I am always striving to achieve.
How has entrepreneurship changed other aspects of your life?
Entrepreneurship has definitely made me step out of my comfort zone and made me do things that I used to shy away from. It has also pushed me to be more decisive in my everyday life.
Do you believe that one is born with an entrepreneurial spirit or that it is developed?
I believe that you are born with an entrepreneurial spirit and that it is developed. Individuals are born with certain personality and aptitude traits, however, the ability to apply these traits in the right way is the thing that can make entrepreneurs successful, which is something that can be developed through learning and guidance from others. Although, if one finds their passion this can spark their entrepreneurial spirit and through hard work and determination they can also become a successful entrepreneur.
How has your first month gone? Any funny/noteworthy mishaps, unexpected revelations, or anything interesting that happened?
During my first full month as the owner of BODYTEC Dainfern I’ve learnt a lot about the daily running of a business and have more practical experience now that I have physically done the EMS training myself. There have also been a lot of lessons learnt with working with different types of people and their personalities which in turn has helped me grow as an individual. The biggest noteworthy mishap so far was when my one EMS device decided it didn’t want to work which meant that I could only do single sessions for the week. While this was a bit frustrating and stressful, it means I am now an expert in figuring out what aspect isn’t working with the equipment and how to fix it – just another learning curve and experience which helps with my own personal development 🙂
What inspires/motivates you?
What inspires me the most are my parents. I have grown up watching the challenges that have been thrown their way and how they have dealt with them, persevered through the tough times and have become very successful because of it. They also instilled in me their strong work ethic and the notion that if you start something you need to give it everything and see it through to the end.
What do you wish all aspiring young business owners knew about running a business?
You need a lot of determination! It is definitely not easy running a business and it can get a little disheartening at times, but you just have to push through and focus on what your goals are and work hard towards achieving them. Running a business is also going to consume a lot of your time so make sure the business is something you are passionate about and something you cannot see yourself getting bored of.