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HCM People
Manya Klempner

Boxing had moved up the socioeconomic curve, but the infrastructure hadn’t kept up


What’s the elevator pitch?
The Boxing House Gyms are authentic (yet unintimidating) boxing gyms with proper boxing coaches, but with all the customer service a client would expect. Coaching, facilities, service, ambiance – we’ve got it all.

What inspired you to launch boxing gyms?
After giving birth to my son, I hired a PT to help me lose some baby weight. He happened to be a boxing coach and it changed my life.

What happened?
I was immediately attracted to the progression involved with learning a sport. I also revelled in the sense of empowerment. He showed me the proper technique, corrected it and then I practiced. At each turn, he encouraged me with, “hit me harder.” It was awesome.

Likewise, I was attracted to the lifestyle nature of the sport. It wasn’t just exercise; there was an entire living and breathing industry. I really liked that aspect!

I did my PT sessions in the park but yearned to practice my new sport in a proper boxing gym. That was no easy ask. The city was filled with boxercise studios, but I wanted the real deal. This could be found at amateur clubs dotted around the city outskirts, but they were inconveniently located and intimidating.

Ultimately, I identified a gap in the market. Boxing had moved up the socioeconomic curve, but the infrastructure hadn’t kept up. That’s the gap I filled with The Boxing House gyms in London: Rathbone Boxing Club, Camden Boxing Club, Bermondsey Boxing Club and soon a fourth on the way at Gloucester Road tube station.

We offer proper, authentic boxing training, ie, we teach boxing as a sport, but we also understand what our clients require. We provide excellent customer service, all the amenities, plus a booking platform that accepts credit cards. A win: win.

How are you funded?
We raise funds by selling EIS-eligible equity (Enterprise Investment Scheme). We’re currently fundraising if anyone’s interested in joining our investor family.

Funds are raised in the holding company, so all investors – new or seasoned – participate in the performance of existing and future gyms.

What’s the ownership structure of the company?
The Boxing House is the holding company and each of the gyms is a subsidiary.

How did you deploy your background in finance at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup?
This business is less about the actual finance and more about the skill set required to succeed at a top bank. One must always prioritise the client. Work ethic is non-negotiable and confidence when it comes to cold-calling makes a huge difference.

At every point in my career, whether it be as a bank employee or as an entrepreneur, I’ve always believed in those qualities. That belief has served me well over the years and it continues to do so now.

What makes boxing so compelling?
Boxing is unique in its intensity; it literally requires your entire body and entire mind to be fully active. As a result, you enjoy a whole body workout physically, coupled with endorphin levels that are through the roof.

The beauty is that you also benefit from the mind being completely engaged for the duration of the session. Boxing is incredibly cerebral. Not only is there technique involved with the punches, but once defensive moves, strategic tactics and the rest come into play, there’s literally no space left to think of anything but the here and now.

That’s satisfying in the moment, but even more importantly, it’s cathartic. Too many of us struggle to ‘check out’ of our busy personal and professional lives. Boxing requires us to do so. That’s therapeutic – plus no one has ever regretted a workout or a few endorphins!

What’s your target demographic?
We welcome everybody: beginners, seasoned and recreational boxers, amateur boxers, professional boxers. Men and women. All ages, starting from five years old. Our sweet spot, however, tends to be among adults aged 30 – 45 and the split is 40 per cent women and 60 per cent men.

Ultimately, we’re not about being the cool place to be. We’re about doing a great job with excellent customer service. That sweet spot – usually adults who have busy personal and professional lives with disposable income yet who are time-poor – fits nicely with our offering.

We’re all about quality. Our clientele appreciates quality and they return over and over again, becoming annuities for us. That said, everyone is very welcome and everyone is invited to train with us.

What customer volumes do you achieve?
We’re primarily pay-as-you-go (PAYG), so we don’t really count members, however, we have 6,997 registered customers.

And the pricing?
PAYG credits are offered at £22 for a single credit, with quantity discounts available for larger bundles. Memberships are also available for frequent visitors. All first-time customers are invited to take advantage of the intro offer for £30 – two credits plus one buddy credit.

What programmes do you offer?
The club offers group classes, one-to-one personal training sessions and sparring workshops. Self-train clients are also welcome. There are a variety of group classes on offer, ranging from Intro to Boxing to Box! Box! Box! and Fighting Fit. All group classes incorporate technique, defense and tactics. Some classes include more strength and conditioning than others. A newbie and a seasoned boxer would feel equally as comfortable at any of the classes which are adapted to individual skill levels.

What physiological effects do you help people achieve?
That’s a huge question. The physical benefits of exercise, especially along the lines of the full body workout that boxing offers, are well known. There are heaps of data available. What makes boxing unique is that it isn’t just a workout; it’s a sport. People become obsessed with it in a completely different way.

Sport is about developing skills, achieving more, performing better, teamwork, building a community and so on. That’s what we offer. We offer a sport that is ultimately a lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle, through which clients get fitter, improve their mental health, make friends, have a laugh – and revel in the sense of accomplishment and progression. No need to trek out to a golf course for a day. No need to purchase expensive equipment or pay hefty annual dues.

Who develops your workout content?
We have some class templates developed with Adam Booth, who was our executive director of boxing programming, for our first three years. We encourage newer coaches coming up the curve to rely on these templates, while still adding their own expertise and flair to the class. More seasoned coaches are encouraged to run classes as they see fit. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Tell us about the team
We currently have 15 members of staff on PAYE contracts plus 11 freelancers. We believe in making team members part of the team properly. They must be exclusive to us, but we pay them a fair salary and provide all the benefits.

The freelancers are self-contractors by choice. They don’t work with any of our competitors. Some are students; some are actors; some are models; some have other obligations. Coaches tend to be aligned with a particular gym to build up familiarity and rapport. Some coaches float in between gyms based on client demand.

How has your company fared since the start of the pandemic?
We’ve gone from strength to strength. Indeed, when lockdown started and it seemed the world was coming to an end, that’s exactly when our clients started raising their hands to invest.

Their belief in us gave us confidence and that confidence spurred us to double down and make lemonade out of lemons. During the pandemic, we actually locked in two more leases (Camden and Bermondsey) even though our Rathbone location had only been trading for eight months.

What have you learned since you launched the business?
That being agile and opportunistic is a lot more important than having a tremendously well-conceived future plan.

Growth plans are important. Planning for that growth is as important, however, being able to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and, furthermore, spotting opportunities, is even more important.

What plans do you have going forward?
We’d like to build out our London sites and then selectively stretch to key areas in the UK, all while exploring potential key cities internationally. Non-UK-based clients – many of whom are investors – have been hankering for a presence in their hometowns, so we’re exploring global opportunities.

We don’t have a concept. Boxing is an age-old sport. All we’ve done is improve the facilities and the manner in which coaching is delivered. We’ve not recreated the wheel. We’re just doing it better than anyone else. Can it be copied? Sure. Execution is the Achilles heel though. Seems easy, right? It’s not. Delivering a consistently excellent customer experience day in and day out is incredibly difficult. Our commitment to such excellence is what separates us from the rest.

Will you franchise?
Ultimately yes. For those clubs that we can control locally or semi-locally, we’ll retain full ownership. For clubs that launch abroad, we’ll need to have a trusted local partner who’s dedicated to our ethos.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A big shout out to Box 9 Design, BB Contracts, and Stuart Consultancy! We have the best team who do us proud with every project. Also, huge thanks to Everlast for sponsoring Bermondsey Boxing Club.

The company is actively looking at international expansion opportunities Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The gym at Bermondsey Boxing Club Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Boxing is incredibly cerebral says Klempner Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The Boxing House offers full-scale facilities Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Classic boxing brand, Everlast, sponsors Bermondsey Boxing Club Credit: PHOTO: shutterstock / Rawpixel.com
The company is fundraising to build more sites Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The Boxing House look is industrial luxe Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Klempner started her career at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup before moving into the fitness industry Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
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This Autumn, Pulse Fitness completed a £2m (US$2.4m, €2.3m) renovation project to re-open the Killamarsh Community Centre in Derbyshire that had sat closed and redundant since the pandemic. [more...]
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05-06 Mar 2023

World Spa & Wellness Conference

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05-06 Mar 2023

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+ More diary  
 
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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2023
Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
HCM People
Manya Klempner

Boxing had moved up the socioeconomic curve, but the infrastructure hadn’t kept up


What’s the elevator pitch?
The Boxing House Gyms are authentic (yet unintimidating) boxing gyms with proper boxing coaches, but with all the customer service a client would expect. Coaching, facilities, service, ambiance – we’ve got it all.

What inspired you to launch boxing gyms?
After giving birth to my son, I hired a PT to help me lose some baby weight. He happened to be a boxing coach and it changed my life.

What happened?
I was immediately attracted to the progression involved with learning a sport. I also revelled in the sense of empowerment. He showed me the proper technique, corrected it and then I practiced. At each turn, he encouraged me with, “hit me harder.” It was awesome.

Likewise, I was attracted to the lifestyle nature of the sport. It wasn’t just exercise; there was an entire living and breathing industry. I really liked that aspect!

I did my PT sessions in the park but yearned to practice my new sport in a proper boxing gym. That was no easy ask. The city was filled with boxercise studios, but I wanted the real deal. This could be found at amateur clubs dotted around the city outskirts, but they were inconveniently located and intimidating.

Ultimately, I identified a gap in the market. Boxing had moved up the socioeconomic curve, but the infrastructure hadn’t kept up. That’s the gap I filled with The Boxing House gyms in London: Rathbone Boxing Club, Camden Boxing Club, Bermondsey Boxing Club and soon a fourth on the way at Gloucester Road tube station.

We offer proper, authentic boxing training, ie, we teach boxing as a sport, but we also understand what our clients require. We provide excellent customer service, all the amenities, plus a booking platform that accepts credit cards. A win: win.

How are you funded?
We raise funds by selling EIS-eligible equity (Enterprise Investment Scheme). We’re currently fundraising if anyone’s interested in joining our investor family.

Funds are raised in the holding company, so all investors – new or seasoned – participate in the performance of existing and future gyms.

What’s the ownership structure of the company?
The Boxing House is the holding company and each of the gyms is a subsidiary.

How did you deploy your background in finance at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup?
This business is less about the actual finance and more about the skill set required to succeed at a top bank. One must always prioritise the client. Work ethic is non-negotiable and confidence when it comes to cold-calling makes a huge difference.

At every point in my career, whether it be as a bank employee or as an entrepreneur, I’ve always believed in those qualities. That belief has served me well over the years and it continues to do so now.

What makes boxing so compelling?
Boxing is unique in its intensity; it literally requires your entire body and entire mind to be fully active. As a result, you enjoy a whole body workout physically, coupled with endorphin levels that are through the roof.

The beauty is that you also benefit from the mind being completely engaged for the duration of the session. Boxing is incredibly cerebral. Not only is there technique involved with the punches, but once defensive moves, strategic tactics and the rest come into play, there’s literally no space left to think of anything but the here and now.

That’s satisfying in the moment, but even more importantly, it’s cathartic. Too many of us struggle to ‘check out’ of our busy personal and professional lives. Boxing requires us to do so. That’s therapeutic – plus no one has ever regretted a workout or a few endorphins!

What’s your target demographic?
We welcome everybody: beginners, seasoned and recreational boxers, amateur boxers, professional boxers. Men and women. All ages, starting from five years old. Our sweet spot, however, tends to be among adults aged 30 – 45 and the split is 40 per cent women and 60 per cent men.

Ultimately, we’re not about being the cool place to be. We’re about doing a great job with excellent customer service. That sweet spot – usually adults who have busy personal and professional lives with disposable income yet who are time-poor – fits nicely with our offering.

We’re all about quality. Our clientele appreciates quality and they return over and over again, becoming annuities for us. That said, everyone is very welcome and everyone is invited to train with us.

What customer volumes do you achieve?
We’re primarily pay-as-you-go (PAYG), so we don’t really count members, however, we have 6,997 registered customers.

And the pricing?
PAYG credits are offered at £22 for a single credit, with quantity discounts available for larger bundles. Memberships are also available for frequent visitors. All first-time customers are invited to take advantage of the intro offer for £30 – two credits plus one buddy credit.

What programmes do you offer?
The club offers group classes, one-to-one personal training sessions and sparring workshops. Self-train clients are also welcome. There are a variety of group classes on offer, ranging from Intro to Boxing to Box! Box! Box! and Fighting Fit. All group classes incorporate technique, defense and tactics. Some classes include more strength and conditioning than others. A newbie and a seasoned boxer would feel equally as comfortable at any of the classes which are adapted to individual skill levels.

What physiological effects do you help people achieve?
That’s a huge question. The physical benefits of exercise, especially along the lines of the full body workout that boxing offers, are well known. There are heaps of data available. What makes boxing unique is that it isn’t just a workout; it’s a sport. People become obsessed with it in a completely different way.

Sport is about developing skills, achieving more, performing better, teamwork, building a community and so on. That’s what we offer. We offer a sport that is ultimately a lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle, through which clients get fitter, improve their mental health, make friends, have a laugh – and revel in the sense of accomplishment and progression. No need to trek out to a golf course for a day. No need to purchase expensive equipment or pay hefty annual dues.

Who develops your workout content?
We have some class templates developed with Adam Booth, who was our executive director of boxing programming, for our first three years. We encourage newer coaches coming up the curve to rely on these templates, while still adding their own expertise and flair to the class. More seasoned coaches are encouraged to run classes as they see fit. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Tell us about the team
We currently have 15 members of staff on PAYE contracts plus 11 freelancers. We believe in making team members part of the team properly. They must be exclusive to us, but we pay them a fair salary and provide all the benefits.

The freelancers are self-contractors by choice. They don’t work with any of our competitors. Some are students; some are actors; some are models; some have other obligations. Coaches tend to be aligned with a particular gym to build up familiarity and rapport. Some coaches float in between gyms based on client demand.

How has your company fared since the start of the pandemic?
We’ve gone from strength to strength. Indeed, when lockdown started and it seemed the world was coming to an end, that’s exactly when our clients started raising their hands to invest.

Their belief in us gave us confidence and that confidence spurred us to double down and make lemonade out of lemons. During the pandemic, we actually locked in two more leases (Camden and Bermondsey) even though our Rathbone location had only been trading for eight months.

What have you learned since you launched the business?
That being agile and opportunistic is a lot more important than having a tremendously well-conceived future plan.

Growth plans are important. Planning for that growth is as important, however, being able to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and, furthermore, spotting opportunities, is even more important.

What plans do you have going forward?
We’d like to build out our London sites and then selectively stretch to key areas in the UK, all while exploring potential key cities internationally. Non-UK-based clients – many of whom are investors – have been hankering for a presence in their hometowns, so we’re exploring global opportunities.

We don’t have a concept. Boxing is an age-old sport. All we’ve done is improve the facilities and the manner in which coaching is delivered. We’ve not recreated the wheel. We’re just doing it better than anyone else. Can it be copied? Sure. Execution is the Achilles heel though. Seems easy, right? It’s not. Delivering a consistently excellent customer experience day in and day out is incredibly difficult. Our commitment to such excellence is what separates us from the rest.

Will you franchise?
Ultimately yes. For those clubs that we can control locally or semi-locally, we’ll retain full ownership. For clubs that launch abroad, we’ll need to have a trusted local partner who’s dedicated to our ethos.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A big shout out to Box 9 Design, BB Contracts, and Stuart Consultancy! We have the best team who do us proud with every project. Also, huge thanks to Everlast for sponsoring Bermondsey Boxing Club.

The company is actively looking at international expansion opportunities Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The gym at Bermondsey Boxing Club Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Boxing is incredibly cerebral says Klempner Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The Boxing House offers full-scale facilities Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Classic boxing brand, Everlast, sponsors Bermondsey Boxing Club Credit: PHOTO: shutterstock / Rawpixel.com
The company is fundraising to build more sites Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
The Boxing House look is industrial luxe Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
Klempner started her career at Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup before moving into the fitness industry Credit: PHOTO: The Boxing House Gyms
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For almost 20 years, CardsSafe has been helping golf courses, clubhouses, bike hire businesses and restaurants to securely retain their customers’ bank and ID cards while they run a tab or trial a product or service. [more...]

Pulse Fitness encourages community fitness with opening of new North East Derbyshire centre
This Autumn, Pulse Fitness completed a £2m (US$2.4m, €2.3m) renovation project to re-open the Killamarsh Community Centre in Derbyshire that had sat closed and redundant since the pandemic. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Serco Leisure

Serco Leisure Operating Limited is one of the UK’s leading national operators of leisure centres, de [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

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+ More directory  
DIARY

 

05-06 Mar 2023

World Spa & Wellness Conference

Excel exhibition and conference centre , London, United Kingdom
05-06 Mar 2023

CryoCON 2023

Renaissance at Plano Legacy West Hotel, Dallas, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2023

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS